The Master of Science in Security and Intelligence Studies degree program provides the knowledge and skills professionals need to excel in intelligence analysis, operations, military-political studies, law enforcement, corporate security and cyber-intelligence and security.  

Master of Science in
Security and Intelligence Studies

Professor assists students in a global security lab.

The Master of Science in Security and Intelligence Studies degree program provides the knowledge and skills professionals need to excel in intelligence analysis, operations, military-political studies, law enforcement, corporate security and cyber-intelligence and security. The program combines science and high technology with advanced intelligence and security courses. Students receive advanced instruction in the research skills and analytical methods required by the security and intelligence fields along with the ability to communicate their findings clearly. 

The Master of Science in Security and Intelligence Studies is housed in the College of Security and Intelligence.

View Degree Requirements
Excerpt taken from the Online Course Catalog

Degree Requirements

Security and Intelligence General Core

SIS 505Homeland Security and Intelligence Integration3
SIS 510Strategic Intelligence: Diplomacy, Covert Operations, and War3
SIS 515Legal and Ethical Issues in National Security and Intelligence3
SIS 690Experimental Research Project6
or SIS 700 Graduate Thesis
Total Credits15


SIS 500Summer Colloquium: US Security and Intelligence Communities1
SIS 520Winter Colloquium: Current Issues in the National Security of the US1
SIS 685Spring Colloquium: Thesis and Project Research and Preparation1
Total Credits3


SIS 525Protection of Critical Infrastructure and Technology Systems3
SIS 530Intelligence and the Spectrum of Social Conflict3
SIS 535Advanced Analytical and Research Methodologies3
SIS 550International Security Operations and Management3
SIS 565Advanced Counterintelligence: Denial and Deception3
SIS 600Science, Space, Technology, and Intelligence3
SIS 625Global Transportation and Supply Chain Security3
SIS 655The Security Implications of Climate Change3
SIS 657Cyber Warfare: Threats and Counter-Operations3
SIS 670Mastering and Managing Security Operations3
SIS 680Mastering and Managing Intelligence Operations3
SIS 699Special Topics in Security and Intelligence3-6

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are academic appointments that are normally reserved for qualified graduate students. Graduate assistants may be involved in research activities under the direction of a faculty member or may assist with administrative duties. In the case of research, a graduate assistant should be paired with a faculty member such that the graduate student is involved in research that will enhance his or her own topical interests and progress toward the Experimental Research Project or Master’s Thesis.

To be eligible for a graduate assistantship, a student must have been accepted to full graduate status in the MSSIS Program. The student, whether incoming or resident, should submit an application form and a 500-word essay directly to the MSSIS Department through the Graduate Program Recruiter. After the first semester of working as a graduate assistant, in order to retain the assistantship, the student must have maintained a CGPA of 3.50 out of a possible 4.00 or above.

Full graduate assistantships carry a stipend set by the University and a tuition waiver. Graduate assistants with such appointments are expected to devote up to 20 hours each week to effectively carry out their assignments. Under some circumstances, partial assistantships providing either tuition or a stipend may be granted. The expected time to be devoted is set by MSSIS program. Graduate assistants are permitted to accept other University employment; however, University policies limit all students to a total of 25 hours of work per week, including the graduate assistantship. All graduate research and administrative assistantships, both full and partial, require that the recipient be registered for at least three graduate credits at Embry-Riddle for any semester of their appointment. Summer registration is not required but is encouraged.

Guidelines for Graduate Research Projects and Theses

The MSSIS program requires the completion of either an Experimental Research Project or a Master’s Thesis, each of which carries six hours of course work. Those students planning to do Research Project should register for SIS 690, while those planning to complete the Master’s Thesis should register for SIS 700. The Experimental Research Project provides the student with an opportunity to conduct security and intelligence-related research in an area of the physical or behavioral sciences. The Master’s Thesis is a more traditional approach and normally requires library or archival or survey research. The general requirements for both SIS 690 and SIS 700 are the same in three areas. First, the project or thesis must present an original approach to its topic, whether in the collection or analysis of data, and in its conclusions. Second, the graduate student will be required to present and defend his or her thesis in a public presentation open to faculty, students, and the interested public. Third, the work should be suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.

Steps in the Completion of the Research Requirement

  1. TOPIC: Generate ideas for research in consultation with the graduate faculty. This will allow the student to arrive at a research and/or thesis topic that is consistent with the curriculum and objectives of the MSSIS program and is of genuine interest for the student. It would also be useful if the research project or thesis would be consistent with the student’s professional interests.
  2. COMMITTEE SELECTION: Choose a committee of three people. This committee must consist of two faculty members of the College of Security and Intelligence, one of whom must be chair of the committee. The third member may be anyone from the faculty or from outside the University who can contribute to the project. Note that a faculty member may remove him or herself from the committee at this (or any) stage of the process. If this happens, the student must then choose an alternate member.
  3. PROPOSAL: Write a proposal of three to five pages. The proposal must consist of an introduction, a clear problem statement normally (but not always) in the form of a hypothesis, an outline of the methods to be used, and a preliminary list of sources. The format for the proposal and all other documentation should conform to the APA Guide. A copy of the proposal signed by the entire committee should be placed on file with the Administrative Assistant to the College.
  4. HUMAN SUBJECTS: For all projects that require the use of human subjects, the student must submit an approval from through the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). Forms for this process are available through the Sponsored Programs Pre-Award Office at Daytona Beach.
  5. RESEARCH: The research should be conducted in close consultation with the committee. If the committee is not consulted on a regular basis through this process, the chance of approval of the final product diminishes.
  6. DOCUMENT PREPARATION: Writing the Research Project results or the Thesis should not be started until the student’s committee has given approval. The process of writing should begin as early as possible, but no later than the beginning of the semester of anticipated graduation. As the committee approves each section, the student may move on to the next section. The student will be allowed to finish when and only when the committee has signed the “approval to defend” sheet. Note that summers are allocated for completing the research and and starting the writing process.
  7. FINAL DEFENSE: Once the penultimate document is prepared and approved for defense, the oral defense will be scheduled by the College and invitations to the campus faculty and student body will be issued. The final defense of the Research Project or Thesis will require a formal presentation using PowerPoint or other presentation software. This presentation will be limited to 30 minutes, with another 15 minutes for questions from the committee and the audience. After the defense, the student’s committee will advise the student whether he or she has passed and what revisions are necessary for the final document. At this point, the committee will decide whether to sign the signatory page.
  8. COMPLETION: Finally, the student must complete all necessary paperwork for graduation (assuming that all coursework has been completed as well). Both the final report of a Research Project and the final version of the Thesis must be bound and two copies presented, one to the Library and one to the College’s Administrative Assistant.
  9. ENROLLMENT: Once a student has enrolled in SIS 690 or SIS 700, he or she must enroll in each subsequent semester for one credit while he or she is working on either the Research Project or Thesis.

Deadlines for Research Project and Thesis Preparation

Each semester the College establishes and posts the deadlines for committee organization, proposal submission, completion of the first three chapters of he Research Project or Thesis, the defense confirmation, delivery of the penultimate document to the committee, final defense, and delivery of the bound copies.


Go to the Online Course catalog

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