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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Criminal Intelligence

Majors Overview October 6, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in criminal intelligence and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Criminal Intelligence

Detectives and analysts can deter crime by breaking down statistical data; this is criminal intelligence. Four-year colleges and universities usually offer closely-related intelligence analysis courses as part of a Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice degree program. However, whole 2-year graduate programs focused entirely on intelligence analysis may also be offered. Incoming students to a Master of Science (M.S.) in Intelligence Analysis program are expected to hold a criminal justice-related bachelor’s degree. These research-intensive programs may include a thesis.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a baccalaureate degree in criminal justice or a related subject. Submission to a background check and submission of Graduate Record Examination scores may also be requirements.


Enrollees in a master’s degree program in intelligence analysis gain the analytical and research skills necessary for interpreting intelligence. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Personal security
•Behavior in organizational intelligence
•Debriefing and interviewing techniques
•Research methods
•Spatial analysis and mapping
•21st century conflict
•Homeland security and threat analysis
•Policy analysis

Career Choices

Program graduates can use the learned skills to pursue careers in homeland security, law enforcement, or private intelligence agencies. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Protective security advisor
•Program and management specialist
•Security specialist
•Criminal investigator
•Intelligence operations specialist
•Crime Analyst
•Emergency management specialist
•Information technology specialist

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a five percent job growth rate has been predicted for police and detectives (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals employed with recognized law enforcement agencies brought in an average annual wage of $56,980. Private detectives and investigators, expected to see an eleven percent job growth, over the 2012 – 2022 decade, earned a median annual wage of $45,740 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates who seek continuing education can enroll in Ph.D. programs in Criminal Justice, Intelligence Studies, and Criminal Investigation that span about five years. These programs often entail a publishable dissertation and lead to careers in research or academia.

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