Course of Study


Course Types

Advanced Inquiry Program Master's students complete two types of courses for their degree:

Web+ Courses

AIP W+ Courses combine web-based instruction from Miami University with the excitement of internships, field study, and experiential learning in person at one of eight AIP Master Institutions in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Phoenix, San Diego, New York, and Seattle. Students in W+ Courses are uniquely supported both online by Miami University instructors and on-site by AIP Master Institution facilitators. Miami University instructors interact with students via the web and oversee university requirements and grading.  AIP Master Institution facilitators work with students face-to-face at AIP Master Institutions to guide place-based experiential learning and community engagement. AIP Master Institutions, by providing invaluable community connections, expertise, and environmental leadership, are at the heart of the AIP.

Core Courses

The AIP Core Courses are entirely web-based and promote learning interactions nationwide while providing a common foundation for all students across the degree program. The AIP Core Courses also support graduation requirements, including leadership challenges and writing for a professional audience.

AIP students in both the W+ Courses and Core Courses submit assignments through the Dragonfly Collaborative Web Platform. Developed at Miami University with support from the National Science Foundation, the Dragonfly Collaborative Web Platform fosters learning communities through collaborative inquiry and action.

Course of Study

The table below shows a typical course of study for an AIP student seeking to complete the Master's degree in 2.5 years. Miami University's Graduate School allows up to 5 years for degree completion. Details may vary based on a student's specific timeline at different AIP Master Institutions.

Year 1

Semester AIP Courses # of Credits

Summer/Fall/Spring:

W+ Courses (3, approximately)*

Course topics adapted to fit the mission of the AIP Master Institution and the community.  For additional details click on the Master Institution links to the left.

7 credits

Fall:

Core Course

Conservation Science & Community

 

2 credits

Spring:

Core Courses

Biology in the Age of Technology

Advanced Seminar: Issues in Biodiversity

 

2 credits

2 credits

Total Credits Year 1   13 credits

Year 2

Semester AIP Courses # of Credits

Summer/Fall/Spring:

W+ Courses (3, approximately)*

Course topics adapted to fit the mission of the AIP Master Institution and the community.  For additional details click on the Master Institution links to the left.

7 credits

Fall:

Core Course

Advanced Seminar: Issues in Evolution

2 credits

Spring:

Core Courses

Leadership in Science Inquiry

Professional Media Workshop

 

2 credits

2 credits

Total Credits Year 2   13 credits

Year 3

Semester AIP Courses # of Credits

Summer/Fall:

W+ Courses (3, approximately)*

Course topics adapted to fit the mission of the AIP Master Institution and the community.  For additional details click on the Master Institution links to the left.

7 credits

Fall:

Core Course

Master's Capstone (for MA candidates) or Master's Capstone - MAT (for MAT candidates)

2 credits

Fall:

GRADUATION
 
Total Credits Year 3   9 credits

* The face-to-face experiential learning and field study component of W+ courses requires time in-person at your host AIP Master Institution, often one full week or more in the summer and select Saturdays in Fall and Spring Semesters.

(Note: up to 7 credits of a past Earth Expeditions course or of previous AIP W+ courses can be transferred towards the AIP master's degree.)

Total Program Credits: 35

AIP Core Course List

BIO 631  Conservation Science & Community
2 credits • Fall Semester only

An introduction to conservation science and its application in community settings through education and participatory research. Readings include topics such as environmental values, population biology, and landscape ecology.  Students apply course concepts to formal or informal learning environments through Community Engagement Labs.

BIO 632  Biology in the Age of Technology (BAT)
2 credits • Spring Semester only

Introduces new ways to engage students and communities in collaborative research and education through such technologies as camera traps, remote sensing, and GPS. This course explores new knowledge structures made possible through cyber-enabled public research and social networks. Includes Community Engagement Labs.

BIO 633  Issues in Biodiversity
2 credits • Spring Semester only

Graduate seminar on foundational and emerging topics in biodiversity.  Includes readings and group-led discussions. Topics vary year-to-year to reflect changes in the field.

BIO 634 Issues in Evolution
2 credits • Fall Semester only

Graduate seminar on foundational and emerging topics in evolution. Includes readings and group-led discussions. Topics vary year-to-year to reflect changes in the field.

BIO 635  Leadership in Science Inquiry
2 credits • Spring Semester only

All students in this course direct a defined professional development program or other leadership experience targeting a specific audience. Students read and discuss different models for inquiry-driven change. This course is one of two exit courses for the Master’s degree.

BIO 636  Professional Media Workshop
2 credits • Spring Semester only

Students in this workshop develop a full proposal for a work to be submitted to a professional journal or other media outlet. Students complete a critical research review as well as a study design, outline, and sample text that relates directly to their Master Plan.

BIO 637  Master’s Capstone or BIO 639 Master's Capstone - MAT
2 credits • Fall and Spring Semesters

Students complete all exit requirements for the Master’s degree, including submitting an article or other media for a professional audience (completing work initiated in the Professional Media Workshop). The Capstone course is taken in the last semester of the degree program.  Because the final, culminating product of this course and your Master's degree will be to create an e-Portfolio synthesizing your work in the program, the Capstone course may only be taken concurrently with one other course.

Completing the Master's

35 credit hours total: 21 hours of AIP W+ courses and 14 hours of AIP Core Courses including the Master's Capstone. MAT students develop a teaching portfolio adaptable for National Board Certification. MA students develop a work portfolio suitable for their professional environment.

Miami University’s Project Dragonfly is an official AZA Learning Partner. Some Earth Expeditions and AIP Master’s courses count toward the AZA Professional Development Certificate Program. For more information, see Project Dragonfly – an AZA Learning Partner.