When one joins the Force Academy, it is not expected that one will immediately join an Aspect. For those who wish to indicate they are giving serious consideration to participating in the training programs which are offered, there is an observer emblem which can be used.
After a period of study (which may involve being taught in a training program or individual mentoring), the relevent Aspect Council meets to decide whether to award the student their Knighthood. Some Councils also prepare a list of questions to ask the student. Upon attaining Knighthood, the student is permitted to wear the knight emblem.
The rank of Master means various things around the site. The Shadows do not recognize the rank of Shadow Master. The Lightside award it to those who have successfully navigated their arcane system. The Darksider tends to award the rank to him or herself upon completion of a successful coup. Masters often wear the master emblem, but not always.
Over the years, there have been other aspects at the FA. The earliest was the Fallanassi, a short-lived aspect. The Independent was formed for those who wished a sense of community smaller than being a member-at-large at the FA, yet did not find one of the aspects to their liking. The Universal was the most ambitious project, and there are still some who adhere to the 'all and none' approach which the Universals embraced.