Yale provides tutoring in a range of academic subjects and in a variety of formats, from drop-in sessions and one-time appointments focusing on a single assignment to long-term assistance in a particular course of study. While tutoring programs differ in scope and arrangements, they are alike in that they are all available to Yale College students without charge.
- Academic Strategies
- Humanities and Social Science
- Science and Quantitative Reasoning
The Academic Strategies Program provides information, workshops, and individual mentoring to undergraduate students on the approaches central to active, empowered learning at Yale. Strategies discussed include time management, cultivating faculty mentorship, managing a heavy reading load, exam study strategies, and more. Workshops on these strategies are offered throughout the semester. Departments, residential colleges, peer counselors and liaisons, and student organizations can request workshops for their groups by contacting Karin Gosselink, Academic Strategies Program Director.
In addition, peer academic mentors are available to help individual students develop and adapt strong academic strategies for their particular learning styles. Students can sign up at the program website for one-hour mentoring sessions. Faculty and staff also can directly refer students to Karin Gosselink, Academic Strategies Program Director.
The Center for Language Study (CLS) offers one-on-one foreign language tutoring for Yale students enrolled in language courses. Any enrolled student, from those who are struggling in the language to those who would like to further enhance their language skills, may request a language tutor. Each student is eligible for up to ten free sessions per term with a faculty-approved CLS tutor.
The Center also offers weekly drop-in tutoring sessions at Bass Library in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. Any Yale student—whether undergraduate, graduate, or professional—may attend these sessions. Please check the CLS website for a schedule.
The Humanities and Social Science Tutoring program offers one-on-one tutoring to students who are experiencing academic difficulty in a specific humanities or social science course (excluding economics courses). For purposes of eligibility, “academic difficulty” is defined as currently earning or likely to earn a grade of C or below in the course. Students who need such assistance should be referred to the residential college dean, who will help the student with the simple application process to obtain an individual tutor. Typically, these tutors are advanced undergraduates whose major is in the same department or discipline as the course.
Tutors normally must be requested within the first seven weeks of the course, i.e., by midterm. Students are eligible for ten hours of individual tutoring per course each term. For further information about humanities and social science (including economics courses) tutoring, please see the program’s website.
Tutoring for economics courses is available through the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning.
The Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning offers several tutoring programs for students in science and QR courses (including QR courses in the social sciences, such as economics).
The Residential College Math and Science Tutoring program offers tutoring in all areas of math and science at scheduled times in the residential colleges and several other locations. Tutoring is available to any Yale College student on a walk-in basis. Areas of expertise and office hours for tutors are available on the website for the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning.
Many QR & Science courses are staffed by Course-Based Peer Tutors, Yale undergraduates who have taken the course before and who have been chosen by the professor to help new students who have questions about the material. Professors working with CBPTs will advertise that fact on the syllabus, but students can also see a list of all courses with CBPTs on the website for the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning.
Finally, students who are having difficulty in a course beyond what Residential College or Course-Based tutors can support may apply for small group tutoring. This tutoring is usually restricted to students whose early assignments put them on a track to earn a “C+” or below in a given course. Students are eligible for up to ten hours of work with a small group, led by an advanced undergraduate tutor with expertise in the discipline. Students can request this additional support either by talking to their residential college dean or downloading the application directly from the website for the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning. Completed applications must also include a signature from the course instructor.
Any faculty or staff members with questions may contact the coordinator of STEM tutoring, Kailasnath Purushothaman.
Through the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning, the Writing Center offers tutoring in each of the residential colleges. Each tutor is available for approximately ten hours a week to work with students on any writing project: course papers from across the curriculum, senior essays, graduate school and fellowship applications, or anything intended for publication. The Residential College Writing Tutors have substantial experience in drafting and revising prose—as classroom writing teachers or as professional editors and writers—and they provide an important resource for both students and faculty. Tutors usually meet with students by appointment on a one-to-one basis to discuss rough drafts of work in progress.
Another resource, called the Writing Partners, offers drop-in help with writing at the Poorvu Center in Sterling Memorial Library. Writing Partners are Yale College or graduate school students selected both for their writing skills and for their ability to talk about writing. They can give feedback at any point in the writing process, from brainstorming to final revision.
Writing tutors don’t provide full editing or rewriting services. Their goal is to help students learn something about writing; the focus is more on the writer than on the particular paper being revised. But even this narrower focus can lead to greatly improved essays, and students who see a tutor for multiple sessions can make substantial progress as writers over time. Instructors who believe that a student’s work would benefit from additional help with writing should suggest that the student make an appointment with a Residential College Writing Tutor; no referral from an instructor or a dean is required. Students often begin with the tutor in their own college, although they are welcome to see tutors in other colleges and to visit the Writing Partners.
While some writers whose first language is not English may need more specialized assistance, faculty members should still encourage them to meet with a residential college writing tutor. This is the best resource for assessing a student writer’s needs. The Writing Center does offer additional resources for ESL writers when required. First-year international students in particular are offered the chance for regular meetings with a Writing Partner during their first term.
For more information about writing resources, visit the Poorvu Center website. Questions or suggestions about tutoring, or about other ways the Writing Center can help you and your students, should be directed to Dean Alfred E. Guy Jr., R. W. B. Lewis Director of the Writing Center. Instructors who have concerns about the written work of a student whose first language is not English should contact Associate Director Ryan Wepler.