FAQs

Admissions
  • Yes. All of the coursework that is completed as part of the course of study occurs online within Dragonfly Workshops, Project Dragonfly’s web-based learning community, so all students will need regular access to a computer and to the Internet. While not required for admission, accepted students often find that possessing a basic familiarity with computer use and comfort with online tools and services is helpful in some of the project work completed throughout the program. Keep in mind that if admitted, your peers, instructors, and Dragonfly’s staff members are all available for help and support.
  • Yes. All coursework occurs on the web; however, students also engage in experiential learning and field work onsite at affiliated AIP Master Institutions, which is an essential and definitive feature of the program. Currently, affiliated AIP Master Institutions are located in Chicago (Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo); Cincinnati (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden); Cleveland (Cleveland Metroparks Zoo); Denver (Denver Zoo); St. Louis (Missouri Botanical Garden); San Diego (San Diego Zoo Global); New York (Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo); and Seattle (Woodland Park Zoo).

  • Because of the field- and web-based nature of the Global Field Program, provided they have regular access to a computer and an Internet connection, our students can live literally anywhere in the world, so you can earn your master’s degree with the GFP from your home state or country! Furthermore, program costs are the same for all GFP students regardless of citizenship or state/country of residence.

  • Admission decision notifications are sent to all applicants with completed application packages, regardless of the decision, by:

    • March 15 for applicants to the Global Field Program
    • April 15 for applicants to the Advanced Inquiry Program

    Admission decisions are sent by email to the email address you used to create your “My Project Dragonfly” account.

  • No.

  • No. The selection committee is looking for a wide cross-section of people — different levels of experience, different ages, different backgrounds.

  • No. Miami University does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, or veterans’ status in its education programs, activities, admissions, or employment policies. All applicants will be considered based on their application materials.

Application to the Program
  • The application process for the Advanced Inquiry Program typically opens on or around September 1 of each year. While applications are accepted through February 28, we encourage you to complete the Miami University Graduate School application portion of your application package by February 18. Doing so will help ensure that your references have time to complete your letters of recommendation and that all materials will be received and processed in a timely manner. More information is on the AIP Apply.

  • The application process for the Global Field Program typically opens on or around September 1st of each year. While applications are accepted through January 28, we encourage you to complete the Miami University Graduate School application portion of your Miami application by January 18. Doing so will help ensure that all materials will be received and processed in a timely manner. More information is on the GFP Apply page.

  • Application components include:

    1) submission of the pre-application
    2) creation and completion of your account in “My Project Dragonfly”
    3) submission of the Miami University Graduate School application, which includes submission of unofficial transcripts, responses to two essay questions, an upload of one’s CV/résumé, and two letters of recommendation.

    More information on each of these three steps is located on the program “Apply” webpage.

  • Admissions Information:
    Choose “Yes” that you are applying to a Graduate Degree Program. Indicate that you plan to enroll in part-time study.

    Have you previously attended Miami as a student?:
    If you have taken any graduate class at Miami University (Earth Expeditions and AIP Web+ classes are considered Miami graduate classes) check the YES box.

    Taking a course for licensure or endorsement:
    If you have selected the MAT as your degree program, please be aware that our MAT does NOT confer a teaching certification or a licensure. Neither does the MA.

    Graduate admissions test:
    No graduate admissions test scores are required for application to the AIP

    Program Choice:
    In the program choice section you may select either Biology (Master of Arts) or Biological Sciences (Master of Arts in Teaching). Select Summer 2020 as your admission term. Please note that you will NOT see “Advanced Inquiry Program” or “Global Field Program” listed here.

    Additional Materials:
    As part of your Graduate School application you will be required to upload the following (.doc, .docx, and .pdf are accepted file types):

    – responses to two essay questions (limit of 250 words each):
    1. How have you translated professional opportunities, classes, or life experiences into your work?
    2. How do you think this experience will benefit your personal life, professional life, and your community?
    – transcripts for each institution you have previously attended

    – a copy of your résumé or CV

    References:
    Please provide the names, institutions, and email addresses for a minimum of two references who have agreed to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf in support of your Graduate School application. The Graduate School application will allow you to list the name and e-mail address of a third reference, but only two letters of recommendation are required to complete your application package.

    While applications are accepted through February 28, we encourage you to complete the Graduate School application portion of your Miami application by February 18. Doing so will help ensure that your references have time to complete your letters of recommendation and that all materials will be received and processed in a timely manner. Your AIP application and references are due February 28. More information is on the AIP Apply page.

  • Yes. When you complete your Graduate School application, you must upload unofficial copies of academic transcripts for each degree and/or stand alone course that you list in the “Academic Information” section of your application.

    Applicants who are offered admission must then submit official copies of their transcripts to the Miami University’s Graduate School before the end of their first semester of study. Please be sure the transcript(s) you upload include your name, the name of the academic institution, the courses you have taken, the grade received in each course, and the dates of attendance. Transcripts documenting your bachelor’s degree must show the degree earned and your final cumulative grade point average.

    Accepted applicants may have official copies of their transcripts submitted electronically to applygrad@miamioh.edu. Hard copies should be sent to:

    The Graduate School
    Miami University
    102 Roudebush Hall
    501 E. High Street
    Oxford, Ohio 45056 USA

  • Yes. As part of the Miami University Graduate School application, you will be prompted to provide the names, institutions, and email addresses for a minimum of two references who have agreed to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf in support of your Graduate School application. The application will allow you to list the name and e-mail address of a third reference, but only two letters of recommendation are required to complete your application package.

    Once you have submitted your Graduate School application and paid the application fee, an automated email containing a direct link to the recommendation system will be generated and sent to each of your references. When your references login, they will access an applicant-specific recommendation form that is pre-populated with your name, email address, and target degree, and they will be prompted to:

    • share their contact details and information on how they know you;
    • rate you on a series of characteristics and attributes; and
    • upload a letter of recommendation.

    To check on the status of a letter of recommendation, you may login to your student application portal and select “Manage your Account.” You will see your recommenders’ names listed and their status.

  • No. You don’t need to take the GRE.

  • For admission to the Miami University Graduate School as a degree candidate with regular standing, you must have earned a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 (4.0 scale) at the institution awarding your bachelor’s degree. Undergraduate course work taken after the completion of your bachelor’s degree will not be considered in determining your grade point average.

  • Yes. While the Miami University Graduate School requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 in order for an applicant to be offered regular graduate admission, individual departments do have the opportunity to petition for conditional admission for applicants whose cumulative GPAs are below this threshold if they are otherwise impressed by the applicant’s qualifications and credentials. While not a required part of the application package, low-GPA applicants may send a personal statement addressing any factors affecting their prior academic history to the Project Dragonfly Graduate Committee for their consideration. Personal statements may be sent to Connie Malone at malonecm@miamioh.edu.

    Please note that petitions for conditional admission are unlikely to be considered if the applicant’s GPA is below 2.5.

  • Because of the field- and web-based nature of the Global Field Program, provided they have regular access to a computer and an Internet connection, our students can live literally anywhere in the world, so you can earn your GFP master’s degree with us from your home country! Non-U.S. citizens would complete the International Application to the Miami University Graduate School; additional application materials/requirements include:

    Proof of English language proficiency through submission of TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores. Applicants who have earned a degree from a country where English is the official language are exempt from submitting proof of English proficiency.

    • Proof of having earned at least a 4-year U.S.-equivalent bachelor’s degree.

    • Records submitted as part of the Graduate School application process that are issued in a language other than English must be accompanied by a literal certified English translation.

    Because international GFP students participate in the program from their home countries, financial and other immigration documents are not required for application.

    Program costs are the same for all GFP students, regardless of citizenship or state/country of residence.

  • Yes! If you would like to be considered for admission to both the Global Field Program and the Advanced Inquiry Program, please:

    1. Complete a Pre-Application for each program (Step 1 on the GFP “Apply” webpage and the AIP “Apply” webpage).
    2. Create and complete two accounts in “My Project Dragonfly” using the program-specific links in Step 2 on the GFP “Apply” webpage and the AIP “Apply” webpage. You will need to use two different e-mail addresses, one for each account.
    3. Send an email message to GFP_Masters@miamioh.edu stating that it is your intention to apply to both programs. Please also share with us which program would be your first choice.

    NOTE: You do NOT need to complete two Graduate School applications (Step 3 on each “Apply” page); a single application will suffice since both degree options (MA in Biology and MAT in the Biological Sciences) are available through both the GFP and the AIP.

  • Yes! If you wish to be considered for admission to the AIP at more than one of our AIP Master Institutions (MI), please indicate your first choice of MI on the account you create in “My Project Dragonfly” and on your application to the Miami University Graduate School; on the Graduate School application, you will also have the opportunity to list each additional MI in order of preference. Please also send an email message to aip_masters@miamioh.edu sharing that you are interested in being considered for admission at more than one MI and again share your list in order of preference.

  • No. It is okay if you have not taken an undergraduate biology course (or its equivalent). This will not affect your application/acceptance to the master’s program. All applicants regardless of their academic background will be considered.

    However, satisfactory completion of one college-level life science course (e.g., general biology, general ecology, etc.) or its equivalent is required to complete the master’s degree. If you are accepted into the program and you have not met this requirement, you will be notified and can then enroll in a biology course during your master’s studies to fulfill the requirement. Dragonfly offers a web-based course, Biology through Inquiry, that fulfills this requirement. Details and additional information on the biology course requirement are available at:

Acceptance to the Program
Costs
  • Prices are subject to annual budget approval and are subject to change. We work with Miami University and all AIP Master Institution affiliates to keep costs down for all participants.

  • Costs are subject to change, but we endeavor to keep costs down for all participants.

  • The AIP and the GFP carry the same tuition rate for out-of-state students as for in-state students. Learn more about costs at each program’s respective “Costs” page:

    AIP Costs

    GFP Costs

  • To qualify for federal student loans and to defer federal student loans, a degree-seeking student must be enrolled half-time (at least five credit hours at the graduate level) in an academic term. Under the current Course of Study/credit hour configuration, this means that many, but not all, semesters’ registration and enrollment can be managed in order to hit this mark.

    During terms in which master’s students are enrolled for 5 or more credit hours, they can apply for a federal student loan by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is possible that they may be granted a federal loan in an amount that would cover most expenses for the 2.5- to 3-year program. Also, at any time during the master’s experience, any student may apply for loans from private financial institutions. More information can be found at Miami University One Stop Other Financial Assistance for Graduate Students.

    All students who take out federal student loans qualify for only one six-month deferment for each particular loan. Students who have not previously used their one-time, six-month deferment are able to defer federal loans beginning in the term in which they are enrolled half-time. Students who have already used their six-month grace period would only be eligible for another six-month grace period on any new loans that have been borrowed.

    Please see Project Dragonfly Financial Aid Information for additional details.

  • 2019 5-credit hour field course (in-country + Web): $2,750 + Airfare.  Some courses include additional course costs, which are noted under “Course Details” on the individual course webpage.

    2019 2-credit hour project course (Web, required): $600

    Tuition and 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. Certain courses also carry with them an additional cost for in-country travel; where applicable, this is noted on the individual course webpage.

    Miami University also requires all international workshop participants to purchase travel health insurance for about $30. (Successful applicants will receive more details in their Web-Based Learning Communty course workshop.) In some classes an additional textbook is required. In some countries, you may have to pay entrance and departure taxes/fees at the airport.

    Once you arrive with the class in-country, you will have no additional charges for hotel, food, or transportation. You are responsible for purchasing incidentals and gifts, and for tipping at your discretion.

  • To support involvement by a broad range of individuals worldwide, Miami University currently offers a reduced tuition rate (included in the price above) for all Earth Expeditions participants who are not full-time students at Miami Unversity.

    Earth Expeditions recommends that accepted applicants to the program check with their employer to see if professional development funds are available to further offset costs.

  • If you decide you cannot participate in an Earth Expeditions course after registering, to receive a refund from Miami University of Tuition only (Administrative and Program fees are non-refundable), you must drop the course by submitting your request to https://prototype.wufoo.com/forms/request-to-dragonfly-graduate-committee/ no later than 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard time on the last business day before the course start date. After this time, tuition is non-refundable.

Coursework
  • Yes. One previous Earth Expeditions field course (7 credit hours) may be transferred towards your master’s. These credits may only be used to replace a portion of the 21 credit hours of AIP W+ courses. For these credits to be applicable toward your AIP degree requirements, you must have:

    1) been accepted to the master’s program.

    2) participated in the AIP for at least one semester.

    3) received a grade of “B” or better in your Earth Expeditions course.

    4) completed both the summer field and fall “Inquiry & Action” components of your Earth Expeditions course, earning a total of 7 credit hours.

    5) taken the course within 5 years of your projected graduation date for the master’s.

    6) completed the Request to Dragonfly Graduate Committee form.

    Note: No more than 7 credit hours of Earth Expeditions courses may be transferred into the AIP. No more than 9 credit hours total may be transferred into the AIP.

  • Up to 7 credit hours of previously taken W+ courses at an AIP Master Institution affiliate may be transferred toward your master’s. These credits may only be used to replace a portion of the 21 credit hours of AIP W+ courses required for the degree. For these credits to be considered toward your degree, you must have:

    1) been accepted to the master’s program.

    2) participated in the master’s program for at least one semester.

    3) received a grade of “B” or better in your transferred course(s).

    4) registered for and received academic credit for the course through Miami University.

    5) taken the course within 5 years of your projected graduation date for the master’s.

    6) completed the Request to Dragonfly Graduate Committee form.

    Note: No more than 7 credit hours of W+ classes, and no more than 11 credit hours total, can be transferred into the master’s program.

  • Yes. BIO 633 Issues in Biodiversity (2 credit hours) is the only Core Course that may be taken outside of the degree program and subsequently transferred towards your master’s degree requirements. These credits count toward the 14 credit hours of required Core Courses. For these credits to be applicable toward your AIP degree requirements, you must have:

    1) been accepted to the master’s program.

    2) participated in the AIP for at least one semester.

    3) received a grade of “B” or better in the course.

    4) taken the course within 5 years of your projected graduation date for the master’s.

    5) completed the Request to Dragonfly Graduate Committee form.

    Note: No more than 2 credit hours of Core Courses may be transferred into the AIP. No more than 9 credit hours total may be transferred into the AIP.

  • Yes. Only one previous Earth Expeditions field course (7 credit hours) may be transferred toward your master’s. For these credits to be applicable toward your GFP degree requirements, you must have:
    1) been accepted to the master’s program.
    2) participated in the GFP for at least one semester.
    3) received a grade of “B” or better in your Earth Expeditions course.
    4) completed both the summer field and fall “Inquiry & Action” components of your Earth Expeditions course, earning a total of 7 credit hours.
    5) taken the course within 5 years of your projected graduation date for the master’s.
    6) completed the Request to Dragonfly Graduate Committee form.

    Note: No more than 7 credit hours of Earth Expeditions courses may be transferred into the GFP. No more than 9 credit hours total may be transferred into the GFP.

  • Yes. Up to 7 credit hours of previously taken AIP Web+ classes may be transferred towards your master’s. Students wishing to transfer 7 credit hours or more of AIP Web+ courses may use them to replace one Earth Expeditions course. Students with fewer than 7 credit hours of AIP Web+ courses may use them to replace BIO 633 Issues in Biodiversity*. For these credits to be applicable toward your GFP degree requirements, you must have:
    1) been accepted to the master’s program.
    2) participated in the GFP for at least one semester.
    3) received a grade of “B” or better in your transferred course(s).
    4) registered for the course(s) through Miami University.
    5) taken the course(s) within 5 years of the projected graduation date for the master’s.
    6) completed the Request to Dragonfly Graduate Committee form.

    Note: No more than 7 credit hours of AIP Web+ courses can be transferred into the GFP. No more than 9 credit hours total may be transferred into the GFP.

    * Students who can demonstrate that they have previously completed a course on evolutionary theory may also have the option of replacing BIO 634 Issues in Evolution.

  • Yes. BIO 633 Issues in Biodiversity (2 credit hours) is the only Core Course that may be taken outside of the degree program and subsequently transferred towards your master’s degree requirements. These credits count toward the 14 credit hours of required Core Courses. For these credits to be applicable toward your GFP degree requirements, you must have:

    1) been accepted to the master’s program.

    2) participated in the GFP for at least one semester.

    3) received a grade of “B” or better in the course.

    4) taken the course within 5 years of your projected graduation date for the master’s.

    5) completed the Request to Dragonfly Graduate Committee form.

    Note: No more than 2 credit hours of Core Courses may be transferred into the GFP. No more than 9 credit hours total may be transferred into the AIP.

  • No.

  • Field courses require a moderate amount of walking and similar (not excessive) activity.

  • Possibly. When transferring credits from Miami University to other institutions, the receiving institution bears ultimate responsibility for the type and number of credits that may be transferred.

  • GFP students are required to take a total of 21 credit hours centered around Earth Expeditions courses and a total of 14 credit hours of core web-based courses. You can find the GFP course of study and a list of required classes by year on the Course of Study page. All students are required to take one of two introductory field methods Earth Expeditions courses in their first year. In the following two summers, students rank their Earth Expeditions course selections, and we work hard to place them in one of their top three choices. We place more than 400 students every summer in our international courses, so, as you can imagine, ensuring everyone’s first choice would be a difficult task. And while travel is an important and transformative part of the GFP, even more important is the collaborative change, environmental partnerships, and connection that occurs in all of our Earth Expeditions courses. In addition to the fact that our students can live anywhere in the world and take our courses, the program’s flexibility lies within a student’s ability to self-direct each project he or she takes on within the framework of the course structure, to guide his or her own degree experience.

  • No. While you can take the same course twice within the Global Field Master’s Program, you cannot take two Earth Expeditions simultaneously. One of the objectives of the GFP is to not only provide content knowledge on inquiry, community-based global conservation and participatory education issues, but to also develop our students as whole people. Through journaling and other means, Earth Expeditioners are encouraged to reflect on their experiences at these key conservation sites and, upon returning home, take time to process what they’ve done and learned, internalize these lessons and then incorporate them into a more mindful way of being in the classroom, on the job and in the world generally. This takes time, and each Earth Expedition is unique in what you will take from it. Taking one Earth Expedition at a time allows the lessons and experiences of that place to settle and become part of who you are in the world.

  • The GFP will offer an Advanced Field option for each field site, allowing participants to take up to two courses in the same location during different years. For approval, you will need to submit a letter stating your goals to the Project Dragonfly Graduate Committee when requesting to your next Earth Expedition course. Taking the Advanced Field course will require specific educational objectives that clearly show how the opportunity to go to the same country twice will help you advance your program of study.

  • For the Earth Expeditions courses that GFP students take as part of their course of study, students must be in good health and be able to sustain moderate 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 moderate exercise at least two months before departing on your Earth Expeditions course: walking or hiking is perfect; including 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, students from their 20s to their 70s have participated fully in Earth Expeditions courses.

  • Although most students generally complete the degree in 2.5 to 3 years, because of varying and individual circumstances some students may need to take longer, which is fine. Per Miami University Graduate School requirements, all master’s level students must complete their requirements for the master’s degree by December 31 of their fifth year of study; in other words, a student admitted in 2020 has until December 31, 2025 to complete the degree requirements.

  • All AIP courses, 100%, are delivered online by a Miami University instructor. AIP Web+ classes, which make up approximately two-thirds of the coursework AIP students complete as part of their course of study, also include up to five days (or equivalent) per course of experiential learning on the grounds of their Master Institution.

  • Students complete a range of projects as they complete their degree work. For example, all students complete a Professional Media Workshop to prepare a manuscript or other media for a professional outlet. To see a list of published articles authored by our students, click here.

Miscellaneous
  • Both the AIP and GFP seek to create an alliance of professionals who use inquiry and other forms of participatory education to improve human and ecological communities. Both programs support collaborative engagement. Both are based on the premise that “making a difference” should be woven into the fabric of education–through practice. This practice (which is astonishingly rare in conventional educational settings) requires expanding learning beyond the classroom, tackling real-world issues, and supporting shared knowledge creation and shared action. So in terms of their approach, both programs have much in common.

    However, the AIP and GFP differ fundamentally in their focus. The GFP is clearly globally focused and includes primary and intensive learning experiences abroad. The AIP is locally focused with primary and intensive learning experiences in communities where AIP Master Institutions are located.

    The distinction goes deeper however, because it is not based on academic content alone: the fundamental delivery system, settings, partnerships, and social networks differ as well. It is the AIP Master Institutions themselves, the learning experiences and the community-connections they create, that distinguish the AIP from the GFP. The AIP degree is a multi-institutional construct that will be shaped in ways that are not possible through the GFP, shaped by the unique mission, history, social value, resources, and people of each AIP Master Institution. The AIP degree creates a national network of AIP Master Institutions, allowing for direct cross-fertilization of ideas and practices. The AIP is not only provides a “local curriculum,” it is a uniquely co-owned national experiment, one with considerable potential to create partnerships and cross-training, and to evolve as more successful pedagogical variations are assessed and communicated across participating institutions over time.

  • An integral feature of this online program is collaborative work and interaction with peers and instructors in web communities. Each AIP course joins students with the MA/MAT team and instructors in web-based classes. For an overview of the web platform, visit Dragonfly Workshops.

  • As a feature of every Earth Expeditions course, students join their colleagues and instructors in Dragonfly Workshops’ Web-Based Learning Community. Topics, discoveries, and ideas that arise from face-to-face encounters within your Earth Expeditions experience are extended through semester-long learning communities on the Web. From home or work, and on their own schedule, students interact with each other and with Earth Expeditions instructors in a seminar-style discussion in this collaborative Web-Based Learning Community. For a few hours a week, students discuss course assignments, develop and present projects, and exchange ideas on the Web.

    To get an overview of the Web platform, visit www.dragonflyworkshops.org.

  • As a feature of this program, students join the MA/MAT team and instructors in Dragonfly Workshops’ Web-Based Learning Community. For an overview of the web platform, visit dragonflyworkshops.miamioh.edu.

  • Advanced Inquiry Program master’s students select from two degree options: either an MA in Biology or an MAT in the Biological Sciences. In terms of the course of study, there is little difference between the two. MA and MAT candidates go through the Advanced Inquiry Program together, oftentimes in the same classes. And while those who do not currently hold a teaching license are generally advised to select the MA program, which option an applicant chooses is largely based on his or her academic background and/or current profession or professional objectives (please also see “Does the MAT degree also include teaching licensure?” below).

    Generally, students working toward a Master of Arts (MA) integrate biologically focused projects, while those working on a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) may have a focus on education. The program is self-directed and, in large part, projects are a result of the specific audience, your efforts, and your own personal and professional goals in the program. The big-picture difference between the two degrees is that fulfillment of project assignments for an MAT may include exploration of the biological sciences through lesson plans and work with student populations as your audience. However, for the MA, graduate students are asked to focus on zoological conservation and life science projects outside of the typical lesson plan, curriculum or traditional classroom experience. That said, overlap between the disciplines of biology and education is also encouraged and expected in this program. The main expectation is that you will be deliberate about aligning your degree, Master Plan, and professional goals in ways that make sense for you.

  • No. The MAT degree option is designed for you if 1) you are certified to teach, 2) you have an academic degree in education or education related field (i.e., bachelor’s or master’s), or 3) you have an interest in education or have taught, teach, or plan to teach in a k-12 school or informal education setting. This master’s 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.

  • It depends. Each state has different requirements for certification. Please check with your State Department of Education or your local university’s College of Education or similar department to find out the details for your area.

  • Brief biographies about each of our core team members who direct the on-site component of AIP Web with Experiential Learning (WEL) courses are available on the AIP Team webpage.

    Additionally, instructors, mentors, and facilitators from premier learning institutions in the United States and abroad support AIP students throughout their coursework and the development of their Master Plans. Biographies of these additional faculty members may be found on the Web-Based Learning Community Team webpage.

  • Student Disability Services (SDS) at Miami University provides a number of reasonable accommodations and resources to support Dragonfly master’s students who have disabilities. To learn more visit Miami’s Student Disability Services website.

  • Student Disability Services (SDS) at Miami University provides a number of reasonable accommodations and resources to support Dragonfly master’s students who have disabilities. To learn more visit Miami’s Student Disability Services website.

  • Based on the information that has been shared with us by Miami University’s “H.O.M.E.” (Housing Options, Meals and Events) office, which issues student ID cards, the deciding factor as to whether or not a GFP student may receive a student ID card from Miami is whether or not the card serves a functional purpose to the student on campus (e.g. door access, pay for print, vending sales, etc.) If any student in the program will need to utilize services on campus, then the issuance of a Miami University photo ID is certainly possible. But if the card would not fulfill a functional need on campus for the student, a card will not be issued. For non-official purposes (reduced rates at conferences, organizational membership at the student level, etc.), Project Dragonfly can prepare a letter for you that verifies your enrollment and standing in the master’s program. Enrollment verification for official purposes (such as student loan deferment) must be obtained through the National Student Clearinghouse – please see the Enrollment Verification page for instructions and information.

  • Miami University’s Project Dragonfly has partnered with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) to expand AZA’s professional development opportunities. In March 2013, Project Dragonfly and Miami became an official AZA Learning Partner. Now, a suite of Dragonfly’s graduate courses count toward earning a Certificate in AZA’s Professional Development Program. The Certificate program organizes training opportunities into concentrations, such as behavioral husbandry, conservation and research, and education and interpretation. Dragonfly courses that count toward an AZA Certificate are noted on Earth Expeditions and by contacting individual AIP Master Institutions.

    Zoo and aquarium professionals looking for additional training opportunities may visit the AZA’s website to learn more about additional courses, webinars, and conferences that can help enrich their careers. Interested professionals can learn more at the AZA Professional Development page.

  • Miami University’s Project Dragonfly has partnered with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) to expand AZA’s professional development opportunities. In March 2013, Project Dragonfly and Miami became an official AZA Learning Partner. Now, a suite of Dragonfly’s graduate courses count toward earning a Certificate in AZA’s Professional Development Program. The Certificate program organizes training opportunities into concentrations, such as behavioral husbandry, conservation and research, and education and interpretation. Dragonfly courses that count toward an AZA Certificate are noted on the Earth Expeditions website and by contacting individual AIP Master Institutions.

    Zoo and aquarium professionals looking for additional training opportunities may visit the AZA’s website to learn more about additional courses, webinars, and conferences that can help enrich their careers. Interested professionals can learn more at the AZA Professional Development page.

  • Brief biographies about each of our core faculty members teaching the summer Earth Expeditions are available online on the Earth Expeditions Faculty webpage.

    Additionally, faculty, mentors, and facilitators from premier institutions in the United States and abroad support GFP students thought their coursework and the development of their Master Plans. Biographies of these additional faculty members may be found on the Web-Based Learning Community Faculty webpage.

  • Because the AIP and GFP are designed for working professionals, many students and grads stay in their position but change the nature of their work, or create a new position within the same institution. Others use their master’s experience to become more highly qualified for new careers and jobs at other places. The students and jobs span a range of arenas, including formal education, nonprofit, government, and business. Project Dragonfly graduate students include professionals working in conservation organizations, non-profits, businesses, parks, government agencies, schools and more. Because our students are so diverse, interactions among all of our grad students often lead to new ideas for implementing conservation education programs locally and globally.

    In large part, students drive their own master’s experience through projects they design, so where a student ends up depends on where he or she wants to go. But students also develop specific content knowledge and skills in biodiversity threats and conservation, evolution, community engagement, inquiry-based education, science writing and publishing, and leadership, among many others. These skills can be beneficial in a current work environment or help prepare a master’s student for a new career. Both the AIP and the GFP provide students with academic preparation in the life sciences, innovative research experiences, and opportunities to generate and apply knowledge in diverse community contexts.

  • Click here to see brief biographies about each of our core faculty members.

  • If you can’t find your answers on the Earth Expeditions Web site or here in the FAQs, please feel free to email your questions to earthexpeditions@miamioh.edu or contact Project Dragonfly‘s main office at 513.529.8576.

Application/Admissions
  • Earth Expeditions courses are 7 graduate credit hour (5 credit Summer Term courses + 2 credit Fall Semester courses) online courses that combine direct global study experiences in Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas with engagement in Dragonfly Workshops’ web-based learning community.  Courses typically run from April through mid-December, with the international field “in-country” portion of each class typically lasting 9-10 days.

  • Applications are accepted beginning in September and are accepted until the January 28th due date.  For more information, please see Admissions.

  • Please see Admissions.

  • After you submit your application, a selection committee will review your application materials. The selection committee will be looking carefully at your entire application. Of particular importance are your essays. The committee is looking for a wide cross-section of people — different levels of experience, different ages, different kinds of educators from school and non-school settings — to accept into the program.

  • No. You need not have won any awards or traveled at all. The selection committee is looking for a wide cross-section of people — different levels of experience, different ages, different backgrounds, different kinds of educators from school and non-school settings — to accept into the program. Our courses are also open to select undergraduate and graduate students from Miami University. Please also see Admissions.

  • Yes. Earth Expeditions courses have physical requirements.

    Please see Admissions.

  • Yes. The Earth Expeditions application is usually available on the Web from fall to the January 28 due date.

  • Absolutely. Please click here to see who is eligible. We strive for individuals from all disciplines and backgrounds.

  • All applicants will receive their admission decision notification via email by March 15 of each year.

  • Yes. However, participation in an Earth Expeditions course does not guarantee a spot in future courses.

  • In order to apply to the program, Earth Expeditions applicants must have a valid email address and access to a computer with an Internet connection. If accepted to the program, all coursework (with the exception of the 9-10 day field-based component) takes place within Dragonfly Workshops. an easy-to-use web-based platform. From home or work, and on their own schedule, students work online with course instructors and classmates to discuss course assignments, develop and present projects, and exchange ideas. Although our courses have technological requirements, lacking a personal computer and/or Internet access will not hinder your chance of being accepted to the program; however, they are essential for success in this online program. If you are accepted to Earth Expeditions, you will be issued a Miami University email address, which you are required to use. Remember: the web-based component of this course is managed according to your own schedule, so you may be able to use a computer with Internet access at your place of employment or at a public library. Don’t let the technological requirements bar you from applying. But remember that you’ll need to have access to a computer with Internet capability for a minimum of one to three hours a week.

  • No. Whether you live in Cincinnati, Nepal, or Honolulu, your place of residence does not affect whether you are accepted to any Earth Expeditions course. It does not matter where you live or work.

  • No. You need not have taken classes or be a graduate of Miami to apply. Please click here to see who is eligible.

  • No. Miami University is committed to providing equal opportunity and an educational and work environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, or veteran status. Miami shall adhere to all applicable state and federal equal opportunity/affirmative action statutes and regulations. All applicants will be considered based on their application materials.

Grades/Credit Hours
Course Travel/Meeting Dates
  • Please see each individual course webpage for specific dates for the in-country field portion of the course — AmazonAustraliaBajaBelizeBrazilBorneoCosta RicaGalápagosGuyanaHawai’iIndiaKenyaMongoliaNamibiaParaguay, and Thailand. All Earth Expeditions students will also be part of their course’s Web-Based Learning Community from April to early December.

    The field portion of each Earth Expeditions course lasts 9 or 10 days.  Students traveling long distances should plan to add an addition 1 or 2 days of travel to this timeframe.

  • Airfare costs change frequently. To estimate fares to any of our locations, interested applicants may wish to visit an online fare finder (such as Travelocity, Expedia, or Orbitz), or call a travel agent. Bear in mind that airlines have seasonal fluctuations in fares and many factors may influence your final airfare pricing. Earth Expeditions allows you the option of flying on your own, and not as a group, to assist you in saving on airfare costs. Following acceptance, you will receive details on your instructors’ flights should you be interested in finding a similar airline itinerary.

  • Yes; however, accepted applicants will receive further information about traveling to their course destinations. If you are accepted to an Earth Expeditions course, you are responsible for making your own travel arrangements to the specified city within the country of your Earth Expeditions. It is also each student’s individual responsibility to meet the class at the specified time and location. Due to the complexities of group travel and logistical constraints such as hotel and transport reservations, the class cannot wait for tardy students. We require that students arrive in their destination country by our designated meeting time to ensure that they join the class at the specified time and location.

  • If you are accepted to an Earth Expeditions course, you will be provided with a wealth of information you’ll need to travel abroad with the program. Miami University requires that students traveling outside the U.S. purchase travel insurance, which costs about $28, and carry a valid passport. But again, if you’re accepted to a course, you’ll be provided with all the necessary information.

    For information about passports, visas, travel advisories, and other detailed travel information, check out the U.S. State Department’s Web site at www.state.gov/travel/.

    To access information about traveler’s health and vaccines, take a look at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Web site at www.cdc.gov and under the heading “Health and Safety Topics,” click on “Travelers’ Health” or “Vaccines & Immunizations.”

  • Please see Admissions page

Is This for Me?
  • “I started the AIP master’s eight months pregnant and also had a 3- and a 2-year-old and was a full-time teacher. When you find something you love and are passionate about, you make it work. I graduated this past December and loved everything the AIP master’s taught me. … It is a worthwhile program and gears toward your individual passions!”
    – Adrienne C., AIP graduate from Cleveland, Ohio

    (replying to Adrienne C.) “I just graduated from the GFP master’s and think you hit on the most important aspect of the work load. If you’re enrolling in a program like this, the chances are you’re incredibly passionate about what you’re studying. While the workload can become heavy at times on top of other responsibilities, that passion definitely keeps driving you. That and the support of a great community filled with other people who share your passion.”
    – Mike R., GFP graduate from Fair Lawn, N.J.

    “I found that the course work provided an escape from the day-to-day demands of my job as a teacher. I looked forward to losing myself in my courses. They were almost like therapy. I looked at the summer Earth Expeditions courses as not only academic growth but personal growth, as well. I learned so much about myself and gained confidence that I never would have found had it not been for this program. It is amazing how much the program becomes a part of your life. … I could not picture my life without Project Dragonfly.”
    – Leah C., GFP graduate from Batesville, Ind.

    (replying to Leah C.) “Great post, Leah – I, too, found it an escape into another professional life to talk science with peers not high school students. Nice to hear the perspectives of other formal and informal educators – I think we respect each other’s jobs more as well.”
    – Kimberly L., GFP graduate from Jackson, Ohio

    “There are many grad programs out there (physical and online) but how many can CHANGE your life? This one will. There is not a week (or sometimes day) that goes by where I don’t reference (verbally or in the quiet of my mind) the wonderful experiences I’ve had and friendships I’ve made because of this program. Time management is key to survival, but that is with any program you will undertake. Mine was 9-11:30 pm most nights + some weekend time after all other things were done (job, grading, kids, family, exercise, etc). It is not meant to be easy. Life is work.”
    – Kimberly L., GFP graduate from Jackson, Ohio

    “I held down two part-time jobs and one full-time job while I was an AIP student. The biggest factors in my success were the support of the folks in my cohort and the support of our advisor. Outside of that group, however, the entire Dragonfly community was also very supportive, and I made great connections with people I’ve never even met in real life. That cheerleading will push you through the tough stuff for sure! The other key piece, which a lot of folks have already mentioned, is time management. It’s a big part of surviving trying to balance the program and life. I typically tried to devote my Saturdays and any downtime to working on things, even if my downtime was just a few minutes here and there. It can be challenging at times, but when you finish and get that diploma it will be one of your proudest life events! This program was truly life-changing for me, and I’m so glad I chose AIP!”
    – Victoria B., AIP graduate from Alliance, Ohio

    “In the words of Nike: ‘Just do it.’”
    – Suzanne H., AIP student from San Diego, Calif.

    “I was a GFP student. Not going to say it was not a real challenge. I am going to say that EVERYONE is supportive. Anything important is possible if you break it down into small chunks…and that’s what this program does…. And it’s really about the circle of classmates that are facing the same challenges you are facing. The opportunities outweigh the challenges. DO IT!!”
    – Kati M., GFP graduate from Bellbrook, Ohio

    “Let’s just say, if I can work 4 part-time jobs and graduate on time, you can, too! As long as you commit the right amount of time for each class, it is doable! The support system is fantastic and know that you aren’t in this alone!”
    – Megan F., GFP graduate from Cincinnati, Ohio

    “Time management is sooo important and perhaps the biggest challenge! Not watching TV helps!! It helps me to set aside a little time every day for coursework, even if just 45 minutes. I’ve been known to use a few work vacation days to dedicate to big projects/papers. Sometimes using vacation time is the only way I can get a big chunk of time (while my daughter is with child care) to focus on school projects without the distractions of being a mom.”
    – Jamie D., GFP graduate from Schnecksville, Penn.

    “I am 6 months pregnant, in my first year teaching, mother of one 7-year-old, and have a very needy husband….but I am so happy to be starting my 3rd semester with the AIP program! The workload is very doable and the classes you choose are very flexible. It is a very realistic program for busy people!! And the experiential learning on-grounds is amazing!!”
    – Amanda C., AIP student from Oceanside, Calif.

    “My son was 6 when I started this program, and I actually found ways to involve him, his classmates and his friends in some of my projects. It took away some of that mommy guilt. The 10-day expeditions in the summer proved to be a challenge since my husband owns a restaurant and works 7 days a week, but my family and friends were so supportive and pitched in to help! It was an awesome experience and worth every sacrifice and late night cup of coffee!”
    – Amy T., GFP graduate from Port Huron, Mich.

    “I did an EE course with an 18-month-old and pregnant with my second. The course work was a lot of work, but it felt like good, solid work that would help my teaching. So, I didn’t mind doing it at night. The 10-day Belize trip itself was amazing, and I still refer back to it in my classroom (4+ years later!). I would highly recommend this program. The teachers are amazing, and the fellow students are equally amazing. It’s a lot of work but so so so rewarding!”
    – Danielle B., Earth Expedition student from Yarmouth, Maine

  • “I think I am one of the old ladies in the crowd. I started in the program at 54. I had just started my first year as an elementary school principal. I won’t tell you it wasn’t extremely challenging to juggle a full-time career and this adventure in learning, but I wouldn’t change a moment of it. I met amazing people I still connect with, I traveled to places few people have the privilege to see, and I learned more than I ever have in my life. If you are worried, don’t be. Project Dragonfly is there for you!!!”
    – Priscilla S., GFP graduate from Dover, Idaho

    “I finished my undergrad in 1986 and was 49 when I started the GFP. I never felt like I did not fit in, and in my experience all of the instructors and other students have been extremely helpful. The program is all about helping others succeed. But honestly I did feel overwhelmed when I was taking two classes while working full time, so I just decided to stretch things out a bit and take an extra year to complete the program. This was a good decision for me, and I am very happy with the program.”
    – Pam M., GFP student from Blanco, Texas

    “What can I say that everyone else hasn’t? Good things come to those who wait. I waited 15 years before I went back and applied to be a part of the AIP, and I’m so glad I did. I can’t say enough about the support I received from my classmates and instructors.”
    – Kendell M., AIP graduate from Mentor, Ohio

    “Yes, you will! Be prepared to meet some awesome people, both students and instructors!”
    – Sam B., GFP student from Berwyn, Ill.

    “If it makes you feel any better, I received my Master’s degree in the GFP in December of 2014. I received my undergraduate degree in 1991. Some of you might be able to relate to the fact that the Internet did not exist when I attended college the first time. HAHA! However, I completed the GFP in 2 and 1/2 years, while working full-time and loved every minute of it. The learning atmosphere is very supportive. Believe me, if I can do it, so can you!”
    – Leah C., GFP graduate from Batesville, Ind.

    “The simple answer is DEFINITELY. This program especially is so warm and welcoming and supportive. Anyone of any background or age will be accommodated and guided through every hurdle.”
    – Sarah C., AIP graduate from Bothell, Wash.

    “I am pretty sure I was the youngest in my AIP Cohort and had graduated with my B.S. just 14 days before my first class at the Cincinnati Zoo. We had a variety of ages in our cohort and every single one of us ‘fit in.’ It doesn’t matter when the last time you were in school… this program is for everyone!”
    – Mary R., AIP graduate from Fairborn, Ohio

    “Yes. And this will sound boring and insignificant, but the learning platform used in this program is ‘long-time-since-in-school’ friendly and clearly has the end user in mind. I’ve seen some horrible online platforms that my friends and relatives have to use for their grad programs. Also, you will be so fascinated and engaged with the content and topics that the work is hardly ‘work.’ You are not just paying to go through the motions for a degree. You grow and develop and leave with enlightenment and integrity. You will fit in. If you are reading this… this program is for you.”
    – Tessa T., AIP graduate from Richfield, Ohio

  • “I can’t believe the first 2 semesters have gone by so fast! So it doesn’t feel like it’s gonna take long.”
    – Sarah S., AIP student from Peoria, Ariz.

    “2.5 years, teaching middle school and two pregnancies!”
    – Eric D., AIP graduate from Canfield, Ohio

    “I completed my degree in two-and-a-half years while I continued teaching elementary school full time.”
    – Kendell M., AIP graduate from Mentor, Ohio

    “I will be taking 4 years to complete. Taking 2 online classes and working full time is pretty work intensive. I wanted to get the most out of it. It is all about the journey for me.”
    – Lisa H., GFP student from Cincinnati, Ohio

    “I’m a busy mom with two small kids and completed my degree in 2 and a half years.”
    – Sarah C., AIP graduate from Bothell, Wash.

    “Took me 3.5 years because I had a summer baby. It made a couple of semesters a little more doable (teaching full time).”
    – Angela Y., GFP graduate from Lakewood, Ohio

    “2.5 years for me, it was too fast”
    – Joseph O., AIP graduate from Doylestown, Penn.

    “It took me 2.5 yrs, and during this time I worked 3 jobs simultaneously, single-handedly planned both my wedding and honeymoon and still had a good time!!”
    – Ashley P., GFP graduate from Hillsboro, Ore.

    “I finished my degree in 2.5 years. Yes, as others have said, it was intense, but it was also amazing and so worth it. I was working full time, and during the final year I actually moved overseas for the first time to start teaching internationally.”
    – Joey F., GFP graduate from Vienna, Va.

    “It took me 3.5 years, beginning to end, but only because I had to postpone my second Earth Expeditions course. I was due to have our first child the same month I was scheduled to go to Namibia (August 2010). I figured that it probably wasn’t a good idea… I completed all other semesters on time, even with the baby and working full time. It was challenging but doable. And I miss it terribly.”
    – Mandy R., GFP graduate from Trafford, Penn.

    “Completed in 2.5 years while working full time – it was NOT easy, but I did it!”
    – Heather L., AIP graduate from North Ridgeville, Ohio

    “This degree is meant for working people. I worked a full-time job and (last semester only) worked part time as well. I finished in 2.5 years and miss all the learning.”
    – Traci S., GFP graduate from Lake Worth, Fla.

    “I started the program three months after finding out I was expecting our first baby. I had her during winter break of my first year. It was challenging at times but I was able to complete the degree in 2.5 years. Looking back, it was my fastest 2.5 years of school.”
    – Courtney G., AIP graduate from Amelia, Ohio

    “Worked full time and part time (2 jobs) and completed like above…2.5 yrs. flies by!”
    – Natalie L., AIP graduate from Hoffman Estates, Ill.

  • “Believe it or not, I have been ‘pay-as-I-go.’ ”
    – Jennifer H., GFP student from Longwood, Fla.

    “Check to see if your employer offers tuition reimbursement. I was lucky in that my employer offered $3,500 per year for graduate school. That was more than enough to cover each year of the AIP program.”
    – Amy T., AIP graduate from Goshen, Ohio

    “I was able to pay as I went. I charged the tuition, which I found reasonable, and then worked hard to pay it off before the next semester. The cost is drastically reduced. I did not have a single loan. Also, I was able to write it off on my taxes.”
    – Perky S., GFP graduate from Dover, Idaho

    “With reduced fees as part of Miami University’s support for this program, each master’s course is offered at a fraction of actual costs. But we know students sometimes need additional help! Check out our Grant Tips page.”
    – Project Dragonfly