Earth Expeditions

EE: Admissions

Who’s eligible?

Earth Expeditions university courses are open to individuals from all disciplines and settings from pre-K-12 teachers, school administrators, and university faculty, to educators and naturalists from non-school settings such as zoos, environmental centers, businesses, youth programs, parks, and museums. The Earth Expeditions Selection Committee — dedicated to creating diverse Earth Expeditions groups — looks for new, mid-career, and senior professionals, educators, and administrators from a broad range of disciplines, backgrounds, and educational settings. Our courses are also open to select undergraduate and graduate students from Miami University. Non-Miami University applicants must be 18 years or older and have a bachelor’s degree. In addition, prior to the first day of class, applicants must have a valid email address and access to a computer with Internet capability. Travel experience is not necessary.

Physical Requirements

For Earth Expeditions courses, students must be in good health and be able to sustain ongoing physical activity. Walking and spending many hours outside should be expected during your field experience. If you have been living a somewhat sedentary lifestyle, we suggest that you begin exercise at least two months before departing on your Earth Expeditions course: walking or hiking is perfect; include a range of flat and hilly terrain in your training. It’s a good idea to walk with a daypack as you will almost always have daily supplies with you during the course.

While most Earth Expeditions are not continuously physically strenuous, they are active.  There will be physical activity every day: swimming in shallow or deeper water while snorkeling, or hiking, sometimes in steep or rugged terrain. If your body is conditioned to this type of exercise, you will have more stamina and be better able to fully enjoy your surroundings and take in the educational opportunities on the trail. Depending on the Earth Expeditions location, environmental factors such as heat, humidity, and altitude can impact your mental and physical capacities. Being physically prepared will help you handle these challenges with a spirit of adventure. Rest assured, educators from their 20s to their 70s have participated fully in Earth Expeditions courses.

Applicants who are successfully admitted into an Earth Expeditions course will complete a health form that must be submitted with other required forms for travel.

Technological Requirements

To sustain communication and learning, Earth Expeditions courses combine face-to-face experiences with online coursework. All students are assigned a Miami University email address and will need regular access to a computer with Internet connection. The web platform that supports our courses is designed specifically for Project Dragonfly to support instructor and peer interactions. Ongoing technical support is available to all program participants.

Application Due Date

The admissions process begins when you submit an application. The Earth Expeditions application is available from early September to the January 28 due date.

Notification of Acceptance

Successful applicants will receive notification of their Earth Expeditions course placement via email by March 15th of every year, and to retain their space they will have 10 days to complete and submit enrollment materials to Miami University.  After accepting their placement, students will be placed in a Web-Based Learning Community where they will be introduced to their instructors and classmates, access the course syllabus and itinerary, complete required forms for travel, and link to their Expedition Planner, which will include a packing list with clothing and gear suggestions, information on travel health, emergency contacts, and the country they will be visiting.  Other pertinent details will also be included.

Accommodations at Earth Expeditions Locations

During Earth Expeditions courses, lodging consists of both comfortable hotels with many conveniences and more modest accommodations. Research field stations may be simple and without frills, and heat or air conditioning may not be available at all locations. In some instances, modern toilet facilities will not be available. Some field sites are far from medical facilities. Clean drinking water will always be provided. Regardless of location, students will be sharing rooms and will be expected to carry their own luggage to and from lodging and transportation.

Tuition and University Credits

  • To support involvement by a broad range of professionals nationally and globally, Miami University discounts tuition for Earth Expedition participants who hold bachelor’s degrees and who are not full-time students at Miami University. Upon successful completion of both the field and Web-based components of the Earth Expeditions course, participants will receive seven graduate credit hours. 
  • Miami University undergraduate students earn five undergraduate credit hours upon successful completion of the field component, with the option to complete two additional undergraduate credits in the fall for the Web component of the course. Miami undergraduates pay tuition for five credit hours unless they have summer tuition waivers or other scholarships.  Miami graduate students are eligible to receive the graduate waivers outlined on our web pages; graduate students earn seven graduate credit hours.
  • All courses are taken for a grade and cannot be taken on a non-credit or pass/fail basis.

2019 Course Cost: $2,750

Tuition for 5 graduate credits plus all basic expenses in the field are covered in the course costs*, including:

  • Meals (incidental snacks and drinks not included)
  • Lodging
  • Field station fees
  • Field equipment (as needed)
  • Ground transportation (van, boat, train, etc., as needed)
  • Park entrance and guide fees
  • Course reader

Course costs do not cover personal expenses, such as gifts, or some ancillary costs, such as passport fees, entry fees and course texts.

Fall project course (web, required): $600. The tuition for this required, 2-credit project course is billed separately in the fall.

Program fees are non-refundable.

Up-to-date estimates of airfare for Earth Expeditions courses will be distributed with enrollment materials to successful applicants.

* Note: Some courses include additional course costs, which are noted under “Course Details” on the individual course webpage.

Financial Support

Because of support from Miami University, the course costs listed above are a fraction of actual program costs. Earth Expeditions recommends that accepted applicants to the program check with their school district or employer to see if professional development funds are available to further offset costs.