Advanced Inquiry Master's Degree Program

The Chicago Zoological Society at Brookfield Zoo and Project Dragonfly at Miami University of Ohio are partnering to bring an exciting new Master’s degree program to the Chicagoland area. The program began in the summer of 2010.

The Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) is an inquiry-driven learning experience allowing participants to take classes in-person from faculty at Brookfield Zoo and online from Miami University faculty. The opportunity to earn seven credits from international travel is another exciting part of the program. And the best news of all – it’s affordable!


Enrollment is open to applicants with a Bachelor’s degree regardless of academic major or profession. It is designed for teachers and other educational professionals.


Applicants elect to enroll in either a Master of Arts in Teaching in Biological Sciences (MAT, designed for certified teachers) or a Master of Arts in Biology (designed for all other professionals) from Miami University. MA and MAT candidates go through the AIP together. Note: The MAT program does not confer a teaching license or certification.


Participants are required to take 21 credit hours at Brookfield Zoo, plus 14 credit hours online through Miami University.  THIS INCLUDES A 4 OR 5 DAY FACE-TO-FACE MEETING DURING EACH SUMMER.  Students will also complete a Master’s portfolio.  Up to 7 credit hours from an Earth Expeditions global field course (www. may count toward the degree.  The AIP can be completed in 2.5 years taking classes on a part-time basis while working.


The AIP curriculum provides real-world experiences that also advance district, state, and national educational standards. AIP Master’s candidates use inquiry not only as a tool for integrated learning, but as a powerful agent for student achievement, public engagement, and ecological stewardship. Participants may choose to develop a portfolio adaptable to National Board Certification.

Program Cost

Estimated Costs
Miami offers substantially reduced fees for AIP courses. Costs are roughly 75% less than full Miami fees. AIP Master Institutions may also charge individual course costs, which vary by course and by institution. The Chicago Zoological Society charges an administrative fee based on the graduate hours in each course.

Click on Miami University's Cost page for further information.

Offsetting Costs
With fees reduced as part of Miami University's support for this program, each AIP course is offered at a fraction of actual costs. Applicants to the program should check with their school district or employer to see if professional development funds are available to further offset costs. Additional tips for grants can be found on the AIP grant tips page.

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Program Details

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For more information,contact Agnes Kovacs at (708) 688-8223 or