Frequently Asked Questions


Admission

Must I have had a long and outstanding career to be considered?

No. The selection committee is looking for a wide cross-section of people -- different levels of experience, different ages, different backgrounds.

When will I be notified if I'm accepted?

Candidates will be notified by April 15 of our recommendation for admittance.

Do I need a computer or Internet connection?

In addition to the face-to-face component at their AIP Master's Institution, all students interact via an easy-to-use web platform. So, all students need a valid email address and occasional access to the web, either from a computer at home, work, a local library, or some other location. Previous computer experience is not needed. If you are accepted to the AIP, we can help you establish a free email address. Don't let the technological requirements bar you from applying. But remember that you'll need to have access to a computer with Internet capability from one to three hours a week.

Does it matter where I live?

Yes. Participants will be required to attend courses at the nearest AIP Master's Institution. Currently, institutions are located in Cincinnati (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden), Chicago (Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo), Cleveland (Cleveland Metro Park Zoo) and, Seattle (Woodland Park Zoo). More sites will be added next year.

Do I have to have taken classes at Miami University to apply?

No.

Will age be a factor in the selection process?

No. Miami University does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, or veteran's status in its education programs, activities, admissions, or employment policies. All AIP applicants will be considered based on their application materials.

Coursework

TRANSFER OF COURSEWORK

Can I transfer courses from another university/institution?

No.

Transferring a Miami University Earth Expedition into the AIP

Only one previous Earth Expeditions field course (up to 7 credit hours) may be transferred towards your master's. These credits may only be used to replace a portion of the 21 credit hours facilitated by your local AIP Master's Institution. For these credits to be considered toward your degree, you must have:

1) been accepted to the master's program.

2) participated in the AIP for at least one semester.
3) received a grade of “B” or better in your field course.
4) taken the course within 5 years of your projected graduation date for the master’s.
5) completed the Dragonfly Master's Course Credit Transfer application form (available year round; notice of acceptance or transfer requests will be given December 1st and April 1st of each year).

Transferring an iDiscovery course into the AIP

Only one previous iDiscovery course (up to 3 credit hours) may be transferred towards your master's. This course will replace one of the two advanced seminars in the program (Issues in Biodiversity or Issues in Evolution). Also, for these credits to be considered toward your degree, you must have:

1) been accepted to the master's program.
2) participated in the AIP for at least one semester.
3) received a grade of “B” or better in your transferred course.
4) taken the course within 5 years of your projected graduation date for the master’s.
5) completed the Dragonfly Master's Course Credit Transfer application form (available year round; notice of acceptance or transfer requests will be given December 1st and April 1st of each year).

Transferring previous AIP Master Institution courses into the AIP

Up to 7 credit hours of previously taken courses at an AIP Master Institution may be transferred toward your master's. These credits may only be used to replace a portion of the 21 credit hours facilitated by your local AIP Master's Institution. For these credits to be considered toward your degree, you must have:

1) been accepted to the master's program.
2) participated in the AIP for at least one semester.
3) received a grade of "B" or better in your transferred course.
4) registered for the course through Miami University.
5) taken the course within 5 years of your projected graduation date for the master's.
6) completed the Dragonfly Master's Course Credit Transfer application form (available year round; notice of acceptance or transfer requests will be given December 1st and April 1st of each year).

Note: No more than 7 credit hours from the above categories can be transferred into the AIP. Categories may not be combined.

What if I cannot finish in 2.5 years?

Though students will ideally complete the degree in 2.5 years, they are not limited to this timeframe. However, the AIP must be completed within 5 years, consistent with Miami University Graduate School regulations.

Are there physical requirements?

Field courses require a moderate amount of walking and similar (not excessive) activity.

Application to the Program

GENERAL

When should I submit my AIP master’s application?

The sooner you get your application in the better. As soon as you know you want to apply to the AIP, go ahead and APPLY! The application deadline is February 28.

What is involved in the application process? How many steps for applying to the AIP master’s?

There are three simple steps. All three must be completed by the submission deadline to become an eligible candidate for the AIP master’s.

Grade point average (GPA) and applying for admission to the AIP.

For admission to the Graduate School as a degree candidate with regular standing, you must have earned a grade point average (gpa) of at least 2.75 (4.0 scale) at the institution awarding your bachelor’s degree or a 3.0 gpa. for the last four semesters (or equivalent) of study for your bachelor’s degree. You must have at least a 3.0 gpa for all graduate work attempted. Undergraduate course work taken after the completion of your bachelor’s degree will not be considered in determining your grade point average. More details.

International applicants please see "more details" link.

GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICATION

How do I fill out the Miami University Graduate School Application Form?

Degree Program
In the degree program section; select either MAT or MA.

Program of Study
In the program of study section if you select MAT, your program of study is in Biological Sciences; if you select MA, it is Zoology.

Continuing Non-degree Graduate Status (CGS)
All applicants to the AIP should select "NO."

Enrollment
All participants enrolled in the AIP are part-time study students.

Admission Request
You should mark summer and add the appropriate year.

Have you previously attended Miami as a student?
If you have taken any graduate class at Miami University (Earth Expeditions, Zoo Expeditions, and iDiscovery are considered Miami graduate classes) check the YES box.

Taking a course for teaching certification
If you have selected the MAT as your degree program, please be aware that our MAT does NOT confer a teaching certification or a licensure. Neither does the MA.

Medical History Form
Because you will not be physically coming to Miami University to take a course this requirement is not applicable.

Acceptance To The Program

How difficult is it to be accepted to the AIP masters?

Acceptance to the program is based on each applicant’s dossier and the merit of his or her application. The dossier includes: 1) AIP Application Form which includes two essays related to the master's degree and an applicants's CV/resume, 2) the MU Graduate School application form and transcripts, and 3) two electronic letters of recommendation.

Transcripts

Transcripts tend to take longer to arrive since they require your undergraduate/ graduate institution to send formal transcripts via regular mail to our Graduate School office. Please make sure that your institution sends all required transcripts. You will need a transcript for each degree and/or stand-alone course you claim you have taken and completed in your MU Graduate School application form. Failure to receive your transcripts on time might affect your application to the program. Follow up with your institution to make sure they have submitted your transcripts in a timely manner.

Requirements

Do I need to take the GRE?

No. You don’t need to take the GRE.

Do I need letters of recommendation?

Yes. There are two letters of recommendation required. They are completed online and are part of the application process.

I have not taken any biology courses to date, will this affect my application?

No. It is okay if you have not taken an undergraduate biology course (or equivalent). This will not affect your application/acceptance to our AIP master’s. All applicants, regardless of their academic background will be considered. However, one college-level science course (e.g., general biology, general ecology, etc.) is required to complete the AIP master’s. If you are accepted, and you have not already met this requirement, you could enroll in a life science course before or during your AIP master's and fulfill it. For more information about this requirement visit our Program Details.

Costs

Will costs remain the same throughout my AIP master’s experience?

Costs are subject to change, but we endeavor to keep costs down for all participants.

How will costs vary if I am an out-of-state or international participant?

The AIP carries the same tuition rate for out-of-state and international participants as it does for in-state participants.

Miscellaneous

What is a "Web-based Learning Community"?

As a feature of this program, students join the MA/MAT team and instructors in Project Dragonfly's Web-based learning platform. For an overview of the Web platform, visit www.DragonflyWorkshops.org.

Does the MAT degree also include teaching licensure?

No. The MAT in Biological Science degree is designed for teachers who are already licensed to teach. The MAT does not confer teaching licensure.

Who teaches the MA/MAT courses?

Faculty, mentors, and facilitators from premier institutions in the U.S. and abroad support AIP students throughout their coursework and the development of their Master Plans. Each AIP Master's Institution is home to multiple staff with Graduate Faculty standing at Miami University.

What are the major differences between AIP and GFP?

The following chart provides a quick overview of the major differences between the three programs (PDF). For more specific details please refer to each program's individual site.