Enrollment is open to applicants with a Bachelor’s degree regardless of academic major or profession. The AIP is designed for a variety of working professionals and individuals interested in advancing their careers in education and conservation, and can be completed in 2.5 to 5 years taking classes part-time while working.



21 credit hours at Woodland Park Zoo + 14 credit hours taken with AIP Master’s students nationwide via web-based learning communities. All 35 hours have a web component. Students also complete a Master’s portfolio. Up to 7 credit hours from an Earth Expeditions global field course ( may count toward the degree.


Course of Study

Sample Graduate Course Topics

  • Foundations of Inquiry
  • Zoo Expedition: Habitats, Adaptation & Evolution to Zoo Expeditions: Animal Behavior & Conservation
  • Perspectives in Environment & Culture
  • Global Biomes
  • Engaging Communities in Conservation Solutions
  • Northwest Wildlife Conservation


AIP Course Overview

Current AIP Courses


Annual Cost Estimate

The following information shows estimated costs for Year 1 in the AIP Master's Program:

Miami University (MU)
Web-based courses
Credit and Administrative Fees ($455 per 2-credit)

6 credits



Woodland Park Zoo (WPZ)
zoo-based courses 

WPZ course costs ($120 per credit) + MU credit and administrative fees ($224 per 1-credit and $621 per 3-credit course)

7 credits


Estimated total (Year 1)


13 credits

$1,365     $2,306      $3,671


Approximately $3,560/year for the cost of credit and administrative fees. Miami University offers substantially reduced fees for AIP courses. Under the current financial model, candidates who enroll this year will save more than $24,000 for out-of-state costs for the degree.

Similar costs are expected for each year of the program, but prices are subject to change. Allow extra for miscellaneous costs such as textbooks, minimal tech fees, and travel to Woodland Park Zoo.



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 Project Dragonfly’s program details). MA and MAT candidates go through the Advanced Inquiry Program together. 



Approved for Certification or Endorsements?

Degree authorization details

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. Prospective Washington State students are also advised to contact the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction at 360.725.6275 or to determine whether this education program is approved for endorsements in Washington State.

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.

Association of Zoos & Aquariums Professional Certificate

Select Advanced Inquiry Program courses may count toward the Association of Zoo & Aquariums’ Professional Certificate Program 


Frequently Asked Questions

WPZ’s FAQ page

Project Dragonfly’s FAQ page


AIP Faculty and Community

Co-delivered by faculty at Miami University and Woodland Park Zoo professional education staff, the AIP combines graduate courses at the zoo with web-based learning communities that connect you to a broad network of professionals from education, conservation, business, and government settings.

Project Dragonfly reaches millions of people each year through inquiry-driven learning media, public exhibits, graduate programs, and conservation partnerships worldwide. AIP Master’s students join a growing alliance of education, environmental, and community leaders. The AIP is a first-of-its-kind graduate degree co-delivered by major community institutions committed to local, national, and global change.

Explore more:

FacultyImpact on Students



Accepted until February 28 for summer enrollment. Click here to apply.



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