The entry level at which most applicants enter the AAFS (with the exception of Trainee Affiliate and Student Affiliate). Advancement to Member and then to Fellow is accomplished by meeting additional criteria established by each section. Associate Member status is granted to individuals:
- Who are actively engaged in the field of forensic sciences and who have made some significant contribution to the literature of forensic science, or
- Who have advanced the cause of the forensic science in some other significant manner, and
- Who satisfy the requirements for membership of the section applied to or recommended for, and
- Who have earned a baccalaureate or higher academic degree from a U.S. college or university accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the United States Department of Education, or from a non-U.S. college or university bearing equivalent accreditation.