Master's Degree Advanced Inquiry Program

The Chicago Zoological Society at Brookfield Zoo and Project Dragonfly at Miami University from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, partner to bring an exciting 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 and online 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 a variety of working professionals and individuals that are interested in conservation and education.


Applicants elect to enroll in either a Master of Arts in Teaching in Biological Sciences or a Master of Arts in Biology 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. Al 35 hours have a web component. BROOKFIELD ZOO COURSES INCLUDE 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.


Download a copy of  the Scope and Sequence (Microsoft Excel) for a typical course of study for a Master's student in the Advanced Inquiry Program. (Download a PDF version here.)

View Course Descriptions

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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Click the button below for a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

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Program Details

Click the button below for more details about the Advanced Inquiry Program.

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Applications are accepted September 1 - February 28. Please add your name to our mailing list to receive updates.

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