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 the Institute’s permission.
One of the benefits that comes with membership in the Institute is the right to use a suffix to the member’s name that includes the AIA’s initials. The Institute’s 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’s initials as a suffix to their names. (See list below.)
Only those individuals who are members in good standing are entitled to use these AIA designations. 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 the Institute’s legal counsel.
- AIA—Architect member (individual entitled under law to practice architecture and use the title architect in any state of the US)
- Assoc. AIA—Associate member (individual without architectural license from a US licensing authority who meets other architectural educational or employment requirements set out in the Institute’s Bylaws)
- International Assoc. AIA—International associate member (individual without US architecture license who has an architecture license from a non-US licensing authority)
- FAIA—Fellow (architect member who has been advanced to Fellowship by the Institute)
- AIA Member Emeritus—Architect member emeritus (architect member who has applied for and been granted emeritus status by the Institute as set out in the Institute’s Bylaws)
- Assoc. AIA Member Emeritus—Associate member emeritus (associate member who has applied for and been granted emeritus status by the Institute as set out in the Institute’s Bylaws)
- FAIA Member Emeritus—Fellow emeritus (architect member who has been advanced to Fellowship by the Institute and been granted emeritus status by the Institute as set out in the Institute’s Bylaws)
- Hon. AIA–Honorary member (individual otherwise ineligible for membership who has been admitted to honorary membership in the Institute as set out in the Institute’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 the Institute’s Bylaws)
AIA members make the most of their designation by including it in their signature block, on business cards, marketing materials, website, social media, and online presence. They use it when speaking to the public, whenever they want clients or the public to understand their professional status, or employers to see their dedication to the profession they serve and that they operate with a higher ethical standard.