Last Updated: April 26, 2021

American Psychological Association

The APA was formed by a small number of about 30 men at Clark University in July 1892; by 1916, it had grown to over 300 members. G. Stanley Hall was the first president. Ever since then, the American Psychological Association has grown into a full-bodied organization that not only houses researchers and scientists but also has psychology students and clinicians as essential members.

In the United States, the American Psychological Association (APA) is the main research and scientific¬ organization of psychologists. Ever since its establishment, the American Psychological Association has seen a huge increase in the number of members. From 300 members, the organization has grown to more than 110,000 members (and still counting).

Duty of the American Psychological Association

When the American Psychological Association was established, the duty of the organization was to unite psychologists, scientists, and clinicians under one roof. However, as time passed by and with the growth of the organization, the duties of the organization increased but stayed in line with their original duties.

Administration

The American Psychological Association has been long associated with the maintenance and regulation of government-related plans such as The Good Governance Project (GGP). The Good Governance Project was started in the year 2011, with the objective of including APA and their principles to the betterment of governance practice, as a way to enhance the fast-evolving environment.

Authorization of "psychologists"

The American Psychological Association is a long-standing organization that has built its name ever since its establishment. The reliability of the APA is well-received by renowned psychologists, scientists, and researchers. Hence, as time went by, and with the affiliations that APA holds, the organization gave meaning and structure to the meaning of being a "psychologist".

Additionally, under the APA policy, an individual can only practice psychology professionally once they have achieved a master's and/or a doctoral degree in psychology.

Methodology of APA

Another duty of the American Psychological Association is to release manuals that are research-based. The manuals cover new researches done by scientists, new discoveries in the field of psychology, as well as news related to the world of psychology. Furthermore, the achievements of APA and their members are also published in the manual. The manual has a standardized method which is known as the APA Style.

The APA style is a code of ethics for communicating knowledge in the field of human sciences, predominantly psychology, as well as many other disciplines such as sociology and education, the APA style is used.¬ The APA style is unique and includes the following points:

Getting a membership

The American Psychological Association has a membership criterion, which is all-inclusive. An APA member has access to the manuals of APA at a discounted rate, is able to access readily available information in relation to psychology, get expert help & career guidance, get an opportunity to interact with research experts, and most importantly support the field of psychology.

Types of membership

Before starting the process of becoming a member of the American Psychological Association, it is important to note that memberships are divided into several categories. The reason for the differentiation in categories is to cater to the need of every individual.

It is important to note that the benefits provided by the APA membership are very much attached to the type of membership being undertaken. The system works this way to help people of different backgrounds and professional levels to get the information that is suitable to them, and would be useful as well.

Below is a list of the types of membership provided by the American Psychological Association
  1. High School Student: This membership is available for students who are in high school, and are looking into being a part of the psychology field.
  2. Undergraduate Student: This membership is available for students who are undertaking undergraduate level psychology from an accredited university. The student can be a part of any university, USA-based or not.
  3. Graduate Student: This membership is available for students who are undertaking graduate-level psychology from an accredited university. The student can be a part of any university, USA-based or not.
  4. High School Teacher: To become a High School Teacher member, the individual must be a teacher of psychology in a senior secondary school.
  5. Community College Teacher: To become a Community College Teacher member, the individual must be a teacher of psychology in an institution for two or more years.
  6. International: The International membership is for individuals that are not residing in the US or have not attended an accredited university in the US. However, such individuals can be a part of the American Psychological Association, only if they have been a part of the psychological association in their respective region and have achieved appropriate education in the field of Psychology.
  7. Associate: For attaining the Associate membership, individuals must have a master's degree (or a 2-year graduate-level degree) in any field of psychology (or related to psychology) from an accredited university from any part of the US.
  8. Member: The most common type of membership is the Member. For attaining this membership, individuals must have a doctorate degree in any field of psychology (or related to psychology) from an accredited university from any part of the US.
  9. Life Status: The Life Status membership is for individuals who have a part of the American Psychological Association for more than 20 years. The age criteria for this membership is 65 or above.

How can one become a member of APA

The steps to becoming a member of the American Psychological Association are as follows:
  1. Find the type of membership most applicable.
  2. The APA website will provide an application form that will ask individuals to fill in all necessary details.
  3. The membership cost depends on the type of membership an individual will be applying for. Usually, there are additional discount coupons available that can be used during the process of filling the application form.
  4. Once the application form is completed, the website will redirect individuals to the payment option.
  5. Successful completion of payment DOES NOT indicate the beginning of the membership. Once the application is submitted, it takes approximately four weeks for the membership to be approved.

What is the duration of the membership?

The duration of the membership is directly related to the type of membership an individual will be undertaking. All memberships have to be renewed annually. The duration of every membership goes through a fixed date cycle of being active from 1st January through 31st December of every year. Renewal of memberships happens online, through the APA website.

Why is the membership important?

APA membership is not a compulsion. Any individual that chooses not to be a part of the American Psychological Association does not miss out on anything important or risks their careers as psychologists. The American Psychological Association is simply an organization with various psychologists and researchers of psychology under it. However, membership in the APA indicated that an individual is part of a recognized organization of psychology. Additionally, being a member of APA provides information-based merit from renowned researchers and scientists.

Furthermore, it is important to highlight that there may be scenarios where one of the crucial job requirements includes being a member of the APA. The type of membership is independent of the nature of the job and its requirement.

Psychology Programs

Admissions / Career

Programs outside US