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A Master’s Program with San Diego Zoo Global


San Diego Zoo Global’s Conservation Education Division of the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research is partnering with Project Dragonfly at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, to bring an innovative and unique master’s degree program to Southern California.  The Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) is an inquiry-driven learning experience allowing participants to take classes in person from scientists at the Institute for Conservation Research and online from Miami University faculty. AIP is an exciting and affordable way to earn a master’s degree while maintaining full-time work.

The Conservation Education Division has been working to make the Institute’s scientific staff and facilities available to challenge, engage, and inspire students of all ages since 2005. In our state-of-the-art Conservation Education Lab, students, teachers, and others have direct experience with research scientists, gain access to powerful research tools, and are involved in lessons that connect them to the science of conservation in new and exciting ways.

Project Dragonfly reaches millions of people each year through inquiry-driven learning media, public exhibits, and graduate programs worldwide. AIP Master’s students join a growing alliance of education, environmental, and community leaders. The AIP is a one-of-a-kind graduate degree co-delivered by major community institutions committed to local, national, and global change. Project Dragonfly is housed at Miami University, a state university in Oxford, Ohio, established in 1809. Miami, listed as one of the eight original Public Ivies, has a long and distinguished record of excellence in research and teaching in science and education.

Enrollment is open to applicants with a bachelor’s degree regardless of academic major or profession. It is designed for teachers and other professionals interested in community engagement and environmental stewardship. Enrollment is open to applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree, regardless of academic major or profession.

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 (MA, 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 take 21 credit hours through San Diego Zoo Global plus 14 credit hours online through Miami University. Students also complete a master’s portfolio. Up to 7 credit hours from an Earth Expeditions global field course (http://www.earthexpeditions.org) may count toward the degree. The AIP can be completed in 2.5 years taking classes part-time while working.

21 credit hours offered through San Diego Zoo Global will consist of both in-person and web-based instruction and discussions. In-person classes will be held at San Diego Zoo Global campuses (San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park and/or San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research) and other sites throughout San Diego County. An additional 14 credits will be taken online through Miami University.

Click here to view a typical course of study for AIP students.
Click here for San Diego Zoo Global course descriptions and offerings. Details may vary.

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.

More Information
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Program Details
Program Costs
Click on Miami University’s Cost page for further information
How to Apply