Welcome to the Advanced Inquiry Program

Program Description

The Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) offers a ground-breaking master's degree that combines web-based graduate courses through Miami University with face-to-face experiential and field study at some of the nation's premiere community learning institutions. AIP students are able to share ideas with peers and faculty nationally, while also working directly through their AIP Master Institution to improve local communities through shared investigation and action.  The AIP enables students to join an unprecedented national network of leading institutions committed to social and ecological change. Students learn to use inquiry not only as a method for integrated learning, but as a basic tool for co-creating a better and more sustainable future. AIP Master's candidates also have the option to integrate international field study into their coursework by choosing from Earth Expeditions courses in Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas (7 credits from Earth Expeditions courses can count toward the AIP Master's degree).

The AIP is based on the principle that education should extend beyond the classroom, and that students should make a difference--not just after graduation, but now, as a basic function of education itself.  The AIP curriculum provides real-world experiences that advance district, state, and national educational standards through research-based practices for student achievement in core content areas. The AIP builds on the participatory education approaches of Miami University's Project Dragonfly, which reaches millions of people each year through inquiry-driven programs, public exhibits, and graduate courses worldwide. AIP Master's students practice the skills of investigation, critical reflection, leadership, and collaboration required to effectively address the vital issues of our time.

AIP Master Institutions

ChicagoChicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo
CincinnatiCincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
ClevelandCleveland Metroparks Zoo
DenverDenver Zoo
New YorkWildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo
San DiegoSan Diego Zoo Global
SeattleWoodland Park Zoo*
St. LouisMissouri Botanical Garden (New - More information coming soon!)

Note: the Phoenix Zoo is currently serving AIP students but is not accepting applications for 2018 or beyond.

Feature Video


Enrollment is open to applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree--regardless of academic major or profession--and who are able to travel to an AIP Master Institution, currently located in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, New York City, San Diego, Seattle, and St. Louis. Coursework occurs online with experiential learning at affiliated institutions.

The AIP Master’s can be completed part-time while working. It’s designed for educators and a broad range of professionals from non-profit, business, and government settings.

Degree Options

Applicants elect to enroll in either a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree in the Biological Sciences or a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Biology (see Program Details). MA and MAT candidates go through the Advanced Inquiry Program together.

Miami University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (please see http://miamioh.edu/oue/accreditation/).

Note:Some courses, for example the Earth Expeditions courses, can be taken for stand-alone graduate credit outside the degree program.  Additionally, select courses can be taken for stand-alone graduate credit and can also count toward the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Professional Development Certificate Program (see FAQ's for further information).


Accepted until February 28 each year for enrollment in the subsequent summer.

More Information


Miami University is authorized by the Washington Student Achievement Council and meets the requirements and minimum educational standards established for degree-granting institutions under the Degree-Granting Institutions Act. This authorization is subject to periodic review and authorizes Miami University to offer specific degree programs. The Council may be contacted for a list of currently authorized programs. Authorization by the Council does not carry with it an endorsement by the Council. Any person desiring information about the requirements of the act or the applicability of those requirements to the institution may contact the Council at P.O. Box 43430, Olympia, WA 98504-3430.  For additional information about state authorization and the programs that Miami University is authorized to offer outside of the state of Ohio please visit the university's state authorization webpage at https://miamioh.edu/academics/elearning/admission/state-authorization/index.html.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1010938 and 0610409. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.