Apply to NIU’s In-Residence MSSI Program

Instructions to applying to MSSI

In-Residence Program

The following application materials must be sent to NIU Admissions by the posted deadline.   
Late applications will not be accepted.

1. Complete Full-Time MSSI Application

The application must be complete and include a selection of an Academic Department and, if appropriate, a concentration. Applicants will be notified if they are accepted into a particular concentration after they receive an offer of admission.

2. Nomination 

Nominations from your agency training office or branch of service detailer/branch manager/function manager.

3. Statement of Purpose and Preliminary Research Prospectus

The Statement and Prospectus should be no longer than 8 pages typed (double spaced/12pt font).

    • Please include a cover page with your name and contact information.
    • Please number each page and send in PDF format.
    • The Statement of Purpose should explain:
      • why you want to attend NIU?  (briefly describing your qualifications, academic experience, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests that may aid the admissions committee in evaluating aptitude and motivation for pursuing a degree.)
    • The Preliminary Research Prospectus should illustrate an area of research interest that you wish to pursue at NIU. A good preliminary research prospectus requires the author to be precise, informative, and compelling. This should include elements:

1. A preliminary problem statement that identifies a proposed topic and its importance to the intelligence or national security community.
2. Gaps or opportunities that exist in the current literature on this topic, which should include refereed/authoritative citations of research or scholarly work.
3. Citations and references should be included but do not need be in full bibliography format.
4. Professional resume or curriculum vitae. 
5. Undergraduate and Graduate Transcripts. 

4. Official Transcripts

You must provide official transcripts for all earned degrees as well as those attempted. Undergraduate degrees must be from regionally accredited institutions. Official transcripts must be sent from the institutions directly to NIU Admissions.

6. Letters of Recommendation

 You must provide two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your academic achievement and professional potential. If you have been out of school for several years and are unable to contact former professors, you may submit non-academic references (e.g., employers).

7. GRE Scores (Optional)

You may submit official GRE scores, sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to NIU Admissions, if you would like them to be considered as part of your total package. This is not required.

1. Completed applications should be submitted electronically to

2. To protect PII, please send applications from a .gov or .mil account.

If electronic submission is not possible, applicants can submit their documents by mail. Please note that mail can take several weeks to arrive, so please plan accordingly.

3. NIU Admissions can accept hand-delivered document. Please contact to arrange this.


4. For mail sent through the United States Postal Service, the following address must be used:

National Intelligence University
Office of Admissions
Roberdeau Hall
Washington, DC 20511

5. For mail sent by FedEx or UPS, the following address must be used but note that weekend deliveries are not accepted:

National Intelligence University
Office of Admissions
Roberdeau Hall, ICC-B Gate 5
1000 Colonial Farm Road
McLean, VA 22101

NIU does not charge tuition. Textbooks are provided by the university at the start of each quarter.  You will be required to return the books at the end of each quarter.

Prospective and current students must hold an active TS/SCI clearance and indoctrinated with your agency. An interim clearance is not permitted. Your clearance must be held by the federal government or the U.S. Armed Forces. Please obtain/maintain an active TS/SCI and be indoctrinated to the current accesses before applying to NIU. You may contact the NIU Security Office at with questions about the University’s security requirements. NIU is not permitted to hold TS/SCI for students. They must be briefed by their agency.

If you attend NIU as a full time or part time student and earn a graduate or undergraduate degree you are eligible receive IC civilian joint duty credit through your home agency.

No. The university offers blended learning through secure video telephone conference (VTC) capabilities at select locations.

Graduate students may transfer a maximum of six quarter hours into the MSSI or MSTI program towards the elective requirement. Courses must have been taken within five years prior to enrolling in the NIU and have an earned grade of B or higher. Approval of transfer hours resides with the Dean of the appropriate program.

Applicants should review the eligibility criteria for their program of interest when applying to the university.

Yes. Foreign transcripts must be submitted with an official transcript evaluation from an approved foreign credential evaluation service.

The degree programs are offered in one and two year formats. Click here for details.

No. Prospective students with a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related background are highly desired; however, possession of a degree from a STEM field of study is not required.

No. All MSSI/MSTI students must complete a thesis as part of their degree requirement.

Please consult the nominating authority or training office for your service/agency.

Nominations are not required for individuals applying for part-time study. For a list of programs that require a nomination click here.

Yes, but you will need to obtain a nomination from your assignment manager to attend the full-time in-residence degree program.

Yes. Up to two certificate courses can be applied to the MSSI program as electives. Only one certificate course may apply for students pursuing the MSTI program.

Times can vary depending upon the quarter of enrollment. Most certificate courses take place in the evening between 6:00 p.m. and 10:40 p.m.


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