Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

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

Applicants will receive admission decision notifications via e-mail by April 15th.

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, Miami University will establish a university email address for you. 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.

Yes. Participants will be required to attend the face-to-face component of courses at their 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), Denver (the Denver Zoo), Phoenix (Phoenix Zoo), San Diego (San Diego Zoo Global), New York ( Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo) and Seattle (Woodland Park Zoo).

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

Yes.  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 Request to Dragonfly Graduate Committee form.

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

Yes.  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 Request to Dragonfly Graduate Committee form.

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

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 Request to Dragonfly Graduate Committee form.

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

 

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.

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

Application to the Program

The application process for the Advanced Inquiry Program typically opens on or around September 1st of each year.  Application to the Graduate School is due February 18th; all remaining required components, including e-recommendations, are due on February 28th.

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

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

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 Biology.

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.

The Graduate School application is due February 18th.  All other components of the application package are due February 28th.

Acceptance To The Program

Acceptance to the program is based on each applicant’s dossier and the merit of his or her application. The dossier includes: 1) the AIP Pre-aplication, 2) the Miami University Graduate School application form and transcripts, 3) two electronic letters of recommendation, and 4) completion of the AIP Application Form which includes two essays related to the master's degree and the applicants's CV/resume.

Yes.  When you complete your Graduate School application, you may upload and attach unofficial copies of your transcripts to your application.  Applicants who are offered admission must then submit official copies of their transcripts to the Graduate School.  Transcripts tend to take longer to arrive since they require your undergraduate/graduate institution to send formal copies 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

No. You don’t need to take the GRE.

Yes. Submission of two e-recommendations is required. These will be submitted online as part of the AIP application you complete as part of your account in "My Project Dragonfly."

No. It is okay if you have not taken an undergraduate biology course (or its equivalent). This will not affect your application/acceptance to the GFP. All applicants, regardless of their academic background will be considered. However, satisfactory completion of one college-level life science course (e.g., general biology, general ecology, etc.) or its equivalent is required to complete the GFP master's. If you are accepted into the program and you have not met this requirement, you will be notified and can then enroll in a biology course during your GFP master's to fulfill the requirement (Dragonfly offers a web-based course that fulfills this requirement - details at below link).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Biology Course Requirement for Project Dragonfly Master's Programs.

Costs

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

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

Miscellaneous

Both the AIP and GFP seek to create an alliance of professionals who use inquiry and other forms of participatory education to improve human and ecological communities. Both programs support collaborative engagement. Both are based on the premise that "making a difference" should be woven into the fabric of education--through practice. This practice (which is astonishingly rare in conventional educational settings) requires expanding learning beyond the classroom, tackling real-world issues, and supporting shared knowledge creation and shared action.  So in terms of their approach, both programs have much in common.

However, the AIP and GFP differ fundamentally in their focus.  The GFP is clearly globally focused and includes primary and intensive learning experiences abroad.  The AIP is locally focused with primary and intensive learning experiences in communities where AIP Master Institutions are located.

The distinction goes deeper however, because it is not based on academic content alone: the fundamental delivery system, settings, partnerships, and social networks differ as well.  It is the AIP Master Institutions themselves, the learning experiences and the community-connections they create, that distinguish the AIP from the GFP.  The AIP degree is a multi-institutional construct that will be shaped in ways that are not possible through the GFP, shaped by the unique mission, history, social value, resources, and people of each AIP Master Institution.   The AIP degree creates a national network of AIP Master Institutions, allowing for direct cross-fertilization of ideas and practices.  The AIP is not only provides a "local curriculum," it is a uniquely co-owned national experiment, one with considerable potential to create partnerships and cross-training, and to evolve as more successful pedagogical variations are assessed and communicated across participating institutions over time.

As a feature of this program, students join the MA/MAT team and instructors in Dragonfly Workshop's Web-Based Learning Community. For an overview of the web platform, visit www.DragonflyWorkshops.org.

Miami University’s Project Dragonfly has partnered with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) to expand AZA’s professional development opportunities. In March 2013, Project Dragonfly and Miami became an official AZA Learning Partner. Now, a suite of Dragonfly’s graduate courses count toward earning a Certificate in AZA’s Professional Development Program. The Certificate program organizes training opportunities into concentrations, such as behavioral husbandry, conservation and research, and education and interpretation. Dragonfly courses that count toward an AZA Certificate are noted at www.EarthExpeditions.org and by contacting individual AIP Master Institutions.

Zoo and aquarium professionals looking for additional training opportunities may visit the AZA’s website to learn more about additional courses, webinars, and conferences that can help enrich their careers. Interested professionals can learn more at http://www.aza.org/professional-development/.

Advanced Inquiry Program master's students select from two degree options: either an MA in Biology or an MAT in the Biological Sciences.  In terms of the course of study, there is very little difference between the two.  MA and MAT candidates go through the Advanced Inquiry Program together, and while those who do not currently hold a teaching license are generally advised to select the MA program, which option an applicant normally chooses seems to be largely based on his or her academic background and/or current profession or professional objectives (please also see "Does the MAT degree also include teaching licensure?" below). 

Generally, students working toward a Master of Arts (MA) should integrate biologically focused projects while those working on a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) may have a focus on education. The program is self-directed and, in large part, projects are a result of the specific audience, your efforts, and your own personal and professional goals in the program. The big-picture difference between the two degrees is that fulfillment of project assignments for an MAT may include exploration of the biological sciences through lesson plans and work with student populations as your audience. However, for the MA, graduate students are asked to focus on zoological conservation and life science projects outside of the typical lesson plan, curriculum or traditional classroom experience.That said, overlap between the disciplines of biology and education is also encouraged and expected in this program. The main expectation is that you will be deliberate about aligning your degree, Master Plan, and professional goals in ways that make sense for you.

No.  The MAT degree option is designed for you if 1) you are certified to teach, 2) you have an academic degree in education or education related field (i.e., bachelor's or master's), or 3) you have taught, teach, or plan to teach in a k-12 school or informal education setting.  This program is not intended to lead to educator certification.  Educators are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.

Brief biographies about each of our core faculty members teaching AIP Master Institution-based coursework are available online on the AIP Faculty webpage.

Additionally, faculty, mentors and facilitators from premier institutions in the United States and abroad support AIP students thought their coursework and the development of their Master Plans.  Biographies of these additional faculty members may be found on the Web-Based Learning Community Faculty webpage.