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Message from the Dean: Doctoral Teaching Fellowship W-2 Information

James Herbert

January 14, 2016

TO: PhD and DPH Students
FROM: Dean James Herbert
RE: Doctoral Teaching Fellowship Communication

For the 2015 – 2016 academic year, Drexel University introduced a new appointment type/classification for PhD and DPH graduate student employment. The new appointment type, Doctoral Teaching Fellowship is defined as:

  • A Doctoral Teaching Fellow (TF) is a full-time graduate student appointed (20 hours per week) to provide teaching or guidance of students directly related to the area in which his or her degree is to be conferred, and in which equivalent teaching is required of all candidates as a condition for receiving such a degree.
  • The TF stipend is subject to Federal income tax and City of Philadelphia wage tax, but not Pennsylvania personal income tax. In addition, as a full-time graduate student, a TF’s stipend is exempt from FICA/Social Security tax.

Some graduate students who were formerly classified as Teaching Assistants may feel that their position met the criteria of a Doctoral Teaching Fellowship prior to the start of the 2015 – 2016 academic year. If so, those students might be eligible for a refund of the Pennsylvania state income tax that was withheld from the portion of their earnings that was classified as a Teaching Assistant.

In order to claim a refund for 2015 or any prior tax year, the student would need to reduce the amount of Pennsylvania state taxable income reported in Box 16 of their original Form W-2 from Drexel University by the amount of Teaching Assistant earnings paid that meet the criteria above. This would result in a refund due on the student’s Pennsylvania personal income tax return.

As backup for this adjustment of Pennsylvania state taxable income, the Payroll Department will provide the student with a corrected Form W-2 (W-2c) for each year that is requested. To request a correction to your Form W-2, please complete the Doctoral Teaching Fellowship Certification for Pennsylvania State Income Tax form. This form must be signed by your academic department head and forwarded for approval via email to The Graduate College Office will then forward the approved certification forms to the Payroll Department for processing.

Once the certification form is received by the Payroll Department, a Form W-2c showing a reduction in the amount of Pennsylvania state taxable wages in Box 16 will be mailed to the student for each year requested. Please allow two weeks for the Payroll Department to process these requests.

Upon receipt of the Form W-2c, the student may file an amended Pennsylvania state income tax return, as described above, to request a refund. Please note that the last day to file an amended Pennsylvania state tax return for the 2012 tax year is April 15, 2016. For the 2015 tax year, the student may avoid filing an amended Pennsylvania state income tax return if they receive their Form W-2c and report the corrected amount of taxable income on their original income tax return. Therefore, students who request a correction to their 2015 Pennsylvania state taxable income may want to wait until they have received their Form W-2c before filing their tax return for 2015.

Requests pertaining to the 2012 tax year must be received by the Payroll Department by January 31, 2016. All other requests must be received by February 29, 2016. Please note if a graduate student decides not to pursue a refund, a Form W-2c will not be issued for any tax year that is not requested.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your W-2, or if you need copies of prior year forms, please contact the Payroll Department at or (215) 895-2885.