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Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP)

Get Your Master’s Degree at Denver Zoo

Graduate Students

Denver Zoo and Miami University in Ohio are excited to bring an opportunity for working professionals who are passionate about conservation to earn their master’s degree in the zoo and conservation setting. AIP Master's students practice the skills of investigation, critical reflection, leadership, and collaboration required to effectively address vital issues.

Information Night

January 20, 2016
6 - 8:00 p.m. - Gates Education Building

Want to learn more about how to advance your higher education and make a difference for communities and conservation?  Join us for an informal information session at Denver Zoo to learn more about the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) and how you can earn your Master’s degree with Denver Zoo. No registration needed for this event.

For more information, contact  


Do you have a passion for conservation?  Do you have a desire to make an impact on your community? Denver Zoo is excited to offer the opportunity for adults to further their higher education as well as become catalysts for global conservation and active stewards for Denver Zoo's mission. Denver Zoo has partnered with Miami University in Ohio to offer this unique academic opportunity for education professionals to earn a Master's degree in the zoo and conservation setting. AIP is based on the principle that education should extend beyond the classroom, and that students should make a difference--not just after graduation, but now, as a basic function of education itself. AIP Master's students practice the skills of investigation, critical reflection, leadership, and collaboration required to effectively address vital issues. AIP Master's candidates use inquiry and the power of investigation not only as a tool for integrated learning, but as a powerful agent for student achievement, public engagement in science, and ecological stewardship.

What is AIP?

The Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP) is a one-of-a-kind Master's Degree program for working professionals who want to develop their inquiry-based skills while striving to affect positive social change in their local community. Co-delivered by Denver Zoo and Miami University's ProjectDragonfly, AIP combines graduate courses at the Zoo with web-based learning communities that connect you to a broad network of educators, conservationists and community leaders.


Enrollment is open to applicants with a Bachelor's degree regardless of academic major or profession. It is designed for all adults looking to pursue a degree in higher education and who have a passion to conservation and community. 


Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in the Biological Sciences*, designed for licensed K-12 teachers

Master of Arts (MA) in Biology, for all non-licensed, informal educators or other professionals

* The MAT degree does not confer a teaching certificate

Estimated Yearly Cost: 

Year 1= $3,100; Year 2= $3,400; Year 3= $2,750

*Costs are estimates and subject to change based on your specific schedule and increased course costs. These estimates include both Denver Zoo and Miami University's costs.

What Makes the AIP Program so unique?

• By using Denver Zoo as your classroom, you will earn 21 credit hours at Denver Zoo or field sites around the Rocky Mountain region and 14 credit hours taken online through Miami University.
• This program is ideal for working adults who want to further their professional and personal growth but cannot commit to a full time academic schedule.
• This program is an affordable Master's degree with yearly expenses being approximately $3,000 per year for basic tuition and fees, much less than other Colorado institutions offering Master's programs. That cost savings represents an 85 percent reduction in costs compared to a typical Miami University degree for students who reside outside Ohio.


Brief Sample of Graduate Courses

Online Courses

Courses at the Zoo

Conservation, Science, & Communities

Foundations of Inquiry (Required, week-long course in Mid-June)

Biology in the Age of Technology

Global Biomes (Saturdays in Fall)

Issues in Biodiversity

Human Dimensions in Conservation​ (Saturdays in Spring)

Issues in Evolution

Animal Behavior and Conservation (Saturdays in Summer)

Leadership in Scientific Inquiry

Impact of Environmental and Informal Education (Saturdays in Fall)


Advanced Inquiry Program


Apply here for the AIP Program


Application Process open until February 28, 2016.

For more details, please contact Molly Maloy,


Spring Registration - October 1-31 


Graduate Research: Human Dimensions in Conservation

Credits: 1
In Class days: March 12th and  April 2nd    9:00-4:00




Graduate Research: Science Literature

Credits: 1
In Class days:  March 19th and April 16th  9:00-4:00





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