Carnegie Mellon University

Academic Development

The Learning Zone

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What is a Peer Tutor?

Peer Tutors are usually undergraduates who assist fellow students primarily (but not exclusively) with introductory level math, engineering, science, and writing courses. They staff the evening walk-in tutoring service in various residence halls and library locations on campus. They also pick up weekly tutoring appointments throughout the semester as needed. Peer Tutors do not provide answers or solutions to homework assignments, but instead work with the student in an effort to model problem solving strategies and explain course-specific concepts.

What does a Peer Tutor do?

  • Assists students with specific course-related concepts and problems
  • Facilitates development of effective, related study skills
  • Participates in regularly scheduled meetings with the Peer Tutor Coordinator
  • Conducts classroom visits to promote Academic Development's services
  • Works approximately 5 to 9 hours per week

The Benefits of Being a Peer Tutor:

  • Develops interpersonal communication skills
  • Meets a diverse group of students across a variety of academic disciplines
  • Reinforces and builds upon your own knowledge of course content
  • Allows you to schedule your work around your classes
  • Paid on-campus position after training


  • Minimum overall QPA of 3.5
  • An "A" in the courses you wish to tutor
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Good organizational and time management skills
  • Enjoy working with and helping others


Selected applicants participate in a 4.5 unit pass/fail training course in a fun and interactive group setting. The class lasts approximately nine weeks and is generally offered in the spring term from February through April. The course explores the roles and responsibilities of the tutor while offering insights into effective tutoring strategies through interactive discussion and role plays. In addition, trainees work hands-on with experienced tutors to troubleshoot potential problems and situations.