The Bachelor of Science degree in Intelligence Analysis is a three or four-year program (approximately 74 credit hours, including a required minor in another field) designed to prepare students to be analysts upon graduation. 

To become an Intelligence Analysis major, you must commit to 3 full, consecutive academic years. Each IA course is part of a sequence that, given prerequisites, must be taken in a specific order. (The course sequence cannot be completed in less than 3 years.) A complete listing of all core and elective courses is in the JMU Course Catalog.

Our IA curriculum consists of a common core that provides a foundation in knowledge and skills of the analyst, analytic methods, and technology. Beyond the core requirements, you'll complete a minor as a way to develop additional knowledge and skills, as well as two IA elective courses.

IA majors can customize their degree and orientation to different kinds of analysis through their choice of a minor.

Elective courses are up to the student's discretion. You are encouraged to select courses that form a unit that will make you competitive for your desired future employers. 

Required Minor

Completing a minor (or another major) in a different field allows you to combine the content of the IA major to create a "subject matter specialty" that reflects your interests.

It ensures students “specialize” in knowledge (subject matter experts) or skills (generalists) relevant to one of the eight intelligence domains or its respective analytic disciplines.

Know the value of a “specialty” (your minor or second major). The IA program’s focus is analytic methodology: how to think, use technology, assess situations, and communicate your conclusions. A good analyst will have all these skills and ideally also have a specific subject matter area in which they have additional knowledge.

Some analysts are subject matter experts on specific subjects in their domain. They specialize in particular issues, questions, or problems—which, in the national security domain, for example—could include terrorism, or Russia, or Iran. Other analysts are generalists, who are able to learn new subjects quickly and can switch from topic to topic easily.

For example, an analyst might specialize in

  • the Asia Pacific region and have knowledge of Chinese or Korean. Students with strong skills in languages such as Persian, Arabic, Chinese, or Korean are highly marketable in the field 
  • the use of geospatial technology and have a minor in Geography
  • the “hard” sciences with a minor in biology or chemistry

We strongly encourage students to adopt a minor that they are interested in.

View a complete list of minors in the JMU Course Catalog.

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