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Graduate Programs for Aspiring Global Leaders

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Augusta University, Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies

Innovative Program Leads the Way in Intelligence and Security Studies

While a relatively young program, Augusta University’s MA in Intelligence and Security Studies (MAISS), offered through the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, is ambitious in setting itself apart by not only preparing students for the evolving challenges of this field, but also offering advanced, niche classes in psychology, information warfare, and cross-cultural security that examine some of the most pressing intelligence and security issues facing the United States today.

“Our students get exposure to classes that aren’t typically offered because it’s still a new field for political science,” explains Craig Albert, PhD, professor of political science and graduate director of the MA in Intelligence and Security Studies program. He adds, “We were one of the first public universities to create a full degree plan in information warfare.”

Graduates of the program have successfully secured positions in the federal government, including intelligence agencies housed within the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Defense, and throughout the civilian sectors of the Armed Services, as well as in private social media firms and other private sector venues.

Students take classes in each of the program’s three key focus areas—security studies, strategic cyber security/influence operations, and intelligence analysis/intelligence collection—before branching out to their concentrations.

“While the U.S. government is trying to create policy to handle influence operations, we are offering classes on how operations are being used by U.S. adversaries and challenging students—who may end up as future policymakers—to consider effective policy solutions that could provide a way forward.” –Craig Albert, Professor of Political Science and Graduate Director of the MA in Intelligence and Security Studies, Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Augusta University

Designed for working professionals looking to advance their careers, as well as for those just entering the workforce, the face-to-face online program features a curriculum tailored to students’ specific needs and professional goals. Classes delve into U.S. strategy, doctrine, policy, and academic theory, culminating in game-based scenarios that task students with actionable strategies and policies. 

In addition to the master’s degree, students can pursue three specialized certificate programs: intelligence studies, social influence, and epidemiological intelligence—one of the first of its kind in the country. A select number of students are also chosen to participate in the Georgia Cyber Information Warfare Internship, co-sponsored through the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center, where they gain analytical and technical cyber skills while working on research projects alongside cybersecurity professionals.

Unlike most graduate schools, the MAISS program boasts an impressive record of student-published papers in high-ranking peer-reviewed journals, including Cyber Defense Review, Journal of Cyber Policy, Defense and Security Analysis, and Intelligence and National Security. “As a master’s degree program, we’re only six years old, and we already have about 25 coauthored, peer-reviewed journal articles with our graduate students,” Albert points out.

He says the school singles out applicants who “show an interest in thinking deeply, critically, and analytically about tough human issues” and are “ready for rigorous work in a self-motivated, face-to-face online environment.” The MAISS program requires no admissions tests, like the GRE, and its GPA requirements are “student-friendly.” “We like to give those students seeking self-improvement a chance to get a higher degree and ultimately the opportunity to make the world a better, safer place to live,” Albert says. 

Tailored Support Services and Commitment to Graduates’ Career Advancement

As an extension of its curriculum, which ensures that MAISS graduates possess the necessary coursework to pursue their desired positions, the program offers ongoing individualized advising and support services post-graduation. This personalized approach includes internship opportunities; career panel discussions; one-on-one career counseling; networking events, which include online speaking engagements with guest speakers; and informal in-person after-hours social events with leading field professionals and experts.
>>>Additionally, students and alumni have access to the program’s listserv and are continuously alerted to new career opportunities. Augusta University’s career center also hosts various career events, including job fairs, job search training, and career planning workshops.

Augusta University, Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies
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