Master's Degree Advanced Inquiry Program


Advanced Inquiry Program

The Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo has brought a national program to the Chicagoland area that combines experiential learning at Brookfield Zoo with a Miami University online master's degree. The program is part of Project Dragonfly at Miami University.

The Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) is a conservation-focused, inquiry-driven learning experience that combines web-based graduate courses through Miami University with exciting face-to-face experiential and field study at Brookfield Zoo. Students in this national online degree program contribute to social and ecological change in their communities. The opportunity to earn credits from international travel is another exciting part of the program. And the best news of all – it’s affordable!

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Enrollment is open to applicants with a Bachelor’s degree regardless of academic major or profession. It is designed for a variety of working professionals and individuals that are interested in conservation and education.

Degrees and Course Delivery

Applicants elect to enroll in either a Master of Arts in Teaching in Biological Sciences or a Master of Arts in Biology from Miami University. MA and MAT candidates go through the AIP together. Note: The MAT program does not confer a teaching license or certification.

All AIP courses are delivered online by a Miami University instructor. And two-thirds of AIP courses also include up to five days or equivalent per course of experiential learning and field study on grounds at Brookfield Zoo and sites across the greater Chicago area.


AIP Master’s students earn 35 total credit hours. 14 credit hours come from AIP Core Courses that occur on the web. 21 credit hours come from Web+ Courses that combine web-based instruction with experiential learning on-site at Brookfield Zoo. The experiential learning at Brookfield Zoo takes place during 3 or 4 face-to-face class meeting days per course. Students must be available for class meeting days that may take place on week days or Saturdays during the summer and Saturdays during the fall. All class meeting days are provided well in advance.


Students earn 35 credit hours. 7 of those credits may come from an Earth Expeditions global field course (  Students also complete a Master’s portfolio in their final course.  The AIP can be completed in as little as 2.5 years or as long as 5 years. The program is designed to be part-time, with working professionals in mind.

The AIP curriculum provides real-world experiences that also advance educational standards. MAT students may choose to develop a portfolio adaptable to National Board Certification. AIP Master’s candidates use inquiry not only as a tool for integrated learning, but as a powerful agent for achievement, public engagement, and ecological stewardship.

Download a copy of the Scope and Sequence (Microsoft Excel) to view course offerings in the Advanced Inquiry Program.

View Course Descriptions

Program Cost

Estimated Costs
Miami offers substantially reduced fees for AIP courses. Costs are roughly 60% less than typical Miami fees for out-of-state students.

For information about costs, please see Miami’s AIP Costs page at

Offsetting Costs
With fees reduced as part of Miami University's support for this program, each AIP course is offered at a fraction of actual costs. Applicants to the program should check with their school district or employer to see if professional development funds are available to further offset costs. Additional tips for grants can be found on the AIP grant tips page.

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Click the button below for a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

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Program Details

Click the button below for more details about the Advanced Inquiry Program.

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Success Stories

Just some of the exciting career opportunities that graduates of the Advanced Inquiry Program have achieved include:

  • Learning Specialist at a major Chicagoland institution of higher learning

  • Education Manager at a major Chicagoland institution of higher learning

  • Facility Manager at a notable Chicagoland nature center

  • Teaching Fellow at National Geographic

  • Assistant Curator at The National Zoo

  • Begun work on their Ph.D. programs

  • Started their own businesses


Apply Now

Applications are accepted mid-September- February 28. Please add your name to our mailing list to receive updates.


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For more information about this Miami University master's degree, contact the Dragonfly offices at Miami at (613) 529-8576 or

For more information about experiential learning at Brookfield Zoo, contact Agnes Kovacs at (708) 688-8223 or