Students and professor in front of Center for Academic Engagement

Intelligence Studies

Bachelor of Arts

Intel education on the cutting edge.

Mercyhurst has pioneered intelligence education since launching the nation’s first Intelligence Studies program in 1992. Today, our program is the largest and among the most prestigious. We graduate in-demand, entry-level analysts who are skilled in preparing assessments based on the collection, correlation and analysis of intelligence data for employers both in government and private sectors, especially those in business, law enforcement, national security and the military.

This unique and academically challenging multidisciplinary program combines a liberal arts core with a foreign language or computer requirement, as well as national and international studies, an internship experience, and intelligence courses. As the worldwide demand for skilled analysts continues to grow — the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs for analysts will grow by as much as 19 percent in the next decade — you’ll stand out with a degree from our internationally recognized intelligence program.


Fast Facts

  • Annually, more than 200 Intelligence Studies students receive contracts to conduct work for U.S. intelligence agencies and private companies.
  • The newly created Anti-Money Laundering Minor provides students with the theoretical foundations and the practical skills of detecting, preventing, investigating, and reporting money laundering and terrorist financing activities.
  • With support from the Center for Intelligence, Research, Analysis, and Training (CIRAT) and Innovation Entente Lab Beehive, 100% of our Intelligence Studies students who seek an internship are successfully placed in one.

Center for Intelligence, Research, Analysis, and Training (CIRAT)

Our CIRAT program works to hone and professionalize the skills of students in Intelligence Studies and Computer Information Science programs. As a nonprofit arm of Mercyhurst University, CIRAT develops opportunities with business and government entities through contracts, grants, and academic partnerships. Students of all academic levels can participate in CIRAT to apply their skills in a variety of collaborative intelligence and data-driven projects. By participating in CIRAT, Mercyhurst students gain a competitive edge; upon graduation, they already have applicable, hands-on experience working with national security organizations, U.S. government agencies, private sector businesses, and more.

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  • Types of Jobs

    Graduates of the program have accepted employment in the following types of positions, to name a few: Intelligence Analysts, Intelligence Officers, Special Agents, and Social Media Analysts.

    Graduates working on the job
  • Veteran Resources

    Mercyhurst University is a participant of the Yellow Ribbon Program, a provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill that allows veterans to attend graduate programs that cost more than the state tuition cap.

    American flags at Mercyhurst
  • Career Outcomes

    Graduates have accepted employment with a diverse set of federal agencies, global corporations, and international NGOs. A small sample includes: Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Wells Fargo.

    Smiling graduate
Student Intelligence Clubs

    Established in 1986, today the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) organization has over 50 chapters around the world, with individual members in more than 50 nations. SCIP is a global nonprofit membership organization for everyone involved in creating and managing business knowledge. Their mission is to enhance the skills of knowledge professionals in order to help their members' companies achieve and maintain a competitive advantage. Specifically, SCIP provides education and networking opportunities for business professionals working in the rapidly growing field of competitive intelligence (the legal and ethical collection and analysis of information regarding the capabilities, vulnerabilities, and intentions of business competitors). Many SCIP members have backgrounds in market research, strategic analysis, or science and technology.

    The Mercyhurst chapter became the first SCIP student chapter in the world in 1997. Since then they've provided numerous speakers to their members and sent dozens of students to annual conferences.

    The Law Enforcement Intelligence Club was the earliest student club to exist within the Intelligence Studies programs at Mercyhurst University.  Building on its long tradition, the club regularly meets for special events, speakers, and seminars on the field.  

    Cyber Threat Research Analysis Club (CTRAC) was founded in early 2012 by a small group of students which recognized the growing demand for analysts in cyber practices. With an objective of assisting students in getting internships and jobs, CTRAC provides its members with the knowledge, skills, and tools sought by employers in the public and private sector. Members participate in analysis projects for businesses and organizations, contributions to Cyberpedia, club-led discussions, and hear from guest speakers from around the country.

    The National Security Club (NSC) is an umbrella organization that brings together several national security related organizations/associations on the Mercyhurst campus. The NSC will promote the development of its members through organized events and functions that will educate and inform about national security issues.

    The purpose of Anti-Money Laundering Club shall be to raise awareness in the Mercyhurst community about money laundering and its social and economic impact, as well as to generate interest in the national and global efforts to combat this crime. The club aims to introduce students to potential career opportunities in the field of Anti-Money Laundering through the conduction of research, the competition of products, and the participation in various networking opportunities.

Alumni Employment

Read on for a list of agencies and organizations that employ Mercyhurst Intelligence Studies alumni. With over 1,200 alumni around the world, this list is not exhaustive.

National and International Government Agencies and Organizations
Central Intelligence Agency Federal Bureau of Investigation Bureau of Customs & Border Protection
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Central FL High Intensity Drug Trafficking Defense Intelligence Agency
Department of Defense Department of Homeland Security FINCEN
Holland Criminal Investigation INTERPOL National Air & Space Intelligence Center
National Crime Intelligence Service, Sweden National Security Agency Office of Naval Intelligence
US Army, Military Intelligence US Secret Service Washington Baltimore HIDTA
Washington D.C. Metro Police Department    


Corporations and Organizations
Accenture Meritor, Inc.  BAE Systems
Bank of America Booz Allen Hamilton Cannadian Association for Security & Intelligence Studies
Center for Strategic and International Studies Chautauqua Foundation Deloitte & Touche LLP
Discovery Resources, Inc. Eastman Kodak Co. Exxon Mobil
Key Bank International Property Services Investment Data Corporation
JP Morgan Chase Low & Associates McManis & Monsalve Associates
Murphy Magonahe Northrup Grumman Philip-Morris
Procative Worldwide Procter & Gamble SRA International, Inc.
Sterling Target Corp. Wells Fargo
A sample of professional associations that our alumni, students and faculty belong to.
Professional Associations
Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts
Association of Former Intelligence Officers International Association for Intelligence Education
International Association of Crime Analysts Naval Intelligence Professionals
Society fo Former Special Agents of the FBI Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit
International Association of Counterterrorism and Security Professionals National Military Intelligence Association

    The Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences at Mercyhurst began its own publication arm in 2005 as the Institute began to develop its own intelligence publications.

    The Mercyhurst Institute for Intelligence Studies Press since then has developed several publications now available for purchase and is in the process of developing several more. Faculty and students from the Institute have collaborated to develop these specialized publications which will be useful to intelligence students, educators, and professionals.

    • Aid, Intervention, and Terror: The Impact of Foreign Aid and Foreign Military Intervention on Terror Events and Severity | Feb 11, 2019
      Written By: Orlandrew E. Danzell
    • Wikis and Intelligence Analysis | May 17, 2012
      Written By: Kevin Flanagan, JoEllen Marsh, Kathleen Moore, Emily Walker, Kristan Wheaton, and Stephanie Williams, and JoEllen Marsh, Editors
    • The Analyst's Cookbook | Jan 30, 2006
      Written By: Kristan Wheaton, a 164-page compilation of 16 analytic methods applicable to a variety of intelligence analysis taskings.
    • Structured Analysis of Competing Hypotheses | Jun 09, 2006 (Currently out of print)
      Description: Analytic Methodologies Project 2006, an 80-page booklet explaining an analytic method developed at the MCIIS from the original Analysis of Competing Hypotheses originally developed by Richards Heuer.
    • The Analyst's Style Manual | Jan 01, 2008
      Description: MCIIS, a 60-page manual to guide intelligence analysts in dealing with basic grammar, spelling and abbreviation rules, as well as basic writing principles.
    • Walking Through the Halls of Intelligence: A Second Look at Recent Graduate Research | Feb 01, 2009
      Description: Mercyhurst University Intelligence Communications Class 2007-2008, a look at a dozen research theses authored by Mercyhurst College Intelligence Studies master’s degree candidates since 2006.

    The Tom Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences recommends the following intelligence-related blogs: