Apply to the Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence (MSSI)

Applying to the MSSI

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.

MSSI Application Forms for Academic Year 2024-2025:

    1. In Residence, Full-Time Application (PDF) – Application Deadline (29 Jan 2024)
    2. Part-Time Application (PDF)
    3. Part-Time Day Program Approval Form (PDF)
    4. Reservist/National Guard Nomination Memorandum Template (DOC)


MSSI Program Format:

In-Residence (Full-time)

        • In-Residence (Full-time): Students are nominated by their organizations’ training office or detailer/branch manager/function manager and complete the degree in 11 months (July-June) at ICC-B.  Application deadline is 29 January 2024.

Non-Residence (Part-time)

        • ICC-Bethesda, Part-Time Day: Based on course availability, part-time students can attend class during the day at ICC-B, but it is the student’s responsibility to ensure management approval.
          • This form must be submitted with the application to attend day classes at ICC-B.
        • ICC-Bethesda Evening: Students attend class in the evening and typically complete the degree in two years. This format does not require a nomination from the student’s organization and is available at ICC-B.
        • Academic Centers: Students typically complete the degree in two years.
          • Southern Academic Center
          • European Academic Center
          • Quantico Academic Center
          • NSA Academic Center (Classes held during the day)
          • Monthly: Students attend classes one weekend a month (full day on Saturday and Sunday) for two years along with a two-week intensive summer session at ICC-B. Reservist/National Guard applicants must be nominated by their unit and must submit this memorandum signed by an O-6 in their chain of command with their application.

Please check the NIU catalog for the latest requirements. 

The following application materials must be sent to NIU Admissions:

  • Application Form
  • Nomination (In-Residence applicant only) from your agency training office or branch of service detailer/branch manager/function manager.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae.

Statement of Purpose and Preliminary Research Prospectus.

  • The Statement and Prospectus should be no longer than 8 pages typed (double spaced/12pt font).
  • Please include a cover page with your name and contact information.
  • Please number each page and send in PDF format.

The Statement of Purpose should 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 aptitude and motivation for pursuing a degree.

    • The Preliminary Research Prospectus should illustrate an area of research interest that you wish to pursue at NIU. A good preliminary research prospectus requires the author to be precise, informative, and compelling.
      This should include elements:
        1. A preliminary problem statement that identifies a proposed topic and its importance to the intelligence or national security community.
          1. Gaps or opportunities that exist in the current literature on this topic, which should include refereed/authoritative citations of research or scholarly work.
          2. Citations and references should be included but do not need be in full bibliography format.
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Transcripts. You must provide official transcripts for all earned degrees as well as those attempted. Undergraduate degrees must be from regionally accredited institutions. Official transcripts must be sent from the institutions directly to NIU Admissions.
  • 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).
  • GRE Scores (Optional): You may submit official GRE scores, sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to NIU Admissions, if you would like them to be considered as part of your total package. 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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