AIA Honors & Awards


2014 AIA Twenty-Five Year award recipient, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, DC - Harry Weese & Associates

AIA recognizes and celebrates the best buildings and spaces, and the people behind them, with some of the most prestigious awards in the built environment.

Through more than thirty programs, AIA Honors & Awards highlights best practices and recognize exemplary projects, engages and supports members in the diverse practice of the profession, and opens opportunities to collaborate among peers and colleagues in the built environment.

Discover how the Framework for Design Excellence has been integrated into our project-based awards >

Honors and Awards Program

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Additional awards information

When will the award open?

All of the AIA Honors & Awards are on a cycle, visit the schedule for a general idea of when the award in question will open and close. For specific information on awards visit the award’s page.

View open awards >

What is the deadline?

The deadline for all AIA Honors & Awards programs vary. Specific deadlines for each award can be found on the individual program pages. To access these pages, select an award from the drop-down above.. All awards will close at 5pm ET on their deadline.

Can I get an extension on my application?

Due to the nature of our programs we cannot offer any extensions on submissions that are incomplete at the deadline.

All awards deadlines are strictly observed, and an extension will not be granted. Please note that all awards submissions are due on the day that is listed by 5pm ET time.

Do I have to be an AIA member to apply?

For most project-based programs you do not have to be an AIA member to apply. Fees for each program may vary for members vs. non-members to apply.  

Do I have to be an architect to apply?

The architect submitting the application for most project-based programs must be a US-licensed architect. For the specific program in question please review the program page in the drop-down above.

Do I need to be nominated to apply?

For the programs honoring architects there is usually a required nominator or sponsor who is required to be an AIA member. For the specific program in question please review the program’s page.

How do I apply?

Coming soon you will find a sample application for each program on their respective pages. The sample application will provide you with all the information you will need to start putting together a submission before the award is open.

Once an award is open for you can begin your submission.

How do I apply for Fellowship?

Please visit the Fellowship page for specific FAQs and criteria for applying.

Are reference letters required? How are they collected? Are they confidential?

All reference letters are to remain confidential. Reference letters are required for people-based awards and are collected through our online submission platform.

Who are reference letters addressed to?

All reference letters should be addressed to the Jury Chair, if not indicated by the time the award opens. If the jury has been announced, the letter can be addressed to the jury chair by name.

How long are reference letters kept on file?

Reference letters for successful candidates are archived with the submission. Unsuccessful applications reference letters are kept on file for the year of the application.

Can I eventually see copies of my reference letters?

Reference letters are confidential for the lifetime of a successful applicant or for 30 years, whichever is later. Letters for a 1975 submitter who died in 2012 would come open on his/her death, but letters for another 1975 submitter who died in 1980 would not come open until 2005. This is part of AIA’s retention schedule for records management.

Unsuccessful submission reference letters remain confidential.

Can more than one photo be shown on a page?

Photo collage are acceptable but it is important that there are not too many images on a page or images that are too small for the jury to discern important details.

Do I need interior photography or night time photography?

Awards have different requirements regarding the kinds of photography the jury would like to see, detailed in their individual submissions. Interior shots are requested, and highly recommend, in most project based programs. Night time shots are requested of projects that operate at night, if your project does not operate at night then they are not necessary to include in a submission.

How are winners recognized?

In recent years, we have captured recognition of our award winners in a holistic way and have a celebration of all award recipients of our 30+ awards program at a reception during our annual conference.

What should the Copyright Image page look like?

We require that you provide a .pdf document showing the appropriate copyright credits for all material provided to be identified with all images being uploaded for the jury. This pdf must include the following:

  • a thumbnail of the image with the copyright credits of the photographer
  • a caption describing each photo.

View example >

How are the submissions reviewed? Is there a preferred format for the submissions?

Submissions are reviewed by the jury for consistency to criteria set for the program. The format for submissions vary for individual programs and specific requirements are requested in the ‘upload materials for jury review’ portion of the submission form.

Can I see previously successful submissions?

For review of previously successful submissions, please contact the AIA Archivist at

How will I find out if my submission was successful?

Each program notification period varies based on our method of notification. Please see our schedule tab for an estimated time of awards notification.

What is a disqualification?

Universal disqualifications for all AIA Honors & Awards programs include, pages larger than 8.5x11 inches, incomplete unpaid labor,  and code of ethics and professional conduct attestations, and contacting a jury member. Each program will have additional disqualifications to be aware of.

Image credits


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