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 Ridge College is named after Erie native Tom Ridge, 43rd governor of Pennsylvania and first Secretary of Homeland Security.

  • 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 succesfully placed in one.

1,800+ Intel alumni across all 17 federal intelligence agencies

100% job or graduate school placement within one year

25% of Intel students compete in varsity athletics 

Introducing Lindy Smart, Executive Director of Intelligence Studies

As the nation's leader for Intelligence Studies, Mercyhurst has continued to grow and evolve as a home for not only intelligence, but cyber security, data science, business and competitive intelligence, and many other related majors and minors. To continue our tradition of excellence, Lindy Smart, one of the most prominent and gifted experts in the intelligence industry, will be serving as the Executive Director of Intelligence Studies. As a Mercyhurst alumnus, Lindy is returning to her alma mater to lead strategic initiatives and promote the future success of our students. Most recently, Lindy has served as Director of Competitive Intelligence at Fortune 500 retailer Target Corporation, and will be bringing her real-world experience to the role.

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.
students in computer lab


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.

mercyhurst veteran celebration


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 which cost more than the state tuition cap.

intelligence studies student


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.

Contact Us

Lindy Smart, M.S.
Executive Director, Intelligence Studies
Office: CAE 305
Phone: 814-824-3024