Thoughts on the Emergence of Intelligence Studies as an Academic Discipline & Educational Process for the 21st Century
The View From the Tower:
Thoughts on the Emergence
of an Academic Discipline
and Educational Process for
the 21st Century
10th Annual colloquium on intelligence
August 6, 2008
Gregory Moore, Ph.D.
Notre Dame College
“Intelligence Studies”: and “Intelligence
Often hear these terms used interchangeably
Are they one and the same?
Are they two different things?
A “Journey of
The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog
Caspar David Friedrich (1818)
That is the essential research
project that intelligence
professionals and academics must
undertake together in order to find
the answers to the questions about
the nature and future of intelligence
education and whether or not
something called intelligence
studies should be part of that
How will Intelligence Studies evolve into a
true academic discipline?
Various issues need consideration in order to reach a
What has been lacking is a truly focused discussion about
how, exactly, this might come about (although conferences
and colloquia such as these are helping further the
The academic community and intelligence practitioners
must come together in order to achieve consensus on the
need for a new academic discipline
How does a functioning practice
become an academic discipline?
(there is precedent – people practiced medicine, enforced
laws, conducted business, educated the next generation,
gathered intelligence long before colleges and universities
took on the job of preparing students for professional
What would the purpose of “intelligence
studies” be? Preparation of scholars?
Questions to consider:
•If intelligence studies became an academic discipline:
Could it stand on its own?
What should an undergraduate curriculum look like?
A graduate curriculum?
Should it be a subset of an existing discipline (i.e.
Political Science, Criminal Justice, Business
Most importantly, perhaps – what exactly constitutes
2. What will it take to win recognition as an
C.Doctorates in the field of intelligence studies?
D.A body of literature?
F.Applied as well as theoretical concepts?
G.The number of colleges/universities offering degrees
(undergraduate or graduate) in intelligence studies?
H.Emergence of recognized scholars/experts?
I.Emergence of scholarly organizations devoted to
intelligence studies as in other academic disciplines?
J.Research, research, research…
Probably all of the above
3. How to coordinate the views of the IC, law
enforcement, and the private sector about
intelligence studies with those of academia?
Practitioners cannot dictate what an intelligence studies
curriculum should look like – faculty control the curriculum
and are very jealous of their academic freedom in that
Academia should consult and work with practitioners to
assure that the discipline reflects the knowledge base
essential for a student to become a successful intelligence
professional, and for faculty to prepare them accordingly (as
well as preparing the next generation of scholars)
4. Who will benefit most from earning a degree in
All of the above?
5. What problems must be overcome?
C.Faculty/administrative reluctance to support a program in
intelligence studies for moral/ethical reasons or political
E.The amount of material that remains classified which
would be useful in developing courses
G.Who is qualified to teach an intelligence studies
curriculum? Where will the first generation of instructors
come from? (scholar-practitioners)
I.Defining “intelligence studies” (define “intelligence”)
Should an academic discipline called
intelligence studies come into being?
If the consensus is “yes”, than we have to start
considering how such a discipline might emerge
and what its curriculum might include
But – we must also recognize that the
discipline will evolve over time as
institutions build their own programs
reflective of their capabilities and faculty
This is going to be a generational process!
Consensus on a model curriculum may be possible:
Policy & Administration
Applied principles (skill sets)
Learn by doing (practicums, internships)
Institutions of higher learning will ultimately design
programs to the interests of the faculty (teaching &
research), but some common features should be
expected in every program
Ultimately, if “intelligence studies” does become an
academic discipline these issues will have been resolved
Definition of intelligence studies (possible definition: the study of
the theory and practice of applying information gathered by both open
and clandestine methods for the purpose of strategic planning,
criminal investigation, and policy implementation by governments, law
enforcement agencies, and business)
A process of scholarship (research and publication) will have gotten
Graduate degrees will be awarded in the discipline; doctorates in
particular – Ph.D.’s in order to give the discipline legitimacy
A trained faculty will have emerged to prepare future generations of
scholars and practitioners
It may well be that intelligence studies as an academic
discipline will most resemble political science
Just as political science examines all of the elements that
impact upon the practice of politics, not only nationally but
globally, intelligence studies may eventually do the same
• Comparative intelligence
• Intelligence Policy and Administration
• Intelligence and the Media
• Ethics in Intelligence
• Intelligence and the Law
• Theory and Applied Intelligence Analysis
• Intelligence and the Executive Branch
A multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary curriculum may also
be the norm
However, it is entirely possible that
intelligence studies could develop in ways
that we simply cannot anticipate
Or, it may simply become a subset of one
or more existing disciplines or fields of
Whether or not intelligence studies becomes an
academic discipline, the IC, law enforcement, and
the private sector need talented and well educated
young people to fill their needs
Hence the growing interest among institutions of
higher learning in intelligence education – preparing
students for careers as intelligence practitioners,
reflecting a growing educational focus on career
oriented programs (especially within the traditional
liberal arts curriculum)
Does “Intelligence Education” require the
emergence of a new academic discipline
that we’ve been calling “Intelligence
Studies” to effectively prepare college
students for careers in intelligence work?
Or, can effective intelligence education
programs be created from existing
Intelligence professionals today hold degrees in a wide
range of fields and disciplines
• History • Sociology
• Philosophy • Economics
• Political Science • Accounting
• International Relations • Physics
• Languages • Chemistry
• Psychology • Engineering
How many intelligence professionals today have
degrees in intelligence studies?
Is a degree in intelligence studies necessary in order to
be a practitioner?
Is there a specific body of knowledge about
intelligence that students have to acquire?
Can they simply be trained to be intelligence
practitioners? Is that sufficient?
Can students acquire core skills and general
knowledge through undergraduate and graduate
programs as they are currently constructed and
then receive the requisite training to become
Yes – but is that enough?
Why shouldn’t future intelligence professionals
prepare for their careers the same way others do?
Learn about the profession they are entering (theory &
Learn the history of their profession
Learn some basic (or more advanced ) skills they’ll need
to be successful
Learn by doing (internships/practicums)
Teachers, nurses, accountants, attorneys, physicians, for
example, prepare this way – why not future intelligence
The education and training of teachers and nurses may
offer a useful model for undergraduate intelligence
These programs offer 3 essential components:
5.Theoretical foundation/content knowledge
7.Acquisition of required skills
9.Practical application of skills through field work and
Education and nursing students must pass state
licensing examinations once they earn their
undergraduate degrees – testing their knowledge
of theoretical and applied principles as well as
Practical for intelligence students? Probably not
That doesn’t negate the efficacy of educating and
training undergraduate intelligence students in
programs similar to the education and nursing
programs offered in colleges and universities
Possible Model Undergraduate Program
Intelligence Courses: General Knowledge:
• Applied courses (writing & • Any major (if not intelligence)
research) • Liberal Arts Core
• Intelligence history • Strong interdisciplinary
• Intelligence theory • Foreign language requirement
• Internship/practicum • Effective communications skills
• Capstone course (independent (writing & oral)
project) • Computer (mastery of Word,
• Can be major or minor field of Power Point, Excel, Access)
study or a concentration • Non-Western history/culture
• Study abroad
Goal is to produce generalists with solid critical thinking
and communications skills who have a basic
understanding of the intelligence process and cycle
Intelligence education programs will reflect the
capabilities of each institution
Smaller schools may focus primarily on career
oriented liberal arts intelligence education, while
larger institutions may combine intelligence
education with majors not commonly offered at
the small institutions (i.e. engineering)
Intelligence education programs may be best
place for doctorates of practice
Intelligence education at the graduate level might
focus on more theoretical issues while building on
Administration and management
Intelligence theory and practice
Strategic planning/futures thinking
Risk and vulnerability assessment
Threat specific issues (terrorism, WMD proliferation)
Foreign language proficiency
Advanced research, writing, briefing methods
Intelligence studies and intelligence education may be
two different things