The Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (DMGS)

The program focuses on both the public and private sector use of intelligence examining missions, methods, and organizational structures. It examines and interprets the four major elements of intelligence – collection, analysis, analytical presentation, and counterintelligence. This program also examines new fields of intelligence such as private sector use of intelligence, homeland security, and cyber.

. . . focuses on both the public and private sector use of intelligence examining missions, methods, and organizational structures.

Intelligence Program

This program focuses on the cutting edge missions, methods, and organizational arrangements of intelligence in general, and U.S. intelligence in particular. It focuses on the four major elements of intelligence – collection, analysis, counterintelligence, and covert action – and their application abroad. Similarities and differences with intelligence inside the U.S. will also be included.

The program also focuses on the interdependence of the symbiotic relationships between the elements of intelligence and interrelationships with other national security practitioners at many levels of policymaking and implementation – from grand strategy formulation to enhancing military strength and guile as in the Managing Disruption and Violence (MDV) Program.

INT 601 - Fundamentals of Intelligence

This is an introductory course in intelligence practices for those looking to enter this field or interact with it. The course identifies the component parts of the Intelligence Community, describes the functions of collection and analysis, explains how intelligence is disseminated, and discusses the relationship of the IC with policymakers, Congress, and the public. This course will provide students the foundation of knowledge to prepare for more advanced study in intelligence or related fields.
Students who complete this course will:
• Identify the members of the Intelligence Community and their roles;
• Discuss the intelligence cycle and other functions of intelligence; and
• Analyze the relationship of the IC with the different branches of government and the public


This course is divided into four discreet, yet interdependent parts:

  • Qualitative Research Methods;
  • Quantitative Research Methods;
  • Critical Thinking and Complexity Theory; and
  • Writing Workshop.

The overall objectives/learning outcomes are to:

Equip students with the ability, skills and knowledge to conduct and produce quality research in the rapidly changing environment of 21st social science; and

  • Prepare students to utilize skills to evaluate and analyze a wide variety of social science situations in order to develop and enact new policy solutions to contemporary problems.
  • Quantitative and Quantitative Research Methods
  • The objectives/learning outcomes for the sections on qualitative and quantitative research methods are to equip students with an understanding, expertise and ability to apply the most important contemporary research methods currently in use in the social sciences.
  • Critical Thinking and Complexity Theory
  • The objectives/learning outcomes for the section on critical thinking and complexity theory are to equip students with an understanding, expertise and ability to conduct research and apply solutions to the most complex social science issues in the increasingly interdependent, globalizing world.
  • Writing Workshop
  • The objectives/learning outcomes for the writing workshop are to direct students to apply the methods and skills they learned in the three previous sections, to improve their writing skills and to help prepare them for the research and preparation of their masters’ thesis and set in place the ability to produce quality work in the future.
INT 712, Collection, Analysis and Presentation

This course provides a critical overview of the Intelligence Cycle – from collection to analysis to presentation. The course assesses intelligence-gathering techniques and approaches for various types of information including HUMINT, SIGINT, etc. It then acquaints students with aspects of Intelligence Analysis; the evaluation of data through the use of subject expertise, critical thinking, and the application of techniques designed to overcome limitations in human cognition. It will examine the analysts’ role in the larger national security arena, state, and local organizations and in the private sector. And it will show the importance of the effective presentation of this information under varying circumstances and leadership desires.


Through this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the concepts, history, and structure of intelligence collection;
  • Analyze and evaluate the role of the collector in the understanding and influencing;
  • Think critically and make well-reasoned judgments on ambiguous or incomplete information;
  • Contextualize information with broader events and strategic goals;
  • Communicate ideas clearly, concisely, and effectively in writing, discussions, and presentations.
INT 714, Counter Intelligence

The aim of this course is to show how counterintelligence activity protects US national security by 1) defending against acts of penetration, sabotage, and physical violence undertaken by foreign intelligence agencies and 2) defeating an adversary’s efforts by identifying and manipulating its behavior through deception and/or the exploitation of its agents. The course addresses the relationship between the intelligence and law enforcement communities as well as between civilian and military agencies. It also emphasizes the increasing importance of cyber espionage and economic espionage in an age of globalization.


Through this course, students will: • Analyze methods to defend against foreign and domestic espionage; •

  • Elaborate the use of deception to defeat other actor’s intelligence capabilities;
  • Examine the role of espionage and counterintelligence as means of achieving national goals;
  • Assess the growing relationship between the intelligence and law enforcement communities and the relationship between civilian and military agencies;
  • Evaluate the role of counterintelligence in cyber espionage and economic espionage;
  • Communicate ideas clearly, concisely, and effectively in writing, discussions, and presentations

This course will provide the students with an opportunity to evaluate and assess the vast arena and unique challenges of U.S. Defense Intelligence

The U.S. military spends in excess of $20 billion per year and has over 100,000 people devoted to Defense Intelligence efforts.  This work is done throughout the world and increasingly ties into military operations in the United States in the post 9/11 world.

It further ties directly to national intelligence internationally and homeland security needs within the U.S.  And, as such, comes into conflict with some unique American values and laws.

With our military spread throughout AOR’s ranging from the Pacific to the mountains of Afghanistan to Washington, D.C., the intelligence supporting the policymaker – from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to the soldier in Eastern Afghanistan – is crucial to well-informed execution of America’s defense.

We also face a time where the vast majority of the American population do not serve in the military nor understand its unique intelligence needs based on its work, its structure, and its culture. This lack of contact and understanding confuse policymakers in the national security community.

  • Students who complete the course will be able to:
  • Evaluate how history, culture and organization shaping U.S. Defense Intelligence perceptions and practices.
  • Explain the purpose and formulation of policy strategy based on Defense Intelligence.
  • Appraise Defense Intelligence cycle and how it interacts with new concepts of homeland security.

Interpret the theories of security and international relations that impact Defense Intelligence.

Determine how to apply research methodologies to Defense Intelligence.

INT 719 - The American Way of Spying; The Evolution and Practice of U.S. Counterintelligence

“The American Way of Spying: The Evolution and Practice of U.S. Counterintelligence Activities and Operations”. Events over the past few years, to include such well publicized incidents as the Russian Illegals’ case; high-profile cyber-attacks on U.S. sensitive databases and political campaigns (to include Moscow’s purported effort to influence the 2016 US Presidential election; and unauthorized leaks of classified information by Trusted Insiders, have re-focused attention on the role of Counterintelligence (CI) in protecting against espionage and other activities directed against the U.S.


The course is structured to evaluate the history and current effectiveness of the U.S. counterterrorism (CT) strategy. We will discuss the history behind the United States’ need for a CT strategy based on terrorist acts impacting the United States, commencing in the 1970s. We will discuss terrorism as a whole, to include specific terrorist groups, and their impact on U.S. strategy. Our discussion will consider the future of CT strategy, and the direct impact of evolving terrorist groups, to include al-Qa’ida and its nodes, as well as ISIS.

  • Summarize and differentiate the major theories and various explanations of the current;
  • S. CT strategy, including working knowledge of the terrorist groups and actors who pose the largest threats to the United States;
  • Analyze the history behind the evolution of the United States’ approach to terrorism and the creation of the United States’ working CT strategy;
  • Compare and contrast the CT strategies of the United States greatest allies in the CT forum, to include the United Kingdom Canada, and Australia; and
  • Evaluate how the United States can build upon and improve its current CT strategy, under the threat of ISIS and other terrorist

This course provides students an understanding of the historical development and modern use of nontraditional intelligence capabilities in support of United States foreign policy goals. Such capabilities include: CIA-led covert action, NSA-led cyber conflict, DoD Special Forces operations use, and USG constructed propaganda and false information efforts.

This NTU capability provides the President low-intensity conflict options expanding his range of responses to political goals and crises. Additionally, the students will be appraised of the nature and process of national security legal guidance, and Executive and Legislative Branches interaction and oversight of NTU. The students will be challenged to examine the non-traditional use (NTU) of intelligence capabilities and then critically apply them to contemporary national security challenges.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Categorize and evaluate the timing, purpose, and use of non-traditional intelligence capabilities since World War II; Analyze the role and methodologies of actors in the NTU space;
  • Examine how changes in technology and information effect and expand implementation efforts; and
  • Theorize and formulate NTU for presentation to senior policy makers.

This course examines the war on drugs through different prisms: economic, security, and political.  Alternative state responses to the drug trade will be covered.  Subsequently, we will deal with these questions within thecontext of individual democracies in Latin America, with comparisons to countries in different regions of the world.  The course will utilize power point presentations and lectures to convey the material and a movie to supplement the readings.

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Articulate and explain the elements of the US war on drugs and the implications for American citizens;
  • Analyze the history behind the evolution of the United States’ approach to counter-narcotics and the creation of the United States’ working counter-narcotics strategy;
  • Compare and contrast the counter-narcotics strategies of the United States’ allies in the war on drugs, particularly those key countries in Latin America;
  • Critically diagnose the pros and cons of various counter-narcotics methods, the likely barriers to achieving more progress in the future, and how we can attempt to counter narcotics more effectively.
INT 746, Cyber Intelligence

This course examines the vast frontier of Cyberspace and the Internet over which travels ever increasing amounts of information and communications. This new dimension of power has strong positive and negative implications for U.S. national security strategy and policy. For national security, Cyberspace represents a unique challenge, as it has no borders or boundaries unlike previous power dimensions — land, sea, air and space. Past separations between government and the private sector and national security and law enforcement have been blurred. Cyberspace also represents an arena where a non-state actor’s powers can equal or exceed any nation state. And, 20th Century based government institutions often have trouble reacting to its 21st century instantaneous speed, ubiquity and volume.

By the end of the course, the student will be able to: •

  • Address the issues of volume, velocity and veracity of information in cyber space and how they relate to intelligence gathering, analysis and dissemination in both the public and private sector;
  • Evaluate the ability of non-nation state players to effect national and corporate security;
  • Understand the challenges of devising systems to secure the current internet;
  • Examine the legal and politic implication of a system without borders.

This course provides students with an intellectual foundation for understanding the concepts of homeland security intelligence, as well as an overview of the US national homeland security framework including organization and policies. It examines the intellectual constructs used to frame security issues, intelligence based on those issues and the development of policies and strategies that lead to implementing programs that protect the United States’ infrastructure and people from attack.

Over the semester, students will be challenged to examine the various paradigms that shape homeland security intelligence and critically apply them to contemporary homeland security challenges and examine how well or poorly these paradigms are reflected in current responses, organizations and policies.

By the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify the organization and polices of US homeland security and its intelligence organization;
  • Appraise how history and culture shaping homeland security intelligence perceptions and practices;
  • Summarize theories of security and international relations that impact homeland security;
  • Apply research methodologies to homeland security intelligence;
  • Explain the purpose and formulation of policy strategy based on intelligence; and
  • Appraise the public policy making process and its use and implementation of homeland security intelligence.

The course provides a comparative view of cooperating and competitive intelligence systems surveying both nation and non-nation state actors. Using the U.S. Intelligence services as a baseline, the course provides an understanding of how are these services are organized; individual domestic and foreign intelligence focus; and their current range of activities.

By the end of this course, students should be able to articulate the following knowledge:

  • Demonstrate a firm understanding of the US Intelligence System;
  • Distinguish and analyze cooperating and competitive intelligence systems; and
  • Evaluate the strengths and weakness of each system.

Though Muslim extremists currently dominate the airwaves, every religion has had, and continues to have, its own extremists, both high profile and relatively unknown.

The fundamental premise of this course is that in order to understand fully many of the violent conflicts that flood the airwaves, one must first of all be conversant in the language of religion and be cognizant of religion’s role in these conflicts.

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Articulate and explain the elements of various religious extremist groups and the implications for American citizens;
  • Analyze the history behind the evolution of the various countries’ approach to dealing with religious extremist groups and the counterterrorism tactics used to denigrate them;
  • Explain the prevalence in the media and the public discourse concerning some of the key religious extremist groups; and

Critically diagnose the genesis of various religious extremist groups and how we can attempt to  counter them more effectively.


Please refer to Section 13: Degrees and Other Programs for information about the Independent Study.


All MA students are required to write a thesis. The thesis is to be written under the supervision of a faculty member who is the official thesis advisor. Each candidate will also be assigned a professor who will be available to mentor the student. Each professor will represent one of the three elements. The thesis is intended to present vital new information on a significant aspect of national security environment.

Program Learning Objectives

Graduates of the degree program will be able to:

  • Articulate the strategic significance, aims, strategy, tradecraft and culture of the elements of intelligence.
  • Evaluate each element of intelligence and the skills and aptitude required for this work.
  • Interpret the value of intelligence input to public and private sector efforts supporting organizational tactics and strategies.
  • Anticipate current and future security challenges.
  • Identify opportunities for effective use of intelligence.
  • Identify how major tensions inside liberal democracy with secret intelligence are reconciled through institutional checks and balances, oversight, press freedom, and public education.
Ronald A. Marks, M.A.

Program Chair

Ronald A. Marks is a 33-year veteran of the U.S. national security community. A former CIA official, Ron was a clandestine service officer and a Senate Liaison for five DCIs. He went on to serve on Capitol Hill as Intelligence Counsel to Senate Majority Leaders Robert Dole and Trent Lott. Ron maintains his involvement with intelligence matters as a member of various Intelligence Community advisory groups.

Marks was President of Intelligence Enterprises, LLC, a privately held national security management-consulting firm. He also headed the DC office of Oxford Analytics, a nationally recognized analytical, strategic, and consulting firm.

He is the author of Spying in America in the Post 9/11 World: Domestic Threat and the Need for Change.