APA's Early Career Program

APA's early career program will jump-start your planning career with low-cost membership, enhanced benefits, and minimum hassle.

Join APA while you are a full-time student. This can happen in two ways:

  1. If you are a first-year student in a planning program accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) and your school participates in APA's free student membership program, you may authorize your school to sign you up for one free year. Your school will verify your full-time student status.
  2. Other students may apply individually for student membership. When you apply, you will be asked to verify your full-time student status.

Once you have joined APA as a student member, and you (or your school) have verified your status as a full-time student, you are eligible for three full years of student membership, even if you are no longer a full-time student, followed by two years of new professional membership. Here's how it works:

  • At the end of your first and second years of membership, APA will ask you to renew your student membership.
  • At the end of your third year of membership, APA will automatically change your membership category and ask you to renew as a new professional member, regardless of your student or employment status.
  • At the end of your fourth year of membership, APA will ask you to renew your new professional membership.
  • At the end of your fifth year of membership, APA will automatically change your membership category and ask you to renew as a regular member, regardless of your student or employment status. At this point, your dues will be determined according to APA's salary-based dues structure.

Read more about APA student membership