Classes of Membership
Application for admission to the AAS, in any category of membership, requires nomination by Full Members of the American Astronomical Society.
Full Membership is open to any person deemed capable of preparing an acceptable scientific paper on some subject of astronomy or related branch of science. Supporting evidence for nomination to Full Membership should include at least one of the following:
- PhD in astronomy or closely related field.
- Independent or senior authorship of acceptable, refereed, published paper(s).
- Detailed evidence of significant contribution to astronomy in forms other than research publication.
Associate Membership is open to any person, 28 years of age or older who is no longer a student and has not obtained a PhD in astronomy or a related science. This person should be actively involved in the advancement of astronomy or a related science or able to provide evidence of contributions to science.
Junior Membership is open to persons who are either:
- under 28 years of age, actively involved in the advancement of astronomy or a related science. Persons in this category normally hold or are studying for a B.S. or higher in astronomy or related field.
- full time students, regardless of age, pursuing a degree in astronomy or related science at college level or higher. Full time students must provide proof of student status.
International Affiliate Membership
International Affiliate Membership is open to astronomers or scientists in closely related fields who do not reside in the United States. Applicants require either nomination by an active Full Member of the AAS or must be members of an affiliated society that requires nomination for membership.
Education Affiliate Membership
Education Affiliate membership is open to persons professionally engaged in astronomy-related education and public outreach and whose principal employment is at community colleges, elementary and secondary schools, science centers, museums, planetariums, or agencies (e.g. National Park Service, Girl Scouts of America).
Emeritus membership is unlike other classes; it is not open to new members. Instead, any member who has retired from gainful employment and whose contiguous years of membership in the Society total at least 10 years, is eligible to be transferred to Emeritus status in the class of membership held at the time of his or her request.
Emeritus Status Request Form
2016 dues = $90
High School Students & Amateur Astronomers
High-school students, casual stargazers, and other astronomy enthusiasts not pursuing a degree in astronomy or a related science may wish to join a local astronomy club.
Amateur Astronomers Working with Professionals
Amateur astronomers collaborating with professionals in astronomical research and/or citizen-science projects are eligible to join the AAS at the Associate Membership level as long as they meet all the requirements described above and are able to obtain signatures from two active Full Members of the AAS endorsing their application. An alternative is to contact another organization linking amateur and professional astronomers, for example, the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO), the Society for Astronomical Sciences (SAS), or the Astronomical League. Amateurs collaborating (or interested in collaborating) with professionals in astronomy education and public outreach are encouraged to contact the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP).