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The Bachelor of Science degree in Intelligence Analysis is a three or four-year program (about 74 credit hours, including a required minor in another field) designed to prepare students to be analysts upon graduation. Students complete the IA curriculum as a cohort, taking courses that are required each semester to complete the degree. A complete listing of all core and elective courses is in the Intelligence Analysis section of the JMU Course Catalog

The 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, students complete a minor as a way to develop additional knowledge and/or skills, and two IA elective courses. IA majors can customize their degree and orientation to different kinds of analysis through their choice of a minor, making this a “choose your own adventure” kind of degree.

Requirements for the IA program change on a year-by-year basis, so the description of the curriculum below is based on the 2019-2020 academic year and may change. The sequencing of the required courses in the curriculum is described below and provided in the program planner designed for 2023 graduates.

Year One

Students should begin by taking IA150 (Introduction to Intelligence Analysis) preferably fall semester their freshman year, but it can also be taken fall semester sophomore year as well. Other courses taken freshman year include the required statistics course (MATH220 or ISAT251), General Education courses, and first exploratory courses to investigate possible minors.

Year Two

Beginning their fall semester sophomore year, IA students take the first of the required methods and technology courses (IA240: Technology Applications in a Networked World, and IA261: Hypothesis Testing). IA students also take IA200 (Introduction to National Security Intelligence) as a way to provide context for one kind of analysis (intelligence analysis in the national security sector).

Full Admission to IA occurs after fall sophomore year. The top students (based on their grades in IA 200, IA 240, and IA 261) will be invited to continue. (A minimum grade of “C” is required in each of the three courses, but higher will likely be needed to be among those chosen. 

In the spring semester of their second year, IA students take the second of the required methods and technology courses (IA241: Introduction to Programming and Data Science, and IA312: Causal Analysis). IA students also take IA250 (Research Design and Writing for the Intelligence Analysis) as a way to develop skills in terms of analytic production. IA students should also take courses related to their minor. Finally, IA students also take IA210 (Introduction to Global Competitive Intelligence) as a way to provide context for one kind of analysis (intelligence analysis in the private sector).

Year Three

During the fall semester of their third year, IA students take the third of the required methods and technology courses (IA340: Data Mining, Modeling, and Knowledge Discovery, and IA313: Counterfactual Reasoning). IA students also take IA300 (Seminar on Issues in Intelligence Analysis) as a way to develop knowledge about intelligence analysis and evaluate its similarities and differences to other kinds of analysis.

In the spring semester of their third year, IA students take the fourth of the required methods and technology courses (IA342: Visualization Methods, Technology, and Tools for Intelligence Analysis, and IA314: Strategy Assessment). This completes both the methods and technology sequence. IA students also take courses related to their minor, and IA electives.

Year Four

During the senior year, IA students complete a two-semester capstone project (IA440 and IA450) which provides students with a transition from classroom-based learning to career-oriented, self-directed learning. The course prepares students to apply the skills and techniques from throughout the Intelligence Analysis (IA) curriculum to assess real-world practical issues and problems. IA students also take the last of the foundational courses (IA405: Ethics, Law, and Intelligence Analysis) and complete courses related to their minor, and IA electives. 

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