Students enjoy discounted memberships to many professional/academic societies. However, membership renewals rarely align with one's degree date. So when do you switch your membership from a student member to non-student membership? I see two obvious possibilities

  • When your degree is conferred, and you are no longer officially a student


  • The first renewal notice you receive while not being a student

Surprisingly, it seems like very few societies address this issue in their guidelines.

  • For what purpose are you switching? Because there is a higher membership fee? Because full members (and not student members) are entitled to some benefits that you want to use? – GEdgar Dec 9 '15 at 15:09
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    I strongly recommend embracing laziness: adjust your membership the first time when it becomes relevant. – jakebeal Dec 9 '15 at 21:32
  • Personally, I would wait until the next time that you need to renew your membership. – Oswald Veblen Dec 9 '15 at 23:31
  • Each society has probably its own rules. The first option seems difficult to enforce for a society and I guess they probably are flexible. – Taladris Dec 10 '15 at 1:07

The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) mentions this in the Qualifications for IEEE Membership:

Graduate Student members, upon graduation or upon reaching the total cumulative eight-year limit as a Graduate Student member (whichever occurs first), will be transferred automatically to member grade.

And the change of membership, i.e. Member Grade Elevation:

Student elevation is handled twice a year - in June and August. Once an IEEE Student member or Graduate Student member reaches his or her graduation date (based on information provided by the student), IEEE elevates them to the next grade of IEEE membership for which they qualify.

The first elevation is done in June (Student members or Graduate Student members with graduation dates between 1 January and 30 June).

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  • That sounds a bit contradictory "Graduate Student member (whichever occurs first), will be transferred automatically to member grade" and "(based on information provided by the student)". That isn't an "automatic" process. – WetlabStudent Dec 10 '15 at 7:01
  • Yes, you are right, it's 'semi-automatic'. – agold Dec 10 '15 at 8:46

The American Mathematical Society has a program where many institutions pay for their graduate students to be members. The AMS writes on the relevant page:

Please contact the AMS once you know that your institution will no longer nominate you. You can choose the appropriate dues level at that time. Special offers are always available for former graduate students.

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