UArctic has two membership categories: Arctic Members and Non-Arctic Members.

Arctic Members of UArctic are institutions or organizations, with an interest in and commitment to higher education and research in the Circumpolar North, located in the eight Arctic countries of Canada, Denmark / Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Russia, and the USA.

Non-Arctic Members of UArctic are institutions or organizations, with an interest in and commitment to higher education and research in the Circumpolar North, located outside the eight Arctic countries.

Within each membership category there are two member types:

i.  Higher Education Institutions which are independent universities, colleges, and other institutions of higher education having their own registered students.

ii.  Other Organization which include research institutions and other organizations concerned with education and research in and about the North. Subsidiary entities of Higher Education Institutions, such as independent institutes, branch campuses, and departments, qualify as Other Organizations.

UArctic has been built in close cooperation with the indigenous peoples' organizations that are Permanent Participant of the Arctic Council, and welcome them and other indigenous peoples' organizations as members.

Acting on new applications for UArctic membership, the Council of UArctic decides on the category and type for each new member, based on recommendations from UArctic’s Membership Committee, which are to be guided by the above descriptions.