Senior Membership is available -- according to IEEE Bylaw I-105.3 -- to engineers, scientists, educators, technical executives and originators in IEEE-designated fields who have been in professional practice for at least ten years and have shown significant performance for at least five of those years. An existing member who meets these criteria may apply for elevation or a prospective member who has reached this level may submit an application for membership AND Senior Member status at the same time. Members who are eligible for upgrade to Senior Member may, for whatever reason, be loath to apply. A Senior Member or Fellow may nominate colleagues for this grade elevation.
Members who wish to apply for Senior membership do so by completing a form (and usually attaching a resume or curriculum vitae) and by asking at least three Senior Members or Fellows to provide recommendations. In the case of a Senior Member or Fellow nominating a colleague, the nominator completes the application form on behalf of the nominee and asks other Senior Members or Fellows, familiar with the nominee's credentials, to complete the endorsement forms. These materials are sent to the Admission & Advancements (A&A) Department at IEEE where they are collected. Nine or ten times each year, an A&A panel made up of 12-15 IEEE Senior Members or Fellows reviews each of these applications. Typically, about 95% of applicants are granted Senior Member grade, 2.5% are deferred for further information and 2.5% are denied. When elevation is denied, most often it is due to a lack of at least five years of demonstrated, significant performance.
If a candidate has submitted their own application, he or she receives a letter notifying them of the panel's action; if the application was submitted on behalf of a candidate, the individual who submitted the application is notified.
Senior Membership is the highest grade for which one may apply. Historically, as many as 20% of our members have had the grade of Senior Member but recently fewer than 10% of our members are Senior Members. A Senior Member application package can be obtained from the IEEE Website .