strategic intelligence requirements

Last Updated on August 28, 2023


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The PHC Strategic Intelligence Major meets the requirements of the International Association for Intelligence Education.

It is only the second undergraduate program to obtain this certification and is the only Christian college or university to achieve the standard of professional excellence.

What Is Strategic Intelligence?

Our Goal

The goal of Patrick Henry College’s Strategic Intelligence Program is twofold. Firstly, to provide our students with a rigorous and systematic study of the intelligence discipline. Secondly, to fully equip our students so that they may influence and lead the intelligence and national security endeavors of the United States.

This era marks a volatile period for the United States. As the world has become more globally oriented, national security concerns have been pushed to the forefront, and as American policy makers strive to make the country a safer place, discovering ground truth has become more important than ever. If American policy makers are to make wise, well-informed decisions, it is vital that they have access to both accurate and relevant data. Access to this key information is entirely dependent upon the success of the US intelligence force. Ethical retrieval and interpretation of information requires strategic operations and analysis grounded in strong morals. 

“PHC made good on their promise that when they gave me an education they would put me two to three years ahead of others professionally.” – 2010 Alumnus, Unit Chief at a Government Agency

If our government is to make wise policy decisions in the coming years, it is critical that those at the heart of power and influence engage the world around them with moral imagination and courage. PHC’s Strategic Intelligence program focuses on training students as skilled analysts so that they will have a positive impact on US national security and policy-making decisions. We prepare our students to commit themselves to a generational opportunity for emerging, young leaders in the Intelligence profession.

Our Strategy

The SI program equips students with a respect for the intelligence function and its role in defending aPHC_12-7-62.jpg free society, and cultivates their ability to anticipate moral, ethical, and mission challenges in order to defend the security of the United States. PHC faculty consult with a Board of Advisors comprised of nationally recognized experts in intelligence and national security. Patrick Henry College’s Strategic Intelligence program prepares students to be outstanding intelligence professionals, by combining a classical liberal arts core curriculum, SI core courses, and major electives in intelligence with a strong focus on moral imagination and professionalism. Students gain the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to compete effectively for positions in the intelligence and national security industries.

The PHC core curriculum, taken by every student enrolled at the college, provides a comprehensive classical liberal arts education that prompts students to think carefully about life’s biggest questions—what is good, what is right, what is true? And perhaps most importantly, how ought Christians to go about addressing the world’s problems? The Strategic Intelligence core and electives tailor those questions to a distinctly National Security-oriented perspective.

Intelligence is a ‘service profession’, even as Jesus came “to serve, rather than be served”. This foundation for our lives is key to professional endurance and integrity, and directs us toward the professional vocation for which we were called to serve. The Fall of Creation evidences itself in organizations, processes, technology applications, and in personal relationships. As a consequence, there is a great need for moral leadership in the intelligence profession as there is in all of life.

In teaching the discipline of intelligence at PHC, we examine government practice, questioning whether the objectives of government action in particular circumstances are required or permitted, whether that objective and the action to achieve it is moral, and effective in achieving stated objectives; and, if not, explore different, wiser, more innovative, moral, and professionally ethical ways to achieve the objective. In doing so Patrick Henry College students are prepared for careers where they can most effectively serve.

“PHC’s SI program is designed to help students succeed in the real world. The professors are renowned experts in their fields and the curriculum is designed to challenge students in a way that prepares them to excel outside of the academic environment. The opportunity to participate in and lead intelligence projects that are designed by current and former intelligence specialists is unmatched. Due to my experience in PHC’s SI program, I not only gained an exceptional education but was propelled into an exciting and rewarding career upon graduation.”

– 2008 Alumnus, Senior Consultant at BAH

Students interested in pursuing the Strategic Intelligence major must apply for program admission. Students may apply for entrance to the SI Program no earlier than the second semester of the Freshman year;

  • Have a GPA of 3.0 or better;
  • Submit a satisfactory, written application and successfully complete an oral interview;
  • Successfully complete analytic training requirements upon being admitted to the Track;
  • Furthermore, as many will work with sensitive data, Strategic Intelligence students must observe and keep all security and confidentiality agreements.

Necessary application materials will be emailed to all Patrick Henry students who have indicated interest in the SI program during the Spring semester.

Understanding Intelligence

The intelligence profession is a unique and logical culmination of a Christian Liberal Arts education for future leaders of a nation increasingly dependent on knowledge management. The Mission of the Strategic Intelligence in National Security Major is to prepare Christian men and women for service in the United States National Security enterprise. It uniquely accomplishes this by:

  1. Applying Patrick Henry College’s Christian Liberal Arts critical thinking framework to intelligence training,
  2. Cultivating teaching relationships between students and industry professionals in the Washington, D.C. area,
  3. Positioning students, through a broad apprenticeship program, in high-value internships that complete the security clearance process upon graduation. 

As a result, graduates of the program transition easily into US National Security, community service, and leadership roles, ready to shape the culture for Christ and for Liberty.

The Program

The Strategic Intelligence Program faculty is comprised of industry professionals with decades of Intelligence Community experience and academic credentials. They are advised and supported by a Board of Advisors consisting of nationally recognized experts in the intelligence and foreign policy fields. A regular stream of former and current senior Community professionals also routinely interact with Strategic Intelligence students in small classroom settings. 

Strategic Intelligence students study the history and development of intelligence gathering agencies, the role of intelligence in foreign policymaking, and the application of modern intelligence data collection and analysis techniques. Major courses include History of American Intelligence, Intelligence Research & Analysis, Law Enforcement & Civil Liberties, Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, International Relations, and Comparative Politics.

Meet the Faculty 

Apprenticeship Experience and Methodology

Strategic Intelligence students fulfill Patrick Henry College’s apprenticeship methodology through senior-year internships. While providing invaluable on-site training, internships also help attain Secret and Top Secret security clearances, guaranteeing immediate transition into the Intelligence Community.

Multiple Program graduates have interned at such three-letter agencies as the CIA, FBI, DIA, DHS, NGA, and ONI, as well as in the White House, US State Department, USAF Intelligence, Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS), and the Pentagon.

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