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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 College's varied 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 and the Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence degrees. The College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Offered Degrees and Certificates [1]

  • 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


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 NDIC 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 College has added an off-campus program at the National Security Agency and has encouraged a steady increase in enrollment from civilian agencies. On campus, it has also added two part-time graduate programs, one designed specifically for military reservists. Students from throughout the Intelligence Community attend the College, 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 is today educating the future leaders of the Intelligence Community into the 21st century by offering a demanding and dynamic undergraduate and graduate curriculum. In addition, the College sponsors research and publication opportunities for students and faculty, attracts noteworthy individuals as distinguished speakers, and provides field trips to key intelligence activities. Its students also participate in field exercises and simulations in partnership with their peers at the military staff and war colleges. Through the innovation of its faculty and staff, and the support of senior Intelligence Community leaders, the College seeks continuous improvement.

Facilities and resources

The John T. Hughes Library houses over 2.5 million items, including books, unclassified intelligence documents, reference materials, periodicals, microfilms, video and cartographic items. The Library subscribes to over 2,000 international periodicals, newspapers, annuals, serials, and statistical reports. It is particularly strong in Russian periodicals. The Library has significant 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 2014 at the site formally 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. NIU will also formally fall under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence rather than DIA.[4]

The Office of Applied Research within the College awards research funds through a competitive application process to MSSI students and faculty. Funds are used for travel to research sites, to attend conferences, and for other expenses related to thesis or professional research. Financial support enables students to pursue projects that require research outside the Washington, DC area, including overseas. The College particularly invites research proposals that promise to distill intelligence experience applicable to military needs and to curriculum development in ways that ultimately improve support to national and theater consumers. The College strongly encourages and funds faculty research on intelligence issues and also supports intelligence-related research by faculty from other DoD Schools. Faculty and student research is published in academic journals, in the College’s Occasional Paper series, and in book-length Special Studies. Research results and thesis abstracts are also disseminated electronically to the Intelligence Community.

The Writing Center in the College provides students with guidance and instruction on improving research, writing, and briefing skills, with particular emphasis on intelligence applications. The Center works closely with graduate students in their creation of a required MSSI thesis.

See also


External links

Coordinates: 38°50′33″N 77°00′58″W / 38.8424°N 77.0162°W / 38.8424; -77.0162

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