Fellow status is an honor bestowed upon APA members who have shown evidence of unusual and outstanding contributions or performance in the field of psychology.

Fellow status requires that a person's work has had a national impact on the field of psychology beyond a local, state or regional level. A high level of competence or steady and continuing contributions are not sufficient to warrant fellow status. National impact must be demonstrated.

The Fellows Committee's recommendations are based on criteria established by the nominating division, if such criteria exist. In the absence of division criteria, established APA criteria are used. Although there must be a primary nominating division, a second division may submit statements of support for a nominee.

Nominations to initial fellow status are made by APA Divisions. Each nominee's application materials are reviewed by the APA Fellows Committee which has the responsibility of making recommendations on each case to the association's Board of Directors and Council of Representatives. Please check with your division fellows chair for the deadline to submit an application to the division. 

APA Fellows Online Application Platform — Closed Until Aug. 1, 2014

For Initial Fellow Applicants Only

The process to apply to be an APA fellow is done via the APA Online Application Platform (closed until Aug. 1, 2014). This system allows nominees, endorsers and division fellows chairs to submit all required documents online.

The online system replaces the previous, paper-based process and all fellows applications must be added to the system to be considered by the Fellows Committee.

Required Application Materials

  • Initial Fellows Application — To be completed by the nominee via the APA Fellows Online Application Platform. Required sections are:
    • Contact Information
    • Graduate/Postdoctoral education history
    • Name and email address of at least three endorsers (current APA fellows who have agreed to support the nomination)
    • Curriculum vitae, including publications (indicating "R" for refereed). Must be in Microsoft Word or PDF format with a maximum file size of 4MB.
    • Nominee's Self Statement: This sets forth accomplishments on why the applicant feels they warrant nomination to fellow status. The self-statement must be in Microsoft Word or PDF format with a maximum file size of 4MB.
  • Endorsement Letters — In order to be selected as a fellow, an applicant must be endorsed by three current APA fellows. Each endorser will use the APA Fellows Online Application Platform to submit an endorsement letter. This form is to be completed by the current fellows supporting the nomination of the applicant. Three are required for each nominee.
  • Fellow Status Evaluation Form — This form should be used by each endorser to help articulate the contributions of the nominee in the endorsement letter. Three are required for each nominee.
  • Division Fellow Chair Statement — To support the nomination for fellow status, the division fellows chair provides rationale for each nomination. The chair will use the APA Fellows Online Application Platform to summarize how the applicant has met both APA and division criteria for fellow status, summarize national/international impact, and provide evidence that the nominating division has thoroughly considered the nominee's application, endorsements and other supporting materials.

Optional but Highly Recommended Materials

  • Any other supportive documentation: This can be any information that you believe will help your nomination. The more the division can support the nominee, the better the nominee's odds for election to fellow status. The APA Fellows Online Application Platform will allow up to three additional supporting documents. Each file must be in Microsoft Word or PDF format with a maximum file size of 4MB.

Election Timeline

Below is a general overview of the timeline involved in electing initial fellows members who have not achieved fellow status in any other division.

In March of each year, the Fellows Committee carefully considers each fellow nomination and determines whether to:

  • Recommend nominee election to fellow status; or
  • Not recommend the nominee for fellow status; or
  • Defer the nomination pending receipt of further information.

Following their preliminary recommendation (usually occurring in March), the Fellows Committee notifies each division fellow chair regarding the status of each of the division's fellow nominees. Should the committee not recommend election to fellow status, the division has the option to inform the nominee and appeal the decision prior to and/or during the APA Annual Convention (the committee holds a special meeting to consider such appeals). Should the committee defer a decision, the division has the option to provide additional information, testimony and clarity regarding the nominee’s eligibility for fellow status. The division should keep all information confidential until after council has elected nominees to fellow status.

During the APA Annual Convention, and after all appeals have been considered, the Fellows Committee submits a final list of nominees to the APA Board of Directors. The board then recommends election to the APA Council of Representatives, which ultimately elects the nominees to fellow status. Once the APA Council of Representatives has elected nominees to fellow status, division council representatives can report on the election outcome.

In October of each year, the Fellows Committee officially notifies each division of the outcome, sends a certificate to each initial fellow, lists initial fellows in the American Psychologist and amends their membership record to reflect fellow status commencing in September.

Current Fellows

Current fellows are APA members who are already fellows in other divisions, and may also become fellows in another division without approval from the APA Fellows Committee. Once an APA member has been approved by the Fellows Committee, Board of Directors and Council of Representatives for fellow status in one division, they do not need further approval from APA to become a fellow in additional divisions. It is the responsibility of each division to determine the eligibility of current fellows and to notify APA of their election. July 1 is the deadline each year for division fellows chairs to notify Sonja Wiggins, the Fellows Committee liaison with the names and addresses of any new current fellows approved by their division.

If you are interested in learning more or applying for fellow status in your division, contact your division fellows chair listed on this page.

Contact Information

Sonja Wiggins 

Fellows Committee Liaison 
American Psychological Association 
750 First St. NE 
Washington, D.C. 20002 
(202) 336-5590