Star Ratings Program
Images that are "accepted" for inclusion in an exhibition are eligible to be used by PSA members when applying for a PSA Star Rating.
The fee for processing each Star Rating is $12.00
PSA Star Ratings Guidelines
» Star applications in all Divisions now use the application processes described in these documents:
Star 1-5 Application Instructions: pdf
Star Ratings Application Spreadsheet: Excel
Guidelines for Using the Star Application spreadsheet: pdf
Recognition of Photographic Achievement (ROPA)
For all other applications, the member may choose to receive a Certificate at no extra charge OR a plaque at the following fees (which includes the $40 application fee):
PSA Journal and Website Listing
The ROPA Distinctions that are approved each quarter are listed in the PSA Journal and on the PSA website in January, April, July, and October.
ROPA Photo Galleries
PSA-member exhibitors may purchase buy-back years that will result in the establishment of a Photographic Society of America (PSA) Stars Buy Back Date which is only for the purpose of obtaining Stars, Galaxies, or Diamonds in the Star Ratings Program. The PSA member’s join date will not change.
Members may purchase up to ten (10) years of Stars Buy Back time if they are an active PSA member; or they may bridge a gap of up to ten (10) years in their membership if they are an active PSA member who has dropped his or her membership in the past. The member will pay the established rate per year.
Purchasing Star Buy Back Years shall be permitted only for purposes of the PSA Star Ratings program. This may enable exhibitors to be eligible to apply for ROPA distinctions. This will be a one-time buy-back.
Purchasing Stars Buy Back Years is not for the purpose of buying the years of membership required for any other Society award or program. No printed back issues of the PSA Journal shall be provided for the Buy-Back Years’ period.
New members may apply for Stars Buy Back Years within the first five years of membership and their buy-back period will apply from the date the member joined PSA. A member rejoining PSA after a break in membership may apply for Stars Buy Back Years within five years of rejoining and their buy-back period will apply from the date the member rejoined PSA.
Members who already have a Star rating in any Division are not eligible to apply for Stars Buy Back Years.
Contact PSA's Membership Coordinator (email@example.com) for assistance.
The Recognition of Photographic Achievement (ROPA) Awards of Distinction program was established in February 1997, for the purpose of recognizing Individual PSA member achievements in PSA-recognized international exhibitions. After receiving acceptances in international exhibitions, individual PSA members in good standing may apply for the various levels of ROPA distinctions. A scan of the latest qualifying certificate(s) from the PSA Division Star/Galaxy Directors (SRDs) granting Star or Galaxy ratings must accompany each application. (Only the highest-level certificate is required.)
There are four levels of distinction awards – Proficiency (PPSA), Excellence (EPSA), Master (MPSA), and Grand Master (GMPSA). The GMPSA distinction has five sub-levels. The number of acceptances required for each level is outlined below.
Acceptances Required: In order to qualify for the ROPA distinctions, the following proof of acceptances are required:
PSA Membership Required: All exhibitors applying for ROPA distinctions must be Individual PSA members in good standing. It is important that a recipient’s membership does not expire before the annual PSA Conference in September or October of each year.
Photo: An electronic head-and-shoulder color photo image with a blank background (no hats or props included) is required. The image should have a vertical dimension of 1050 pixels at 300 dpi. The photo will be used for publication on the ROPA page of the PSA website.
Fees: As of January 1, 2016, there is a $40 USD processing fee for each ROPA application, to be paid after the application is approved. For PPSA and EPSA applications, a Certificate will be issued at no extra charge. For all other applications, the member may choose to receive a Certificate at no extra charge OR a plaque at the following fees (which include the $40 application fee): MPSA – $75; GMPSA – $100; GMPSA/B – $110; GMPSA/S – $120; GMPSA/G – $130; and GMPSA/P – $140.
Application Deadline: There is no deadline for submitting an application for a ROPA distinction. Applications are processed throughout the year. ROPA award certificates or plaques are now prepared and distributed on a quarterly basis, and in the month following each quarter, the awards are sent from PSA Headquarters. For those recipients who indicate that they will attend the PSA Conference, the ROPA award is presented at the Conference, unless the recipient chooses to have his award sent after the quarter in which it is approved.
Information on ROPA Recipients: Exhibitors are able to use their new distinction “letters” as soon as the recipient receives the distinction approval letter from the ROPA director. A list of all recent recipients of ROPA distinctions is published quarterly in the PSA Journal in March, June, September, and December of each year. In addition, photos of recent recipients are published quarterly on the PSA Website. Also, ROPA distinctions are updated on the PSA membership data base in three to five working days following approval of each distinction. All ROPA recipients are also encouraged to submit 3 to 6 images of their work and a brief biography for display on the ROPA Galleries pages of the PSA Website.
Submission of the Application:
Applications for ROPA distinctions can be submitted1. online on the PSA website OR
2. by downloading the application form from the PSA Website and emailing the completed form along with the required photo and the supporting star/galaxy/diamond certificates to
ROPA Co-Directors Contact Information:
Signe Emmerich, FPSA, EPSA
Gerald H Emmerich, Jr, HonPSA, GMPSA/b
Updated GHE 12/31/2016