Tuition Exemption for State Employees

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Eligible University and state of Washington employees may enroll for and receive a tuition exemption for up to six credits each quarter, provided they enroll on a space-available basis. Eligible students are allowed to enroll for more than six credits and will be charged tuition accordingly for the additional credits. Tuition-exempt students may register beginning the third day of the quarter (UW staff and faculty) or the fourth day of the quarter (all others). Any credits in excess of six are subject to the same "space available" registration dates.

Space-availability applies to degree programs as well as courses, and fully enrolled programs may not have space to accommodate students using the tuition exemption. Also, certain schools or majors may be limited or have exclusions to the tuition exemption program, please see the school or major for additional information.

Who is Eligible for Tuition Exemption?

The university's Tuition Exemption Policy is governed by Chapter 28B.15.558 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) and UW Administrative Policy Statement 22.1.

For questions about if your position is eligible to participate in the tuition exemption program, please contact the Professional & Organizational Development (POD) office at, and include your Employee Identification Number (EIN) and quarter you wish to attend in your email. The Office of the Registrar cannot determine an employee's eligibility to participate in this program.

UW Employees

Employment Program

Eligible for Tuition Exemption

Eligibility Begins

Classified Staff (minimum 50% FTE) Yes Completed 6 month probationary period
Professional Staff (minimum 50% FTE) Yes First day of employment
Faculty (minimum 50% FTE) Yes First day of employment
Hourly or Temporary Staff No NA

Washington State Employees

"State of Washington employees" means persons employed half-time or more in one or more of the following employee classifications:

  • Permanent employees in classified services under chapter 41.06 RCW
  • Permanent classified employees and exempt paraprofessional employees of technical colleges; and,
  • Faculty, counselors, librarians, and exempt professional and administrative employees at institutions of higher education as defined in
  • K-12 instructors qualified to teach or seeking valid endorsement and assignment in a state-identified shortage area are eligible, as defined in RCW 28B.15.558

Eligible state employees must hold this status on the day the exemption form is approved, and must be in that status on the first day of the quarter for which the tuition-exemption is granted.

Becoming a Student

Individuals who wish to participate in the tuition-exemption program must also apply for admission to the University of Washington Tacoma. Applicants are subject to the same priority application dates as other new students. Individuals wishing to apply as a matriculated student, non-matriculated, or as a graduate non-matriculated student should contact the specific UW Tacoma program office for details regarding the application process and space availability in the program.

Tuition exemption program participants who are former UW Tacoma students, should submit their application as a returning student and will return in the same classification, or as non-matriculated students. New non-matriculated students should submit an application for admission to the Office of Admissions.

See How to Apply to UW Tacoma for more information.

Tuition Exemption Forms and Instructions

A Tuition Exemption Request form must be submitted every quarter that you wish to register for courses and is due at the Office of the Registrar no later than two (2) weeks or (10) business days before to the start of the quarter. Forms submitted after this date are considered late. You may have one late submission only; after that we cannot accept your late tuition exemption form.

We accept forms by mail, in person, faxed to 253-692-4414 or emailed to Mailing address: University of Washington Tacoma, Office of the Registrar, 1900 Commerce Street, Box 358400, Tacoma, WA 98402

The form cannot be processed without the required signatures from the employee and their supervisor.

​UW Employees only: Your Employee Identification Number (EID) is required in order for us to process the form.

Registering for Classes

Once you have been admitted or obtained the current student status and have submitted your tuition exemption form, you will wait to register for all of your classes on the appropriate Registration Eligibility dates for tuition exempt students using the registration page on MyUW. See the Registration Resources & Help for more information on the registration process.

Registration Eligibility Dates

  • UW employees register on the 3rd day of the quarter
  • Washington State employees register on the 4th day of the quarter

See the Academic Calendar for specific registration dates for each quarter.

Course enrollment is not permitted for any courses prior to the appropriate registration eligibility date for all courses when using tuition exemption, this includes any additional courses even if they are not taken as tuition exempt. However, students may attend space-available classes with the the instructor's permission prior to the registration eligibility date.

Students registering prior to their assigned tuition exemption registration eligibility date will not be permitted to convert to the tuition exemption program. Students who do register for any classes in advance of this date will not be allowed to convert to tuition-exempt status and will be required to pay regular tuition for the quarter. There are no course adds accepted after the third week of the quarter.

Courses Covered by Tuition Exemption

Generally, all state funded courses 599 and below are covered with tuition exemption exceptions. Check with the school or your advisor to verify that the course you wish to take is eligible. See below for other majors and courses that are not eligible.

In addtion, the tuition exemption program does NOT cover:

All fee-based courses and degree programs, such as the Master of Accounting and the Master of Cybersecurity and Leadership are not covered by tuition exemption. Early start courses that begin and end instruction before the first day of the quarter are not covered by tuition exemption. In addition, cohort based programs, such as Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare, Master of Social Work and the Doctoral in Educational Leadership are large enrollment majors with no space-availability for tuition exemption. 

  • English 100, 101, 102
  • Math 098
  • UW Extension or Distance Learning courses
  • Early start courses that begin and end prior to the beginning of the quarter
  • graduate level independent study courses numbered 600, 700, and 800
  • All self-sustaining or fee-based courses and majors, including study abroad courses
  • Independent study, thesis, dissertation, research internships, tutorials, private lessons, culminating projects or practicums
  • The School of Education has limited courses that are eligible for tuition exemption, see the School of Education website for details
  • The School of Nursing has limited courses that are eligible for tuition exemption, see the School of Nursing for details

Learn More About:

  • School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership Tuition Exemption Policy
  • School of Education Tuition Exemption Policy - effective June 26, 2020
    • Important:  Please note that the UW Tacoma campus is expected to implement a tuition exemption policy in the near future that will align UW employees to the same benefits provided to WA state employees, which is offering the four (4) core courses (TEDUC 501, TEDUC 502, TEDUC 504, and TEDUC 520) only for tuition exemption. Once the UW Tacoma campus policy has been implemented, there will be a one-year grandfathering period. The SOE tuition exemption policy will be updated once the UW Tacoma campus policy has been approved and implemented.

In addition, certain state funded courses, schools or programs may be excluded from the tuition exemption program on the basis of academic or fiscal consideration.


    • New and non-matriculated applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable application fee of $60 online.
    • New and non-matriculated graduate applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable application fee of $75 online.
    • Returning undergraduate and professional students who have not attended for two or more quarters must complete the Returning Student Application and pay a non-refundable submission fee of $60 online.
    • After registering for classes, please check your UW student account balance, available through MyUW. You will be billed $30 non-refundable registration fee and any additional tuition for credits over 6. You will be billed the quarterly Student Technology Fee. This balance is due when UW tuition is due, please see the Academic Calendar for the specific date, it is typically the 3rd Friday of the quarter.
    • A $25 late fee will be assessed if the student initially registers on or after the eighth calendar day of the quarter. A $75 late registration fee will be assessed if the student initially registers for the quarter on or after the 15th calendar day of that quarter.
    • A $20 fee will be charged for all registration changes made on a single day beginning the eighth calendar day of the quarter.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I find UW Tacoma Graduate majors and requirements?

    See the UW Graduate School for UW Tacoma Program for majors and requirements.

    Do I get all the same student services under the tuition exemption program?

    Tuition exempt students who register for 6 credits or less do not pay Student Services and Activities Fee and therefore are not entitled to the services funded by those fees. Nor are they eligible to purchase tickets to athletic or performing arts events at student rates. However, tuition exempt students who do register in excess of 6 credits must pay the Student Services and Activities Fees and may use these services with their Husky card. Please note a UPASS is no longer included as a service with this fee.

    Can I use the libraries?

    All tuition exempt students may use the libraries with their Husky card (faculty/staff identification card). Participating Washington State employees may obtain student ID cards for library services from the Office of the Registrar in MAT 253.

    Can I buy a UPASS?

    Tuition Exempt students are not automatically billed for the UPASS Program with their tuition or services fees. All tuition exempt students, including non-UW employees, are eligible to purchase a UPASS from the Transportation Services Office at the employee rate. It is not refundable and not pro-rated. For more information about the UPASS program and other commuting options, please contact Transportation Services at 253-692-5660, or by email at

    How do job related taxes work? Who does this apply to?

    Note: UW employees pursuing graduate programs or graduate-level coursework claim the amount of the quarterly exemption as income on their federal income tax return unless the supervisor has certified that the program or coursework is job-related. If it is determined that the course is not job-related, the value of the exemption will be considered income and subject to withholding.

    Still have more questions? Visit the Office of the Registrar, 2nd Floor, Mattress Factory Building, MAT 253 or call 253-692-4913, or email