The AIA member designation
The AIA designation signals the highest standards of architectural practice, and it’s recognized by clients, the public, colleagues, and the AEC industry as a standard of excellence. Here’s how to use it.
Using the AIA designation after your name
Using the AIA member designation tells the world you’re part of the AIA community—the largest, most influential network of architecture professionals who share a passion for design, a desire to change the world, and a commitment to the highest standards of practice.
AIA members make the most of their designation by including it in email signatures and on business cards, websites, marketing materials, and social media. They use it when speaking to the public or civic leaders, when networking with colleagues or the AEC industry, and with clients and potential employers—wherever they want to highlight their dedication to the profession they serve and that they operate with a higher ethical standard.
AIA member designations
- AIA—Architect Member (individual entitled under law to practice architecture and use the title architect in any state of the U.S.)
- Assoc. AIA—Associate Member (individual without architectural license from a U.S. licensing authority who meets other architectural educational or employment requirements set out in AIA’s Bylaws)
- International Assoc. AIA—International Associate Member (individual who has an architecture license from a non-U.S. licensing authority)
- FAIA—Fellow (Architect Member who has been advanced to Fellowship by AIA)
- AIA Member Emeritus—Architect Member Emeritus (Architect Member who has applied for and been granted Emeritus status by AIA as set out in AIA’s Bylaws)
- Assoc. AIA Member Emeritus—Associate Member Emeritus (Associate Member who has applied for and been granted emeritus status as set out in AIA’s Bylaws)
- FAIA Member Emeritus—Fellow Emeritus (Architect Member who has been advanced to Fellowship by AIA and been granted Emeritus status as set out in AIA’s Bylaws)
- Hon. AIA—Honorary Member (individual otherwise ineligible for membership who has been admitted to honorary membership as set out in AIA’s Bylaws)
- Hon. FAIA—Honorary Fellow (architect who is neither a citizen or resident of the United States, who does not primarily practice architecture within U.S. territory, and who has been admitted to Honorary Fellowship as set out in AIA’s Bylaws)
Rules for using the AIA designation
The name The American Institute of Architects and the initials (AIA) are registered trademarks. This means that no one has the right to use them to describe any other organization, individuals, or activities connected with the architecture profession without AIA’s permission.
The AIA Bylaws designate a particular suffix that may be used by each membership category except for Allied Members, who are not permitted to use the AIA designation.
The AIA designation may only be used by members in good standing. Use of an AIA designation by a nonmember is a trademark infringement and is subject to legal action under both state and federal law. Similarly, organizations or companies may not use the AIA’s name, initials, or other trademarks unless the Institute has entered into a written agreement giving permission.
To report misuse of AIA designations or other trademarks, email AIA's legal counsel.
A guide to ethical responsibilities and professional standards for AIA members.