Advanced Inquiry Program

Ignite ecological & social change while earning your master’s degree

Pursue your passion with the Missouri Botanical Garden while you earn your master’s online from Miami University through the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP). Created for working professionals, the AIP is a one-of-a-kind master’s program that immerses students in collaborative inquiry and action as they champion change. Through web-based coursework from Miami and face-to-face experiential learning and field study at the Missouri Botanical Garden, you will connect with classmates, Miami University faculty, Garden experts, and community leaders locally, nationally, and globally.

The AIP is designed for students from a range of backgrounds and career stages. With professional and academic mentoring and self-designed Master Plans, students adapt their degree path to fit their interests in fields such as community-engaged conservation, inquiry-driven education, environmental justice, learning across K-12 and informal settings, animal care and welfare, green business innovation, climate change, urban ecology, human-nature relationships, environmental restoration, and public engagement in science.


An unprecedented network of premier public zoos and botanical gardens across the United States and conservation organizations worldwide have joined together to support the AIP. This extraordinary learning collaborative, the largest of its kind, fosters groundbreaking ideas, collaborations, professional connections, and study opportunities. AIP students have the option of integrating an Earth Expeditions field course at a global field site into their degree path. The AIP is overseen by Project Dragonfly, an education reform initiative located within the department of biology at Miami University.

Eligibility Enrollment is open to applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree regardless of academic major or profession. Students should have internet access and be able to attend in-person experiential learning days at the Missouri Botanical Garden. For more information, visit Miami University’s AIP overview page



Students can enroll in either a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in the biological sciences for formal K-12 teachers or a Master of Arts (MA) in biology for all other professionals. The MAT does not confer a teaching license. All courses are delivered online by a Miami University instructor. Two-thirds of AIP courses also include experiential learning on grounds at the Missouri Botanical Garden and in and around the St. Louis region. Miami University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Garden looks forward to supporting you through the AIP.

Join Us for an Information Session

February 6 | 7 p.m. Central

Register >

To learn more >

Program Contacts

At Miami University

Connie Malone,, (513) 529-5103

Project Dragonfly, Department of Biology

At Missouri Botanical Garden

Susan Baron,, (314) 691-2628
AIP and Adult Programs Coordinator, Litzsinger Road Ecology Center, a division of the Missouri Botanical Garden