Student Services - FAQ


I am working in HR, but I am also a student. Should I join as a student or a regular member?

Regular (professional) membership is designed to meet the needs of people currently working in the HR field, while student membership is designed for individuals just exploring human resources and preparing to enter the profession.

The student dues rate of $49 does not fully cover the cost of student membership services, so the Society subsidizes the cost in order to make the membership affordable to students. Regular professional members of the Society pay annual dues of $244 and receive additional services to assist them in their professional roles. While students and professionals receive some of the same benefits, the memberships are different. If you plan to use the membership to assist you in your work as an HR practitioner, we recommend that you join as a regular member to gain full access to all services and benefits. Benefits of each can be found below.

What are the differences between student and professional membership?

Student Membership Professional Membership
Cost: $49
Cost: $244
HR Magazine digital subscription HR Magazine print subscription**
Full access to the SHRM websiteFull access to the SHRM website
Access to SHRMConnect
Access to SHRMConnect
Deeply discounted student rate for SHRM Annual Conference

Special discount rate for 1st & 2nd years of regular (professional) membership

Full access to the HR Ask an Advisor service**

Ability to vote and hold office in the Society

**Benefits not included with student membership.

What are the eligibility requirements for student membership?

Since the student dues rate is subsidized by the Society, the SHRM Board of Directors has established qualifications for acceptance as a national student member. You are eligible for student membership if:

  • You are enrolled in the equivalent of at least six (6) credit hours per term (or 15-week equivalency) in a degree-seeking program.
  • Your coursework, taken or planned, supports an interest in Human Resource Management.
  • Acceptable degree programs include:

      • Human Resource Management
      • Human Resource Development
      • Business Administration & Management
      • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
      • Labor Relations
      • MBA
      • MBA/HR
      • Organizational Behavior/ Org. Development
      • Sociology
How much does it cost to be a student member?

National student membership dues are $49 per year. Some local chapters collect additional dues to use for chapter projects.

While this may seem like a lot of money, consider the fact that you often pay more for one college textbook that will be used for a few months than you will for your SHRM membership that will continue to provide benefits for an entire year. SHRM membership is an investment you make in your future!

Can membership in SHRM help me find a job after graduation?

Yes. Job search books and placement studies all agree that 60-70% of jobs are found through personal contacts, or networking. Becoming part of SHRM gives you access to our network of more than 300,000 members, 575 professional chapters, and 450 student chapters nationwide. While SHRM does not offer formal job placement assistance, we do offer the opportunity to meet and build relationships with the HR professionals who represent potential employers. Many of our student members have obtained entry-level jobs and internships, that were never advertised to the public, through the connections they made as active members of SHRM.

I'm studying business but I'm not an HR major. How would SHRM membership benefit me?

One of the keys to success in any type of management is good interpersonal skills. Participating in an SHRM chapter will help you to better understand and develop these skills. In addition, many of the issues you will explore as a member of SHRM such as effective management practices, employee motivation, violence in the workplace, and sexual harassment, will be relevant to you whether you become an accounting manager, a sales manager, or a human resource manager. Everyone in business works with people in some way.

I'm currently a professional member, can I switch to a student membership and get a refund?

No, students who are in established, professional roles would retain their current SHRM membership status. Existing profesional members would not be eligible to downgrade to student membership.

What email should I use to scan and send my student application?

Send to

Can I join SHRM online?

Yes! You may join online as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. To join online here.

If my college considers me a full-time student, am I eligible for membership?

We base eligibility on credit hours, not full-time versus part-time status. You must have a minimum of 6 credits per semester, or 15 week equivalent. If you need to discuss this requirement, please contact Student Programs at or 1-800-283-7476.

I am enrolled in a Human Resources Management Certificate Program. Am I eligible for student membership?

No. Students must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program, such as a Bachelor's degree, and taking a minimum of six credits per semester. While certificate programs are worthwhile educational opportunities, they do not qualify you for membership. Please see eligibility requirements.

Do I have to join at the beginning of a semester or quarter?

No. The membership does not run on a calendar year. It is based on the anniversary date of your membership. You can join the Society anytime throughout the year and you will receive a full 12 months of service from that time.

What are the rules for upgrading from student to regular (professional) membership?

Students may upgrade their memberships to associate, general, or professional status at a discounted conversion rate provided that:

  • You are currently an active SHRM student member.
  • You haven't been a professional member in the past.
  • You graduate with a degree in HR or a related program.

To upgrade online click here.

How do I renew my membership?

If you received a renewal notice in the mail and you are still a student, fill that out and return it with payment or go online an pay. If you did not receive a renewal, but you are still a qualified student, simply complete another student membership application, check off "renewal" on the top, and return it to SHRM with payment. If you are no longer a student, you can renew as a regular member using the student conversion application.

What does a SHRM student chapter do?

SHRM student chapters have regular meetings, usually weekly or bi-monthly, with scheduled programs designed to help members learn more about HR and the real world of business. Elected student officers run the chapters with the assistance of a chapter advisor and sponsoring professional SHRM chapter members. Chapters invite local business people to speak to the members about current developments in the business world and how they will impact future workers. Beyond the regular meetings, chapters organize a variety of activities including company tours, student conferences, resume-writing and interviewing workshops, fundraisers, internship programs, and social events. These activities allow you to learn more about HRM while building relationships with local professionals and other students and of course, having fun!

What is my chapter number?

A complete list of all student chapters and numbers can be found online here. If there is no chapter on campus, please enter 5000 (student member-at-large) for your chapter number.

If there is no SHRM chapter at my school, can I still be a member of the Society?

Yes. You will be considered a "student member-at-large" meaning you are not assigned to a student chapter. If student chapters exist at neighboring campuses, you are welcome to participate in their activities with the consent of that chapter. To join as a member-at-large, simply write "5000" in the chapter number space on the application.

There is no chapter on my campus. How can I get a chapter advisor's signature on my application?

In lieu of a chapter advisor, you may have your faculty advisor or a representative from your college registrar's office sign the form.

Who should I contact if I need further information?

If you did not find an answer to your question here, please feel free to contact SHRM Student Programs at 1-800-283-7476 or email

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