Membership in PAA is limited to persons who demonstrate academic achievement in public affairs and administration program in NASPAA member schools and/or outstanding public service, and who fall within the following classes: student, alumni, faculty and honorary. All memberships are national memberships with a local chapter affiliation. All categories of membership enjoy the same rights and privileges.
Undergraduate Student Memberships - Candidates for undergraduate degrees who rank in the upper ten percent (10%) of their graduating class may be inducted provided:
Transfer students who meet the qualifications for undergraduate membership may be inducted after they have completed a minimum of one full year of course work in the school or college to which they transfer and in which the chapter is located.
Masters Degree Student Memberships – Students may be inducted from among the master’s degree students in the department, institute, or school wherever the Pi Alpha Alpha chapter membership is based provided:
Doctoral Students - Doctoral students who meet the requirements for Pi Alpha Alpha masters degree student membership or who have completed all the requirements for the MPA or its equivalent, may be inducted without restriction as to number.
Alumni Memberships - Those who meet all the requirements of student membership but who have graduated before induction by a local chapter may be inducted as alumni members. Student members become alumni members upon graduation.
Faculty Memberships - Any full-time member of a NASPAA member institution faculty, offering course work in a public affairs or administration degree program at which a Pi Alpha Alpha chapter is located, may be elected to faculty membership by the chapter.
Honorary Memberships - Honorary membership is appropriate for any person who has achieved distinction in public administration and who possesses the distinguished qualities that Pi Alpha Alpha fosters. Local chapters may induct as many as two individuals per year without express approval of the National Council. Honorary membership should be bestowed prudently so as to recognize outstanding accomplishment that will bring added honor to Pi Alpha Alpha, the chapter, and the individual. Prior to induction of more than two honorary members, the local chapter must request approval of the National Council. (See Section VI, “Honorary Memberships.”)