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Student Services

Firefighter Safety Exemption

Firefighter Safety Exemption


Effective beginning Summer 2019,Texas Education Code (TEC) Section 54.353 to make firefighters holding specific credentials eligible for certain tuition and fee exemptions. 


  • Is employed as a firefighter by a political subdivision of this state; or
  • Is currently, and has been for at least one year, an active member of an organized volunteer fire department participating in the Texas Emergency Services Retirement System or a retirement system established under the Texas Local Fire Fighters Retirement Act (Article 6243e, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes) and who holds:
    • an Accredited Advanced level of certification, or an equivalent successor certification, under the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas volunteer certification program; or
    • Phase V (Firefighter II) certification, or an equivalent successor certification, under the Texas Commission on Fire Protection's voluntary certification program under Section 419.071, Government Code.
  • And in an eligible graduate public administration program (intended of fully declared).
  • Must be making satisfactory academic progress towards the degree (must be in academic good standing).
  • Must comply with the financial aid satisfactory academic progress requirements of the University.
  • Must submit an application for Tuition Exemption Per TEC 54.353: Firefighter Enrolled in Fire Science Courses courses(s). 
  • Only Fire Science Courses are eligible: Courses that fall within a designated fire science curriculum, as well as courses that are primarily related to fire service, emergency medicine, emergency management, or public administration.
    • Please note: UT Arlington only offers public administration in the Masters of Public Administration (MPA) program for this exemption.
  • And is for tuition and lab fees only; required fees are not waived.
  • Students requesting this exemption must submit all required documentation to apply for exemption PRIOR to the last day of the institution's regular registration period for that session/term.

Only graduate courses pertaining to the major requirements of the Masters of Public Administration (MPA) program offered at UT Arlington are eligible for the tuition and laboratory fees exemption.

Required fees are not waived. Non-payment of these fees can result in being dropped from the course.  

UT Arlington's official tuition exemption site is at

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's site is at

Texas Administrative Code:

College for All Texans:



  • Student must submit the Application for Tuition Exemption Per TEC 54.353: Firefighter Enrolled in Fire Science courses(s) by scanning and submitting via email to or present in person to the Office of the Registrar, Room 129 University Administration Building. The application is available here:
  • Along with the application, the student must submit a letter verifying his/her employment. 
    • The employment verification letter must be on letterhead from the governmental entity issuing the letter
    • Must be signed by their supervisor and must verify that the student is employed as a firefighter; including date of hire (see FIREFIGHTER TUITION EXEMPTION REQUIREMENTS FOR ELIGIBILITY section above for definition)
    • The student’s title and the title of the supervisor must be included.
    • The letter must be dated no more than one month prior to the date the application for exemption is submitted, and is subject to verification.
  • The student must be currently enrolled in public administrative course(s) for which s/he is requesting the exemption at the time the application is filed.
  • The student must be enrolled as a degree-seeking Masters of Public Administration (MPA) major at the time the application is filed.
  • Completed applications and employment verifications are processed in the order received and only when both documents have been submitted. 
  • When the student is approved for the tuition exemption, the credit will be applied to his or her student account.
  • Enrollment must be secured with proper payment to avoid cancellation for non-payment. Any overpayment will be refunded.
  • All correspondence regarding the tuition exemption will be sent to the student’s UT Arlington-issued email address.


The exemption must be renewed each term, including submission of a new application and letter confirming employment as a firefighter each term.   Approval for continuation of the exemption from term to term requires that the student meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) eligibility requirements (academic good standing).  Additional information regarding SAP is available at The exemption may not be applied to additional tuition charged to an undergraduate student with excess or repeated hours under TEC. 54014(a) or (f), or the additional tuition charged to a graduate student with excess hours under TEC. 61059(I)(1) or (2).


  • Download and complete the Application for Tuition Exemption Per TEC 54.353: Firefighter Enrolled in Fire Science courses(s) here: Application Form
  •  A decision notification will be emailed to your UT Arlington email address.