Bylaws of the American Psychological Association - Article II: Membership

  1. The Association shall consist of three classes of members: Fellows, Members and Associate members.

  2. Fellows shall be Members of the Association who are interested in the advancement of psychology as a science and as a profession and who have met the requirements described below. Fellows shall be entitled to the rights and privileges of the Association without restriction.

  3. The minimum requirements for Fellow status shall be (a) a doctoral degree, as defined in Section 5, (b) prior status as a Member for at least one year, (c) active engagement at the time of nomination in the advancement of psychology in any of its aspects, (d) five years of acceptable professional experience subsequent to the granting of the doctoral degree, and (e) evidence of unusual and outstanding contribution or performance in the field of psychology.

  4. Members of the Association shall be persons who are interested in the advancement of psychology as a science and as a profession and who have met the requirements described below. The designation Member as used in these Bylaws shall be deemed to include Fellows, except where there is an express provision to the contrary. The requirements for acceptance to Member or Associate member status may be waived by the Membership Board, in special cases, for persons in fields other than psychology who have made continuing distinguished contributions to psychology.

  5. The minimum requirement for acceptance to Member status shall be the receipt of the doctoral degree based in part upon a psychological dissertation or the doctoral degree based on other evidence of proficiency in psychological scholarship from a program primarily psychological in content. The doctoral degree must have been conferred by a graduate or professional school that is regionally accredited or that has achieved such accreditation within five years of the year the doctoral degree was granted or that is one of equivalent standing outside the United States.

  6. Associate members shall be persons who are interested in the advancement of psychology as a science and as a profession and who have met the requirements described below. Associate members may not vote or hold office in the Association, but shall be entitled to all rights and privileges of the Association not specifically denied them in these Bylaws. Associate members shall achieve voting privileges after five consecutive years in the status of Associate membership.

  7.  The minimum requirement for acceptance to Associate member status shall be (a) completion of at least two years of graduate work in psychology in a regionally accredited graduate or professional school or (b) the master's degree in psychology from a regionally accredited graduate or professional school.

  8. Fellows shall be elected by the Council of Representatives (hereafter referred to as Council) upon recommendation by the Board of Directors. Nomination of a Fellow shall be made by a Division to which the member belongs.

  9. Council shall have the power to designate additional requirements for acceptance to Member or Associate member status.

  10. The requirement of a doctoral degree, as defined in Section 5, or the requirement that the five years of acceptable professional experience be subsequent to granting of the doctoral degree, as appropriate, may be waived: (a) for Fellow status, by Council upon submission of evidence satisfactory to Council of outstanding contribution or performance in the field of psychology; (b) for Member status, by the Membership Board upon submission of evidence satisfactory to the Membership Board of significant contribution or performance in the field of psychology.

  11. In addition to the regular membership classes, there shall be a class of International Affiliates, who are not Members of the Association and who shall not represent themselves as such. They shall have such rights and privileges as may be granted by Council, including special rates for subscriptions and publications.

  12. International Affiliates shall be psychologists who reside in countries other than the United States or Canada. An individual desiring affiliation with the Association must, at the time of application, be a member of the psychological association of the country in which the applicant resides or, if no such association exists, shall present evidence of appropriate qualifications. International psychologists who meet the requirements for membership may apply in the usual manner if they so desire.

  13. There shall be a class of Student Affiliates who are not Members of the Association and who shall not represent themselves as such. They shall have such privileges as may be granted by Council, including special rates for subscriptions and publications.

  14. There shall be a class of High School Teacher Affiliates who are not Members of the Association and who shall not represent themselves as such. They shall have such privileges as may be granted by Council, including special rates for subscriptions and publications.

  15. There shall be a class of 2-Year College Teacher Affiliates who are not Members of the Association and who shall not represent themselves as such. They shall have such privileges as may be granted by Council, including special rates for subscriptions and publications.

  16. A Member (to include Fellows), Associate member or Affiliate may be dropped from membership or otherwise disciplined for conduct which violates the Ethical Principles of the Association, which tends to injure the Association or to affect adversely its reputation, or which is contrary to or destructive of its objects. Allegations of such conduct shall be submitted to the Ethics Committee.

    1. The Ethics Committee shall formulate rules and procedures governing the conduct of the ethics and disciplinary process. However, such rules and procedures and any changes therein must be approved by the Board of Directors acting on behalf of Council. The Ethics Committee, acting at its own discretion or on direction of the Board of Directors, shall review such rules and procedures periodically and may amend them from time to time, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors, provided, however, that no such amendment shall adversely affect the substantive rights of a Member, Associate member or Affiliate whose conduct is being investigated or against whom formal charges have been filed at the time of amendment.

  17. A person who has been dropped from membership pursuant to the rules and procedures of the Ethics Committee may reapply for membership after five years have elapsed from the date of termination of his/her membership. A person who has been permitted to resign under a stipulated agreement may reapply for membership only after the period of time stipulated in the agreement has elapsed, and all other conditions set forth in such agreement have been discharged. In all cases the Member, Associate member or Affiliate must show that he/she is ethically as well as technically qualified for membership. Such reapplications shall be considered first by the Ethics Committee, which shall make recommendation to the Membership Board.

  18. Resignations of Members, Associate members or Affiliates may be accepted only by the Board of Directors. In the ordinary course, the Board of Directors will, in its discretion, refuse to accept a resignation tendered by a Member, Associate member or Affiliate while such Member, Associate member or Affiliate is under the scrutiny of the Ethics Committee.