Systems and Procedures
A Division of The Corporate Controller's Office


When an individual will be serving as an instructor for an on-line course, this matrix provides decision points regarding how to determine employee versus independent contractor status.

(See note below regarding non-US citizen performing all work outside the United States)

  1. Is the individual teaching more than 9 credits in a semester during the year?
  2. Is the individual teaching a mix of residential and on-line courses during the year?

  3. Is the individual already an employee at Penn State?

  4. Will the individual be a member of the Graduate Faculty?

  5. Will the individual be providing services beyond direct course instruction, such as advising students, reviewing applications/participating in admission decisions to the program, or developing the academic content of courses?

Factors supporting INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR status:

NOTE: The tax department must be contacted prior to processing a non-US resident as an employee where all services will be performed outside the United States.

Updated 7/7/2016