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. The minimum requirements for fellow status are: 

  • Doctoral degree based in part on a psychological dissertation.
  • Prior status as a member for at least one year, and nomination by a division to which the member belongs.
  • Active engagement in the advancement of psychology.
  • Five years of acceptable postdoctoral experience.
  • Evidence of unusual and outstanding contribution or performance in the field of psychology. 

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. The deadline for division fellows chairs to submit nominees to APA is Feb. 9, 2016.

Nominees/applicants, please check with your division fellows chair prior to starting an application to confirm the deadline for submitting an application to the division. Division deadlines will be much earlier than the February deadline for division fellow chairs to submit applications to APA.

APA Fellows Online Application Platform

For Initial Fellow Applicants Only

The process to apply to be an APA fellow is done via the APA Online Fellows Application Platform. (Please note, you must log in to MyAPA to access the application.) This system allows nominees, endorsers and division fellows chairs to submit all required documents online. The fellows application will open on Aug. 3, 2015.

Log in to search the APA Membership Directory for fellows.

Helpful Information for Applicants, Endorsers and Fellow Chairs

The APA Online Fellows Application Platform's has a help section for applicants, endorsers and division fellow chairs. View the following guides for more information about the initial fellows process.

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.

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 Monitor on Psychology, the American Psychologist and amends their membership record to reflect fellow status commencing in September.

Contact Information

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