Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get more information about the program?

Start by filling the I'm interested form. Then sign up for one of our Information Sessions.

You may also visit the Project Dragonfly's AIP Website and/or email with specific questions.

How do I apply to the program?

Prospective students apply directly to Miami University. See here for AIP Application Steps.

Where is the degree conferred from and how is the Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo connected?

AIP students earn their master’s degree from Miami University (Oxford, OH) through web-based courses taught by Miami instructors. The Web+ (W+) courses include experiential learning, in-person at the Bronx Zoo (and other WCS parks), facilitated by WCS Education leaders.

What is the degree conferred upon completion of the AIP?

Students elect to enroll in either a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in the Biological Sciences or a Master of Arts (MA) in Biology from Miami University. The MAT does not lead to teaching certification. Miami University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

I’m not ready to jump into a full master’s degree quite yet. Is there a way to check out the courses for a semester or just earn standalone Miami graduate credit for professional development?

Yes. Most of our AIP W+ Elective courses are open to non-AIP students. Prospective students may take courses prior to matriculating and it also allows individuals looking for professional learning opportunities to join the unique experience. Try out a standalone graduate course and join us for a semester!

Can I do the AIP Program in less than 2.5 years?

No, the minimum amount of time that a student can take to graduate is 2.5 years. WCS AIP students go through the program in cohorts and have required W+ courses they take together for three consecutive summers. More information can be found in Our Program.

Can I take longer than 2.5 years to complete the AIP Program?

Yes. Miami University allows students to take up to five years, post-matriculation, to complete the 35 credits towards your Masters Degree.

What are the in-person commitments like? Do I need to live in New York City?

Students do not need to live in NYC but need to be able to travel to WCS locations (primarily the Bronx Zoo) or other sites across the greater NY Metro area approximately 5 days per W+ course. Weekend dates are full experiential days and dates that fall on a weekday, are typically in the evening. None of the courses require you to travel to the main Oxford campus of Miami University.

Where can I find examples of W+ courses and how they are scheduled?

Please find the information here. Scroll down to the list of current and upcoming semester courses and in-person dates.

Will the AIP prepare me for a job at the Bronx Zoo or other Wildlife Conservation Society parks?

A position at the Bronx Zoo or any other zoo or aquarium is not guaranteed. What the program will do is expose you to a variety of opportunities, career paths, internships, and networks available within our global organization.

Can I volunteer with animals at the zoo as part of the AIP?

While your experiential learning will include a variety of experiences on zoo grounds, coursework does not include handling or working directly with animals. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities outside of AIP coursework, please see the information here.

Can I do an internship at WCS as part of the AIP?

Yes. There are select internships that are available to students after their first full year in the program and are taken for 1-3 credits. Students are encouraged to speak with their WCS Advisor upon entering the program about their interest.

Will I have the opportunity to study abroad during the AIP?

AIP students at WCS may apply to an Earth Expeditions course for their second summer in the program. It includes two weeks in the field experiencing international conservation programs. Students who complete an Earth Expedition substitute up to 7 credits of WCS W+ elective coursework.

Is there a difference between the two Project Dragonfly programs, AIP and GFP?

Yes. Though AIP and GFP (the Global Field Program) are sister graduate programs, they are uniquely different. WCS is one of ten AIP sites and students gain unprecedented experiences throughout their graduate education, supported by WCS staff. For more information about the GFP, please see information here.

What are key outcomes from the AIP?

The core tenets of Project Dragonfly are inquiry, environmental stewardship, community participation and voice, and local and regional understanding. As each student’s Master Plan is reflective of their personal and professional goals, their course-based projects culminate into an extensive portfolio, representing the wealth of knowledge gained in AIP. Alumni from WCS have gone on to publish children’s literature, take on leadership roles in their workplace, created companies to promote environmental education, lead programming at world-class science centers, enter DVM and PhD programs, improved husbandry practices at zoos, joined start-up companies dedicated to science communication, etc. This program creates opportunities and allows students to explore avenues they may have only dreamed of.

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