The American College of Epidemiology accepts as one of the four main goals that comprise its strategic plan the following statement:
" The College develops and maintains an active membership base of both Fellows and Members representative of all aspects of epidemiology."
In support of this goal, the College policy on admissions is one of inclusiveness. Any epidemiologist who has demonstrated a commitment to the field through formal training and/or sustained contributions to the field is eligible to be considered for membership in the College. Academic, industry, consultant, and government epidemiologists and public health practitioners are equally valued members of the College.
Applications for membership are reviewed by the Admissions Committee, which makes its recommendations to the Board of Directors; the Board votes on all admissions decisions. Applicants may appeal admissions decisions according to procedures documented in the ACE By-Laws.
There are five categories of College membership—Associate Member, Member, Fellow, Emeritus and Honorary Fellows. The majority of the College is comprised of Members and Fellows. Any applicant eligible for admission to the College will be admitted at the highest possible level. Admissions Committee decisions will be made according to these guidelines:
Individuals seeking admission as or promotion to Fellow will be expected to have 7 to 10 years of professional activity as an epidemiologist, with significant contributions and leadership demonstrated by, for example, publications in national or international journals; participation in expert panels or workshops; leading roles on research projects or in policy development; teaching, mentoring, or participation in thesis or dissertation committees; and/or participation as chair or vice-chair of one or more committees in the College or in other professional organizations.
- Associate Membership status may be maintained for a maximum for five years, and is available to individuals expected to be eligible for promotion to Member within five years. For example, a student in a doctoral program in epidemiology would be eligible for Associate Member status.
- Membership will be considered for individuals who have:
- Doctoral degree, or doctoral equivalent, as follows:
- In epidemiology; or
- In a field relevant to epidemiology, with specific formal training in epidemiology of at least one year’s duration equivalent to a master of science degree; or
- In a field relevant to epidemiology, with at least two years of supervised and structured experience in the practice of epidemiology
- Master's degree, or master’s equivalent in epidemiology, and 5-7 years professional employment as a practicing epidemiologist.
Professional employment as a practicing epidemiologist may be demonstrated by authorship of 5-10 research reports, government or peer-reviewed publications. The applicant should be the primary author of at least two of these publications or reports.
- Fellows are distinguished by their significant and sustained contributions to the profession through research and/or through their leadership role in the practice of epidemiology.
- Emeritus: Any Fellow or Member in good standing who reaches her/his 60th birthday and has retired from active professional work may apply for Emeritus status. Each application shall be considered individually by the Admissions Committee with recommendation to the Board of Directors.
- Honorary Fellows: Any distinguished epidemiologist may be elected as an Honorary Fellow. Candidates shall be chosen by a committee consisting of the President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and two other members of the Board of Directors appointed by the President annually.
Promotions may be sought from Associate to Member or from Member to Fellow by submitting a letter to the Admissions Committee . Individuals seeking promotion will be asked to submit a letter describing their accomplishments consistent with the admissions guidelines described above. Associates and Members seeking promotion must be in good standing with the College (i.e., dues up to date) in order to be considered for promotion.