The Young Architects Award recognizes AIA Members in the early stage of their architectural career, who have shown exceptional leadership in design, planning, education, and service to the profession.

Below is high-level information about the program criteria to help you determine if you are a good fit for the Young Architect Award program. For full criteria and guidelines, please refer to the submission guide in the Resources tab.


The following members in good standing are eligible to be nominated:

  • AIA architect members who has been licensed to practice architecture less than 10 years at the time of the submission deadline
  • Associate AIA members who have passed the ARE
  • International AIA members who meet one of the qualifications listed above.


Any AIA member in good standing may make nominations for the Associates Award.

Nominator responsibilities

Nominators support the candidates as they prepare their submission and are required to write a letter of support for the candidate which summarizes their contributions and introduces the portfolio.

Nominators also assist the candidate by acting as a point of contact for the reference writers and providing guidance as needed.


Candidates are evaluated based on their contributions demonstrate commitment to:

  • the value of design, practice, or education
  • giving back to the profession through work with AIA or other industry-related organizations, mentoring, etc.
  • giving back to the community (through active unpaid service to the greater community).

The Ripple Effect

Candidates are asked to demonstrate the "ripple effect" they have had on the profession. This is shorthand for your impact beyond the day-to-day work of your practice or outside your community. Ripple effect could be demonstrated by speaking, publications, mentoring, service to the profession, geographic impact, or legacy through others.


Recognition for this program typically includes the following elements but may be subject to change. Recipients will receive additional information about this cycle’s recognition benefits with their selection notification.

  • promotional recognition in AIA communication channels.
  • invitation for the recipient or a recipient representative to attend selected Honors & Awards event celebrations, commonly held during the annual AIA Conference

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