Apply to the Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence


The Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence (MSSI) degree is designed to prepare students for the complexity of intelligence work in the 21st century. The 45-credit curriculum focuses on three main themes: globalization, future-focused Intelligence, and intelligence for national security.  Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence

The MSSI focuses on the topics required to understand threats, evolving risks, and the geopolitical landscape in order to support the National Security Strategy and component strategies.  The program brings together students from across the entire Intelligence Community (IC), including its military elements. By studying with and about each other’s agencies and being guided by the NIU faculty through curricula on global issues, regional studies, intelligence practices, and capabilities, MSSI graduates earn a broader understanding of the entire IC, its challenges, and its role in supporting national security strategy. 

The profession of intelligence and its role in supporting national security strategy requires mastery of much more than an individual skill or discipline. It requires an understanding of the IC and its agencies, and the IC’s relationship with policymakers and other leaders. Educated intelligence professionals are expected to understand the interaction among national intelligence, allied intelligence services, and domestic national security communities. Strategic intelligence requires an expansive vision of an integrated world.

Students may pursue concentrations including: Collection and Analysis, Counterintelligence, Strategic Intelligence in Special Operations, IC Leadership and Management, Middle East, China, Russia/Eurasia, and Terrorism.

The Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence (MSSI) degree is designed to prepare students for the complexity of intelligence work in the 21st century. The 45-credit curriculum focuses on three main themes: globalization, future-focused Intelligence, and intelligence for national security. It is offered in four formats at various locations.

In-Residence (Full-time)

Students are nominated for this compressed, one-year format of the MSSI degree program by their service or home organization. The program is held at the Intelligence Community Campus in Bethesda (ICCB), MD, and lasts from July to June each year. The deadline for this format occurs once a year. For Academic Year 2025-2026 it is January 25, 2025.

 Application for In-Residence (Full-time) MSSI Program

Non-Residence (Part-time)

NIU offers the following three formats for the non-residence MSSI degree program.  Please note the additional locations where the program is offered, and any additional requirements needed.

Applications for non-residence MSSI formats are accepted throughout the year. All materials must be received, and the applicant’s TS//SCI clearance must be verified by the first day of the academic quarter to be considered for admission in the following quarter (i.e., all must be complete/verified by the first day of winter quarter if the applicant would like to begin in the spring quarter).

Please see the academic calendar to determine these dates. Course enrollment in the applicant’s quarter of choice is subject to availability.



  • Students take courses in the evening at these locations.
  • By taking two courses per 10-week quarter, the program can be completed in two years.




  • Subject to availablity, student can take courses during the day at these locations.
  • Because courses occur during standard business hours, management approval is needed, and the form below must be turned in with the application.

  • By taking two courses per 10-week quarter, the program can be completed in two years.



  • Students take courses one weekend a month for  two years.  In addition, there is a two-week intensive session in the summer between the two years.
  • By attending each monthly session and the two weeks in the summer, students can complete the program in two years.
  • Reservists/National Guard applicants must have a nomination memorandum signed by an O-6 in their chain of command.
  • ICCB

Application for Non-Residence (Part-time) MSSI Program

Nomination Memo for Day Format and Monthly Format for Reservists/National Guard

Please check the NIU catalog for the latest requirements. 

1. Application Form

2. Nomination

  • If you are applying to the In-Residence program, your agency training office or service detailer/branch manager/function manager will need to submit a memorandum.
  • If you are applying to the Monthly program and are a member of the Reserves or National Guard, you must submit a memorandum from an O-6 in your chain of command that ensures your clearance will be held by your unit for the duration of your studies. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure administrative details pertaining to drilling requirements are discussed with the unit prior to applying.

Application for In-Residence (Full-time) MSSI Program

  • If you are applying to the Day program, you must have approval from your organization to ensure time and attendance and work schedule agreements are established prior to applying.

Application for Non-Residence (Part-time) MSSI Program 

3. Resume or Curriculum Vitae

Format of your choice.

4. Statement of Purpose (~500 words)

Explain why you want to attend NIU by briefly describing your qualifications, academic experience, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests that may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for pursuing a degree.

5. Preliminary Research Proposal (~1500 words)

Illustrate an area of research interest that you might want to pursue at NIU. This should include:

  • A preliminary problem statement that identifies a topic and its importance to the intelligence or national security community.
  • Gaps or opportunities that exist in current literature on this topic, which include refereed/authoritative citations of research or scholarly work.
  • Citations and references can be in a format of your choice.

6. Official Transcripts

You must provide official transcripts for all earned degrees as well as those attempted. Your undergraduate degree must be from regionally accredited institution. Official transcripts must be sent from the institution(s) directly to NIU Admissions.

7. Letters of Recommendation

You must provide two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your academic achievement and professional potential. If you have been out of school for several years and are unable to contact former professors, you may submit non-academic references (e.g., employers).

8. GRE Scores (Optional)

If you would like your GRE scores to be considered as part of your application, you may have the Educational Testing Service submit an official copy of them to NIU Admissions. This is not required.

  • Completed applications should be submitted electronically to
  • To protect PII, please send applications from a .gov or .mil account.
  • If electronic submission is not possible, applicants can submit their documents by mail. Please note that mail can take several weeks to arrive, so please plan accordingly.
  • NIU Admissions can accept hand-delivered document. Please contact to arrange this.
  • For mail sent through the United States Postal Service, the following address must be used:
  • National Intelligence University
    Office of Admissions
    Roberdeau Hall
    Washington, DC 20511
  • For mail sent by FedEx or UPS, the following address must be used but note that weekend deliveries are not accepted:
  • National Intelligence University
    Office of Admissions
    Roberdeau Hall, ICC-B Gate 5
    1000 Colonial Farm Road
    McLean, VA 22101
  • Official and unofficial transcripts contain the same information about a student’s academic record: a chronological list of classes, grades, and credits. However, photocopies, scans of original documents, and emailed copies from the applicant’s personal email address are unofficial.
  • Official transcripts are original documents issued by the institution and sent to NIU Admissions electronically through a secure third-party transcript delivery service or by hard copy mail in a sealed envelope which should not be opened by anyone except the NIU Admissions.  An official transcript is a legal document and includes distinguishing marks such as the Registrar’s signature, the college seal, and the date it was issued.
  • NIU Admissions can accept hard copy official transcripts from applicants if they are still in a sealed envelope.

NIU accepts a maximum of six quarter credits of graduate-level classes for the MSSI degree programs, provided the credits are:

a) from a regionally accredited institution,

b) earned a grade of “B” or higher,

c) relevant to the NIU degree being sought, and

d) were earned within the past five years. The credits should not have been applied toward the completion of any other degree.

    • The NIU MSSI/MSTI Transfer Credit Policy allows the Deans to set additional transfer requirements for their respective degree programs, provided these requirements are published in places accessible to current and prospective students and faculty.
    • NIU does not accept transfer credits for any required courses in the MSSI/MSTI core curriculum.

Office of Admissions
Phone 301-243-2094
Fax 301-227-7067

The Privacy Act of Public Law 93-579 requires Federal Agencies which collect personal information from individuals to inform each individual of the following:

  • Authority: 44USC3101 and 3102 Establishment of Program Management.
  • Principal Purpose: To record information solicited from and furnished by individuals nominated to attend courses of instruction of the NIU.
  • Routine Use: Used in preparation of tentative and final class rosters for official University use, biographic data on students, statistical studies, attendance verification, historical records, alumni surveys, academic/fitness reports, and other official correspondence.
  • Disclosure and Effects: Disclosure of information by the applicant is voluntary. However, non-disclosure may result in errors in reporting course completion, incomplete statistical comparisons, non-receipt of security clearance, errors in historical files, incomplete student academic/fitness reports, and non-receipt of official correspondence.
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