Masters Programs

Master's of Education in Informal Science Learning

Link to the Houston Zoo website:


About the program - This unique partnership brings the resources and informal science educational opportunities of the Houston Zoo together with the instructional expertise of the College of Education at Texas Tech University to deliver a program aimed to train the world's greatest informal science educators.  

Master's of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies - Concentration in Zoo and Aquarium Leadership

Link to the George Mason University website:


George Mason University and AZA faculty and staff worked together closely to review the Zoo and Aquarium Leadership (ZAL) program to ascertain whether it was still meeting the zoo and aquarium industry’s needs. The program has made significant contributions to its students and the industry overall since it was created in 2004. However, after thorough consultation with AZA instructors and other industry experts, we realized that training needs within the zoo and aquarium industry have evolved and require different types of continuing education programs. After much deliberation, a decision was made to only offer the ZAL program to existing students. This means that we will no longer accept new students into the ZAL program. 


About the Program - The master's of arts in interdisciplinary studies (MAIS) offers a concentration in zoo and aquarium leadership. More about the program...

Concentration Requirements - The concentration in zoo and aquarium leadership offers three specializations:  Collections Management, Administration, and Conservation Education.  More about concentration requirements...

Courses - The MAIS concentration in zoo and aquarium leadership offeres three different types of courses. More about courses...



Can I complete the program long-distance? How much of the program can be completed online?

You do not have to be a Virginia resident to complete this program. You must attend the AZA courses (NCLC 500 courses) in person in Wheeling, WV.  You can take online Mason courses in Public Administration and Education, and you may be able to transfer a limited number of eligible credit hours from an accredited university into the program.

What is the cost?

Students will be charged $300 per credit for Academic Year 2010-2011 for all NCLC, MAIS and PUAD courses.  The $300 per credit rate applies through Spring 2012.

The overall tuition for this Master’s degree program ($10,800, i.e., 36 credits x $300/credit) is priced well below Mason’s in state (currently $406/credit + 13% for contract courses) and out-of-state (currently $995/credit) graduate tuition fees.

Consult with your organization's HR department to determine whether they can help pay for some or all of the course fees, and remember to apply for the AZA scholarships.

Is there any structured order and schedule in which I must complete the program, or can I work at my own pace?

Specific tracks within the program have specific course requirements. You can work at your own pace, though you should consult with the ZAL Director about your curriculum plan and you should take advantage of the AZA course rotation when at all possible. There is a six-year time limit in which to complete the degree.

Can I transfer in previously earned graduate credits?

If the credits were earned within the past six years, are applicable to your degree plan and are from an accredited institution, then yes, those credits may be considered for transfer.

What about AZA Professional Development courses taken previously?

If the courses were taken for graduate credit within the past six years, those credits may be transferred to your degree. If the courses were not originally taken for graduate credit, the courses are not applicable to the degree.   

What if I have more questions about the program?

Contact German Perilla at George Mason University.