Gain a strategic advantage with a master’s from the nation’s intel leader.

Advanced-level abilities to collect and interpret intelligence provide an unmatched edge in the knowledge-centric work environments of the future. One of the first and most respected programs of its kind, Mercyhurst’s master’s program in Applied Intelligence prepares you with the skills to lead analytical teams in national security, international relations, law enforcement and competitive business. Available 100 percent online for the convenience of working professionals, this program can help you become an expert research and intel analyst, influencing policy and strategy in your field.

Applications in a Range of Contexts

The Mercyhurst program focuses on intelligence as a process, evaluating information from multiple sources and communicating analytic findings to assist with setting strategy, policy and other high-level decisions. Given this focus, the coursework concentrates on developing sophisticated research abilities, skilled use of analytic techniques and methodologies, concise analytic writing and effective briefing.

Mercyhurst welcomes applicants from almost every undergraduate degree program, from political science and international relations to biology and mathematics, as well as every professional background. 

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Make an Impact with Data-Driven Decisions

Become an expert research and intelligence analyst, influencing policy and strategy in government and the private sector, through Mercyhurst University’s online Master of Science in Applied Intelligence. One of the first and most respected programs of its kind, this graduate degree prepares you to lead analytical teams in competitive business, law enforcement and national security. As a student in the program, you’ll develop advanced research abilities, learn to analyze data using different techniques and methodologies, and hone your analytical writing and briefing skillsets to strategically communicate your findings.  

Scheduling flexibility and full- and part-time options allow you to earn your master’s without disrupting your career. Coursework is available 100 percent online, which means no matter where you are in the world, you’ll have access to cutting-edge online learning technology and direct connections with experienced instructors.

Fast Facts

  • Applied Intelligence graduates excel in finding new careers or advancing in their current field, as evidenced by our 90 percent 6-month career placement rate in recent years
  • The curriculum includes courses in Competitive Intelligence, Managing Strategic Intelligence, Cyber Threat Analysis, Data Analytics for the Private Sector, Social Media Analysis, and Financial Intelligence Analysis, to name a few
  • Since 1995, our program has graduated more than 500 alumni around the world, who continue connecting students with job placements, internships, experiential learning and mentoring opportunities
  • Analysis careers are among the fastest-growing fields; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects analyst jobs will increase by as much as 21 percent by 2024
  • Recent employers of our grads include Bank of America, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Cleveland Clinic, GE Transportation, Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, Polaris, the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Justice Department

A Flexible Curriculum

The Applied Intelligence curriculum is designed to work for both recent college graduate and working professionals to complete the program in approximately two years. The master's degree in Applied Intelligence is a STEM major (CIP code 29.0201).

As a student in this program, you’ll take courses such as:

INTL 510 Intelligence Theories and Applications

Learn the basics of the discipline of intelligence and gain an understanding of how intelligence systems function, how they fit within the policymaking systems of free societies, and how they are managed and controlled.

INTL 625 Intelligence and Business Strategy

Coursework provides a detailed overview of the business strategy field, highlighting influential thinkers, key concepts and core analytical frameworks, while describing the evolution of competitive intel in response to management trends.

INTL 560 Cyber Threat Analysis 

Explores the relatively new discipline of cyber threat analysis with an intro to the methodology of investigation, the threat environment (cyberspace), some of the online tools used by analysts, and their application in real-world examples.

Opportunities for Veterans

Mercyhurst strives to go beyond "veteran friendly" toward providing a truly supportive and engaging experience for all our veterans, service members, and dependents. Given the nature of the coursework and the relevant interests and experiential backgrounds, military veterans are often excellent candidates for this program. Mercyhurst is a proud participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program, as well as being named Pennsylvania's second Purple Heart Universities and obtaining recognition as a Military Friendly School. Our Office of Veterans Services is ready to work with you to connect you with our strong support network and range of services available to veterans and dependents. 

Convenient Online Delivery

The online Applied Intelligence curriculum is designed with working professionals in mind. Students can enroll on a full-time or part-time basis, with the opportunity to enroll at the start of the Fall or Spring semesters. Program applications are accepted up to the week before the program’s start date. Online learning at Mercyhurst offers:

Guided Learning

Courses are carefully planned to build sequentially on previous concepts, ensuring you make progress and stay on track to master the program material.

Classroom Engagement

Your online experience includes opportunities to interact with classmates and professors in real time through applied projects, review sessions and presentations.

Student Resources

You’ll be a full Mercyhurst student, with the same access to the university’s amenities, library system, writing center, career services, health center, etc., as an on-campus student.

Close-knit Community

Get to know professors and peers through collaborative work and research. New students are admitted to the program each term.

The Ridge Advantage

Mercyhurst University pioneered the field of intelligence studies in the mid-1990s and is home to the largest and oldest academic intelligence enterprise in the United States. Founded in 1996, the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences has earned a reputation throughout the world for the quality and cutting-edge skills of its graduates. Mercyhurst intel alumni work in all 17 federal intelligence agencies and dozens of Fortune 500 companies, working to assist corporate and government leaders and decision-makers around the globe.

As new threats and technologies have emerged, Mercyhurst has invested heavily in both data science and cyber security, developing new online master’s programs in Cyber Risk Management and Cyber Security. Drawing on the diverse learning resources and experienced faculty of the Ridge College, these programs harness our national security bona fides to offer unparalleled instruction in some of today’s most dynamic fields.

“The construction of new cyber training facilities ensure Mercyhurst remains the vanguard of the field.”—Tom Ridge

An Expansive Professional Network

Our more than 1,000 Applied Intel alumni work in a wide range of fields and for a wide range of organizations, including all 17 agencies in the U.S. intelligence community and corporations such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrop Grumman, JP Morgan Chase and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, to name a few. Analysis careers are among the fastest-growing fields. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects analyst jobs will increase by as much as 21 percent by 2024.

Ready for the next step?

Discover how Mercyhurst’s Applied Intelligence master’s program can prepare you for a career as a world-class leader in analysis.