September 7, 2021

Happy second week of Membership Month, AIAS! This week we’re celebrating our membership and breaking down the different types of membership we have. Every student has a different experience in architecture, and thus every member (and non-member) of AIAS wants and needs different things. At the end of the day AIAS represents the voices of architecture students – even those that aren’t members. So we want to bring non-members into the AIAS fully and show them the value.

To expand our membership base, we need to understand what our returning members, joining members, and non-members need. Let’s break down the different types of membership for AIAS:

The Basics: Types of Membership When Registering

Undergraduate/Graduate (including Community Colleges)

Members in Community College, Undergraduate, and Graduate programs make up our largest group of membership! These members engage at their local chapters and/or nationally during their time in school to supplement their education and expand their professional network/skills.


Our organization continues to grow to include international members! Starting this past year, we assess and reset international members’ individual dues on an annual basis to account for exchange rates by country. 

High School

AIAS does not have to start in college! We have many high school chapters and members. High school students do not pay dues and receive discounts to events, as we encourage them to pursue design education in their next steps.


We love our AIAS Alumni. This network provides mentorship through our AIAS Alumni Mentorship Program (AIAS). Graduates that register to be Alumni Members of AIAS, will be supporting their former chapter- as half of their individual dues go to their school!


Individual Affiliate membership is available to any individual who is professionally or educationally engaged in a role related to architecture or who’s interested in AIAS. This may include AIAS sponsors; individual architects, educators, or other professionals; libraries and other information providers; high school members; etc.

It IS that Deep. Go Further.

There is more to you as a member than what level of education you are currently in listed above. Here’s a more detailed list of students and members… though definitely not complete! Ask deep questions and analyze your membership:

  • Community College Students
  • Undergraduate Students (B.S. Architecture, B.A. Architecture, B.Arch)
  • Graduate Students (M.Arch, Masters in Related Field)
  • Each “year” of students (1st-6th+ year)
  • Students going from a related Undergrad Degree to Graduate Degree in Architecture
  • Students going from an unrelated Undergrad Degree to Graduate Degree in Architecture
  • International Students outside the U.S.
  • International Students studying in the U.S.
  • High School Students
  • Recent Graduates/Alumni
  • Students at accredited schools
  • Students at non-accredited schools
  • Students pursuing adjacent degrees (Interior Design, Urban Planning, Environmental Design, Landscape Architecture)
  • Students pursuing minors adjacent to architecture (Sustainability, Construction Management, etc.)
  • Female Students
  • BIPOC Students
  • HBCU Students
  • LGBTQ+ Students
  • Students with English as a second Language
  • Students in IPAL
  • Student working part-time
  • Students working full-time
  • Students that are parents or are taking care of family
  • Students switching career paths to architecture later in life
  • Student looking for internships
  • Student applying to grad school
  • Students on the fence about licensure
  • Student that do not want to pursue licensure
  • Students set on the path of licensure
  • Students that don’t want to be students (those that just want to complete AXP)

Wow. That’s a lot of different ways to slice the membership base of AIAS. And all of these may not apply to your school- but it’s a new way to think about your members. 

What does each of these students need? Your support in a unique way. This is the first step to breaking down how to create outreach systems. At the end of the day, the strongest connections you can make are the personal ones. Get to know your members one on one. If you don’t know your membership base, how do you expect to lead them? Having your board invite individual students directly is a great first step to build those personal relationships.


Have you ever seen people write, “AIA,” “NCARB,” or “LEED,” etc. after their name? 

Registered AIAS members can do that as well! AIAS members should use the AIAS credential “AIAS,” and affiliate members should use “Affiliate AIAS.” Give yourself credit for the association you belong to!

Did you know that Employers are allowed to reach out to us to verify that you are an active AIAS member if you put it on your resume? We’re basically a built in reference, so use that to your advantage and let your friends know!


Any Questions? Ideas? Email and Vice President Shannon DeFranza can help you! This year’s theme is EVOLVE. During #AIASmem21, the national office will be focusing on how we can evolve to be better versions of ourselves. Do you have ideas on how to better serve our members? Share at the Town Hall October 6th, 8 pm ET!

Watch out for Visible Value Wednesday this week as VP DeFranza breaks it all down! Next week will focus on Registering Members and basically how to get students in the door. 


INSTAGRAM TRIVIA THIS FRIDAY!! Follow @aiasorg, watch the Visible Value Wednesday for this week, and check out the blogpost from today and last week for the answers!

Use the Membership Manual as your guide to increasing your membership this year! And as always be sure to share photos from your chapter on social media and tag @aiasorg and your Quad or Region account. The membership month hashtags are: