National Intelligence University

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National Intelligence University
National Intelligence University Logo.jpg
Former names
National Defense Intelligence College, Joint Military Intelligence College
Established 1962 (1962)
President David R. Ellison, PhD, Rear Admiral, USN (Ret)
Provost Susan M. Studds, PhD
Academic staff
Students 715 (2015-16)
Location Washington, D.C., USA

The National Intelligence University (NIU), (formerly known as the National Defense Intelligence College and the Joint Military Intelligence College), is an education and research institution that is federally chartered to prepare United States Intelligence Community (USIC) personnel for senior positions in the USIC and the national security structure. Since 1963, over 80,000 military and civilian students have completed courses or participated in the university's academic programs. The university is located at the Defense Intelligence Agency headquarters on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, DC.

Educational accreditation

The university is authorized by the United States Congress to award the Bachelor of Science in Intelligence, the Master of Science and Technology Intelligence and the Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence degrees. The university is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Offered degrees and certificates

  • Bachelor of Science in Intelligence (BSI)
  • Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence (MSSI)
  • Master of Science and Technology Intelligence (MSTI)
  • Certificates of Intelligence Studies (CIS), specializing in China, AfPak, Africa, or counterintelligence[1]


The university was established by DoD Directive and attached to the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The United States Congress authorized the MSSI degree in 1980 and the BSI degree in 1997.

Student eligibility

All prospective full-time NIU students must meet the following requirements:

  • Be U.S. citizens who are members of the U.S. Armed Forces or are federal government employees
  • Be nominated by their parent organization, and
  • Possess a TS/SCI security clearance prior to enrollment

Vision and mission

LTG Michael T. Flynn, USA, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, addressed NIU graduates, their families and guests at the 2012 graduation by stating, "Our vision—that NIU becomes the center of academic life for the intelligence community—will help shape graduates who address the range of mission challenges as a fully integrated community, and encourage lifelong learning as they continue to serve this nation."[2]

NIU is an accredited federal degree granting institution educating and preparing intelligence officers to meet current and future challenges to the national security of the United States. NIU President Dr. David Ellison stressed in his 2012 graduation remarks that NIU addresses these challenges by helping students develop "depth in critical thinking" and "breadth in understanding the IC" and how focused research applies to analysis and addressing critical questions on national security.[3]


The United States Department of Defense established the Defense Intelligence School in 1962 to consolidate existing U.S. Army and Navy academic programs in strategic intelligence. In 1980, the U.S. Congress authorized the school to award the Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence degree. In 1981, the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accredited the School. That same year, DoD rechartered the institution as the Defense Intelligence College, placing additional emphasis on its research mission.

Since then, the university has added several off-campus programs at the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and several regional centers and has encouraged an increase in enrollment from civilian agencies. On campus, it has also added two part-time graduate programs, one designed for military reservists. Students from throughout the Intelligence Community attend the university, and they include active duty and reserve military personnel from each of the services (including the Coast Guard), DoD, and other federal civilian employees.

Renamed the Joint Military Intelligence College in 1993, it educates the future leaders of the Intelligence Community by offering an undergraduate and graduate curriculum. In addition, the university sponsors research and publication opportunities for students and faculty, attracts distinguished speakers, and its students participate in field exercises and simulations in partnership with their peers at the military staff and war colleges.

Facilities and resources

The John T. Hughes Library houses 2.5 million items, including books, unclassified intelligence documents, reference materials, periodicals, microfilms, video and cartographic items. The library subscribes to 2,000 international periodicals, newspapers, annuals, serials, and statistical reports. It is particularly strong in Russian periodicals. The library has archival microfiche and microfilm collections of general and scholarly periodicals, Foreign Broadcast Information Service reports, and declassified documents.

NIU intends to move to a new campus in Bethesda, MD in early 2017 at the site formerly held by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. This also will represent NIU's evolution from a primarily Defense-related organization to one serving the entire Intelligence Community.

The Office of Research within the university enables students to pursue projects that require research outside the Washington, DC, area, including overseas. The university encourages faculty research on intelligence issues and supports intelligence-related research by faculty from other DoD Schools. Faculty and student research is published in academic journals, in the university's Occasional Paper series, and in book-length special studies. Research results and thesis abstracts are also disseminated electronically to the Intelligence Community.

See also


External links

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