AIA recognizes the notable contributions and service of people outside of the architecture profession with Honorary Membership.

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


Honorary Membership is open to a single individual, or two individuals who have created one body of work, who are ineligible for AIA Membership.

AIA National and Component staff

Current employees are eligible after ten cumulative years of employment at AIA National and/or a Component. (Note: The AIA Secretary may waive this requirement if a staff member is otherwise eligible. Contact Honors & Awards for more information.)


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 how their contributions represent distinguished service to the profession and allied disciplines.

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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