Faculty members and staff employed by the University of Tennessee at Martin may apply for admission to graduate study in order to enroll in graduate level courses. Because of the demands required of graduate level courses and potential for conflict of interest, faculty and staff must demonstrate their enrollment in graduate courses will not adversely affect their job responsibilities or create a conflict of interest. The employee’s supervisor, the dean of their respective program, the dean of graduate school, and the provost shall approve all applications for full time faculty and staff to enroll in graduate courses while employed by the university. However, any member of the UT Martin central administration above the position of director may not be admitted.

Fee Waivers

Full-time regular faculty and staff at UTM may enroll without payment of maintenance fees for up to a maximum of nine (9) graduate credit hours per term/semester. Part-time regular faculty and staff working 50 percent time or more may enroll without payment of maintenance fees based upon their percent of effort.

Fee waiver forms must be completed each semester of attendance and should be submitted by the last day of class for the semester. Employees can download the Fee Waiver PDF to request waiver of fees. Additional information can be found at UT System Educational Assistance and Fee Waiver website.

Fee Waiver Taxation

Graduate fee waivers provided to University of Tennessee regular employees and graduate student employees not classified as a GTA or GRA (primary position) must be recognized and treated as a taxable fringe benefit. Undergraduate fee waivers are not taxable.

All university employees are allowed tax free graduate tuition benefits of $5,250 per calendar year under the university’s Section 127 Educational Assistance plan. Once the $5,250 limit has been exceeded for non GTA‐GRA employees, the taxable portion of the graduate fee waiver will be added to taxable income and all applicable employment taxes will be withheld. Federal income taxes will be withheld on the combined taxable wages and fee waiver value using the IRS tax table rates and the employee’s signed W‐4.

Individuals may provide a signed Employee Request for Job Related Tuition Waiver approved by the department head verifying that the program of study is “job related.” If so, the waiver is excluded from taxation. This form must be received by the University‐wide Administration Payroll Office for each semester by the due date. For more information, visit the UT Fee Waiver Taxation page.

Compensation for Job Related Advance Degree

When a UT Martin regular employee earns an advanced degree which compliments his/her job responsibilities, a salary increase may be appropriate if approved in accordance with the following eligibility requirements. An advanced degree salary increase proposal must be approved in writing by the appropriate member of the Chancellor’s cabinet. It is the responsibility of the employee to initiate the proposal. The approval should be obtained before the employee begins the advanced degree.

The advanced degree must compliment the employee’s current job responsibilities and have the support of all administrative levels up to the appropriate member of the Chancellor’s cabinet. The employee’s job performance rating must be satisfactory at the time that the plan is approved and when the degree is completed.