Membership Information

Benefits of Membership

ARPAS - The Symbol of Today's Professional Animal Scientist

The American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, ARPAS, is the organization that provides certification of animal scientists through examination, continuing education, and commitment to a code of ethics. Continual improvement of individual members is catalyzed through publications (including the ARPAS journal, Applied Animal Science) and by providing information on educational opportunities.

All successful certification and licensing programs are targeted to serve and protect the public's interest. Modern agriculture, like all of segments of society, is becoming more complex. More government regulations and controls require that practicing professionals establish accountability by means of registry and certification programs. In today's business climate, producer and industry clients want assurance that they are getting advice from certified professionals who stay on the cutting edge.

By completing the requirements for registration, maintaining your continuing education units, and adhering to the code of ethics, ARPAS registration provides you with a new level of recognition to help you distinguish yourself to your clients as a Professional Animal Scientist.

ARPAS membership

  • Provides professional credibility and credentials for animal scientists who must increasingly verify their professional competence and its uniqueness to legislative, legal, and industry groups by some mechanism in addition to formal education.
  • Documents that the professional has the know-how to apply relevant cutting-edge knowledge to real-world problems.
  • Brings recognition of abilities and knowledge to the one being served. Provides another certification title that creates more credibility on the farm and among other professionals (i.e., veterinarians, attorneys, CPAs).
  • ARPAS provides a variety of mechanisms to enable members to stay current in their field and maintains documentation of the CEUs.
  • Provides assurance to those you serve that they are getting advice from a professional who keeps up to date and agrees to abide by a professional code of ethics.
  • Proactively positions animal scientists for a time when some form of licensing may be required to practice certain animal sciences.
  • Provides a pool of credentialed animal scientists to be called upon in settings involving public policy, especially where new laws and decisions involving animal agriculture are made.
  • The journal Applied Animal Science provides a source of publishing and finding useful information and relevant research as well as field studies.
  • Provides certification and diplomat status when dealing with other governments in international affairs.
  • Provides appropriate certification and titles, after examination, for individuals working at all levels of animal science, from on-farm production, to expertise gained by academic degrees and experience, to diplomat status.

Professional Certification in the Animal Sciences

Membership Types

ARPAS membership registration can be in one or more of the following species/product areas: Aquaculture; Beef Cattle; Companion Animals; Dairy Cattle; Horses; Goats; Laboratory Animals; Poultry; Sheep; Swine; Meat Science; Dairy Product Science; and Poultry Product Science.

Professional Animal Scientist (PAS)

Associate Member PAS (Assoc. PAS)

Must be a current undergraduate or graduate student, or have a BS, MS, or PhD in an area of animal science or a closely related field. Associates will be granted Full Member status after gaining the required experience outlined under the Full Membership heading and maintaining the required Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

*Undergraduate and Graduate Student Membership is available to full-time students and requires verification from major professor to qualify. Student members will be required to complete the application and examination process, including payment of any fees. In addition to exam fee, the student will be expected to pay the student dues for the first year of membership and for every year thereafter while the member is a full-time student. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are not required for student members while enrolled in a full-time degree program.


Full Member PAS (PAS)

Must meet all requirements of an Associate Member, plus:

  • BS degree plus four years of experience or
  • MS degree plus two years of experience or
  • PhD degree plus one year of experience in an area of animal science or closely related field.


*Full Member PAS HQI (Highly Qualified Individual) Route

Individuals who qualify for PAS Full Membership, and who are widely recognized for research, extension, teaching, or accomplishments in the animal science field, may qualify without examination based on credentials and experience.

To be eligible for HQI, the candidate must have 5 years of experience beyond a PhD or DVM, 10 years of experience beyond the MS degree, or 15 years of experience beyond a postbaccalaureate, post-secondary, or professional degree from an approved institution.

An eligible HQI candidate must be nominated by a current PAS member in good standing. Two letters of nomination and recommendation from PAS members in good standing are required for PAS certification via the HQI route.

For each HQI application, the Membership Committee shall determine any additional application requirements that must be met before the application will be approved for Registry membership.

An application fee will be required for each species specialization where certification is desired.

HQI Nomination Form

Registered Animal Scientist/Registered Animal Product Specialist (RAS/RAPS)

Associate Member RAS/RAPS (Assoc. RAS/Assoc. RAPS)

Must have two years of experience in one of the related areas of specialization or species. Does not require any degree type.



Must have four years of experience in one of the related areas of specialization or closely related field. Does not require any degree type.

Additional Certifications

Additional areas of specialization are available for PAS and RAS full members:

Emeritus Membership

Emeritus membership is available for ARPAS members who have retired and who are no longer practicing professional activities in animal science. CEUs are not required for Emeritus members.

Request for Emeritus Status Form

Application Requirements

Application Process:

All potential ARPAS applicants must submit a completed application form and payment of examination fee in the amount of $25.00.

Once all necessary materials are submitted, arrangements for the examination will be made by the ARPAS business office.

Any current ARPAS member who requests to take an additional exam will be required to pay the $25.00 examination fee for each exam requested.

Examination Process:

ARPAS exams are offered as both a paper exam and electronic exam. We recommend that exams being administered on site at a meeting be done using a paper exam.

After the ARPAS business office has received the completed application and examination fee, the applicant will be contacted to begin the examination process.

Any ARPAS exam must be proctored by a current ARPAS member. If the applicant does not know of a current ARPAS member in their area, the business office will assist in finding an ARPAS member to proctor. Once a proctor is found, the applicant and proctor will work directly with each other to establish a date, time, and place for the exam to take place. When the proctor and applicant have decided on a date, time, and place for the exam, the proctor will be expected to send a confirmation to the business office. After the business office has received confirmation, the electronic exam login and instructions will be sent to the proctor and will not be given to the applicant until time of the exam. If a paper exam is being administered, a copy will be sent to the proctor from the business office.

Because ARPAS exams are now offered electronically, the location of the exam must have Internet access and the applicant is expected to supply their own computer device to complete the exam (i.e., laptop, tablet). The proctor will be expected to remain present with the applicant while the exam is in progress.

The business office and applicants will receive a pass or fail notice immediately after exam completion. Once the exam is completed, the business office will be in contact with the applicant to explain the final steps of application completion.

If the exam is not passed on the first attempt, the applicant will be allowed to retake the same exam for free after a 30-day waiting period. However, the exam must be retaken within 90 days of the original testing date. If the exam is not taken within the 90-day period, the applicant must repay the examination fee. Also, the applicant may directly contact their proctor to inquire whether they will proctor for their exam again.

Please contact the ARPAS Business Office for exams being administered at a meeting or for large-scale exam sessions.

Procedure for Application

To begin the application process, click the online application form button below. If you do not have an account, you will need to create one.

Online Application Form

Application Form (PDF)

Membership Maintenance & Fees

Membership Maintenance

All PAS and RAS members are required to submit a minimum of sixteen (16) Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by December 31 of each year. Any credits over 16 submitted per year will be carried over into the next year. A yearly maximum of 32 credits is allowed per member.

One CEU equals one hour of participation in an approved educational event (i.e., meeting, conference, webinar, etc.). Please see submission requirements and approved meetings here.

In addition, all ARPAS members are expected to pay their respective membership dues. 

Failure of any ARPAS member to pay yearly dues or submit CEUs will put the member’s account into a lapsed state and will require specific steps for reactivation.

Membership Fees

Application/Exam Fees

  • $25.00 per PAS/RAS/RAPS species exam (see Examination Process under Application Requirements for more information)
  • $50.00 application fee for PAS HQI application route. *If application is denied HQI route, the fee will transfer to applicable PAS exam and/or membership fees.
  • $100.00 exam fee for Dairy Nutrition Certification
  • $100.00 exam fee for Feed Management Certification
  • $200.00 application fee for ACAS Board Certification

Annual Membership Dues

  • Student Members (undergraduate and graduate): $10.00
  • PAS and RAS/RAPS Members: $125.00
  • Emeritus Members: $62.50 annual dues or one-time fee of $375.00
  • Board-Certified (ACAS) Members: $150.00

Lapsed Members

Reinstatement of lapsed membership. Individuals who allow membership to lapse on account of nonpayment of dues or failure to submit the necessary CEUs may be reinstated by doing the following:

1) submitting a completed reinstatement application form, which includes a list of required CEUs for the previous year,
2) paying the reinstatement fee as determined by the Governing Council, and
3) paying the current year’s membership dues.

Lapsed Membership Reactivation Form