Frequently Asked Questions

For students who have requested a tutor

  • What is the difference between TA office hours and tutoring sessions?

    A TA works closely with the faculty, and is often responsible for running recitation sessions where they review material that has been presented in class. In addition, they often have office hours when they can meet one-to-one with students to go over material presented in class.

    Tutors are students who have previously taken the course and were successful in demonstrating mastery of the content. They do not work with the faculty directly. The tutees really direct the tutoring session, while the TA is much more directive in a TA session.

  • How can I figure out what sort of support I may need?
    If you feel as though you have very specific questions and need less directed support, then a tutor may be the right fit. If you need a more general overview of course material, and are not sure what questions you have, you should visit your faculty’s office hours and attend available TA sessions. You should always have a conversation with your faculty first – as the faculty teaching the course may have a clear idea about the kind of support that would best meet your needs.
  • What are tips for getting the most out of TA sessions, faculty office hours, or tutoring?

    It is recommended that students go to faculty office hours from the start of the semester. Don’t wait until you are having trouble. We recommend that you visit with faculty to go over material covered in class and to get to know the faculty and for them to get to know you. When you do run into material that is more challenging, it is often easier to ask for help if you already feel as though you have a connection with the faculty member, and the faculty member can recommend specific areas to focus on in your tutoring sessions.

    The same is true for TA sessions, it is important to attend from the beginning of the semester; TA sessions are a great opportunity to check on your understanding of the course material based on the work you have completed. We encourage students to attempt to do the homework or problem sets before attending the TA session. That way, you have a clear sense of questions that you have and you also have a clear sense of what material you have already mastered.

    Working on material ahead of time is also important for tutoring sessions. Tutors will not work on problem sets with tutees, so it is up to you to work on the homework or problem sets before meeting with your tutor. Between discussing the course material with your faculty member, and knowing exactly which content area or problem set you have difficulty with, you can bring specific questions to your tutor and help your sessions be as productive as possible.

  • What if my tutor and I can’t find a time to meet because of schedule conflicts?
    If you and your assigned tutor cannot find a time that works for both of you, send an email to to request a new match. Please be sure to indicate that it was a scheduling issue based on the tutor’s availability. We will do our best to match you with a different tutor as soon as possible based on available tutors for the course.
  • What if I do not feel comfortable working with the assigned tutor?
    If for any reason you do not feel like the tutor match is a good fit, please contact the Deans' Peer Tutoring Program to request a different tutor. We will do our best to match you with a different tutor as soon as possible based on available tutors for the course.
  • What should I do if I decide to withdraw from the class?
    Please let us know if you withdraw from the class. We would like to be able to reassign the tutor. You can notify the tutor directly, and send an email to