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Annual Cost Estimate

The following table shows an estimate of costs for Year 1 in the GFP master’s degree program for students taking a five-credit hour Earth Expeditions summer field course and eight credit hours of online/Core courses (13 hours total, including the fall two-credit online portion of the Earth Expeditions course; see the recommended Course of Study). From summer 2024 through spring 2027 the per-credit hour tuition for Earth Expeditions field courses and Core Courses will be $455.

Earth Expeditions Field Course Costs (5 Credit Hours, includes room and board for ~10 days) Airfare and Course Text Online Course Costs (8 Credit Hours At $455/Credit Hour*) Year 1 Total Cost 
$3,550 Varies $3,640 $7,190 + Airfare

*Prices are approved on a three-year cycle. Allow extra for miscellaneous costs associated with travel to your Earth Expeditions field course site.

Earth Expeditions Field Course Costs

Project Dragonfly class doing research in Belize

In addition to covering the price for 5 graduate credits of Miami University tuition, Earth Expeditions field course costs cover all basic expenses in-country, 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 costs do not cover personal expenses, such as gifts, or some ancillary costs, such as passport fees, entry fees, required course readers, and any additional 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 $40. (Successful applicants will receive more details in their Web-Based Learning Community 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.

Please note: Some field courses have an additional cost to cover transportation and course support fees.

Offsetting Graduate Program Costs

With the above substantially reduced fees as part of Miami University’s support for this program, the GFP is designed to be as affordable as possible for all participants. Applicants to the program should check with their employer to see if professional development funds are available to further offset costs.

How have students funded their participation? What kinds of funding sources are available?

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 Helping Fund Your Degree and Dragonfly Scholarships page. Below are some quotes from Dragonfly students on how they funded their degree.

“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

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

Will I be able to apply for student loans while I am a Dragonfly master’s student? Can I defer my existing student loans?

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 for Student Success 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.


Project Dragonfly, along with key donor partners, offers several partial scholarships each year (ranging from $250-$1000) as individual awards to current graduate students in our Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) programs. These funds can be used to cover tuition and other course-related costs.


The GFP is developing a Global Conservation Fellowship Fund, which will initially target international participants from our global field sites.
Polly Diffenbaugh

Baja Student Reflection: Polly Diffenbaugh

“I am so glad I was finally able to start this program and come on this trip. It felt like such a long time coming and such a much needed addition to my life right now…”

Apply to the Global Field Program