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Intelligence Analysis


The Intelligence Analysis major is housed in the Integrated Science and Technology Department within the College of Integrated Science and Engineering


National Security
Competitive Analysis

Admission and Progression Standards

Visit the Major Snapshots site to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major.

Description of Major

Are you curious about and interested in all sorts of issues and problems? Have you ever wanted to assess global problems (such as terrorism, WMD proliferation, cyber-crime, human and narcotics trafficking, or the risk of global pandemics)? Have you ever wanted to analyze markets or competing companies for a major corporation? Do you enjoy researching, reading, thinking, writing, and speaking? Do you enjoy learning new technologies? How can you be sure you are getting the right skills for the right time?

The BS in Intelligence Analysis was created specifically for students who want to become analysts in a variety of industries, including government and the private sector.  It will uniquely equip you to engage unrecognized, complex, and multidimensional challenges with innovative, rigorous, and transdisciplinary methods to produce proactive, reliable, and integrated assessments. You will learn to employ an innovative and integrated new information-centric approach to assessing these issues by adept navigation through the expanding complex network of data, information, knowledge, and understanding. 

At each step, you will be taught to employ two major skill sets to help you assess those issues effectively (course areas are listed in parentheses):

  • Cognitive Skill Set (Hypothesis Testing, Causal Analysis, Counterfactual Reasoning, and Strategy Assessment)
  • Computational Skill Set (Technology Applications in a Networked World; Introduction to Programming and Data Science; Data Mining, Modeling, and Knowledge Discovery; System Dynamics Modeling, and Simulation Analysis; Visualization Methods, Technologies, and Tools) 

The two concentrations offered in the IA program are Competitive Intelligence and National Security. The concentrations consist of a 12 hour sequence of courses. The Competitive Intelligence concentration is designed for students intending to work in a corporate environment and focuses on the skills and knowledge needed to apply the techniques to problems in finance, accounting, and marketing. The National Security concentration is designed for students intending to work in government, in either the civilian or military arena. It provides background theory and knowledge needed to successfully use the techniques taught to evaluate situations with international scope and ramifications.

More About the Field 

Since 2001, there has been a significant increase in the number of analysts employed by the government in the national security, military, homeland security and law enforcement domains, including many in the intelligence sector. In addition, more and more businesses are developing positions for analysts. The JMU Intelligence Analysis program has been specifically designed to be a unique education for future analysts. It has a strong distinctive commitment to developing, teaching, and integrating 1) a systematic information-centric approach to analysis, 2) the newest and most advanced methods of analytic reasoning and 3) the most critical new technologies into the analytic process. A successful JMU Intelligence Analysis graduate will have a distinctive education drawing from some of the most advanced new methods of analysis that are available in an undergraduate major.

Complementary Majors and Minors 

If possible, students should consider pairing the IA major with another major. If that is not possible, students should strongly consider pairing the IA major with a minor. Fields to consider include: Africana Studies, Asian Studies, Business Analytics, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Economics, Geographic Science, Global Religions and Global Issues, Integrated Science and Technology, International Affairs, Latin American Studies, Middle Eastern Communities and Migrations, Modern Foreign Languages, Philosophy, Political Science, Public Policy and Administration, Russian Studies, Statistics, Telecommunications, and many others.

Characteristics of Successful Students

The Intelligence Analysis Major is ideal for any student whose career goal is ideal for any student whose career goal is to incorporate a variety of disciplines and methodologies in assessments of complex issues or problems. Successful IA students have often broad interests in a wide variety of fields, employing technology, and understanding other cultures and contexts.


Most IA majors are likely to pursue careers in either the US Intelligence Community, or in a private corporation. As such, there are many potential job descriptions that one might fulfill:

  • Business Analyst
  • Counter-terrorism Analyst
  • Country/Area Analyst
  • Diplomatic Analyst
  • Economic Analyst
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Law Enforcement
  • Market Analyst
  • Military Analyst
  • Political Analyst
  • Sales Analyst
  • Security Analyst

Who Employs Graduates?

Intelligence analysis program graduates are hired by government organizations and agencies at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as by private industry. Some specific employers who've hired our graduates recently include: Accenture, Booz Allen Hamilton, Capital One, Deloitte Consulting, Local Police Departments, Northrop Grumman Corporation, US Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps), and the US Department of Defense.

Internships and Experiential Opportunities 

All Intelligence Analysis Majors will be encouraged to serve as a summer intern at an intelligence agency or company. The Intelligence Analysis Program has been structured so that successful students will be strong competitors for internships. Typically, students intern in summers leading up to sophomore and junior year. Students will have appropriate assistance (where possible) to help them secure an internship in an area appropriate to their chosen specialty.

View our list of internship coordinators for each major.

Career Profiles 

Careers in Homeland Security
Business Intelligence Analysts 
Intelligence Analysts

Research Careers

Visit our Career Outcomes page to find out what alumni were doing right after graduating with this major.


Log in to Vault for access to detailed information on over 900 professions including employment prospects, estimated salaries, possible job titles, and top companies.


Visit our Research Careers page for even more career research tools.



© Career and Academic Planning, James Madison University,

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from JMU Career and Academic Planning. Content for each major has been written/reviewed by faculty in the respective department and is revised each year. Requests to update content can be submitted to

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