Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Academic Resources for Students

Student Guide to Academic Resources at Yale

Academic resources are any out-of-class supports for your academic work. These can include:

  • Office hours
  • Study halls
  • Study groups
  • Writing Center and Residential College Writing Tutors
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Academic workshops
  • Academic mentors (faculty, TFs, deans, administrators, peers)
  • Student wellness and mental health services.

In the 2017-2018 academic year, 51% of Yale undergraduates engaged with one of the Poorvu Center’s academic support resources. While many students come into Yale thinking of academic resources as something to seek out only when they are experiencing significant struggle in their acdemic work, they soon realize that academic resources at Yale are an essential complement to the learning they do in the classroom. In fact, Yale instructors expect that students will use all resources available to do their work–including academic support services.

This web page explains how you can integrate these academic resources into your weekly routine and help you work through the most challenging parts of your semester.

Office Hours:

Faculty and TFs

  • Most professors and TFs in the first week of classes will announce their weekly office hours. Office hours will also be noted on the syllabus which is handed out on the first day of the class. Many professors ask students to just walk in for their office hours; however, some specify that they be emailed ahead of time.
  • Office hours are a time for faculty to meet 1-1 or in small groups with students to talk about anything related to the course, the field, or your work at Yale.
  • Use conversations with faculty and TFs to better understand class expectations and possible approaches to your work
  • In some STEM courses, office hours are an opportunity to work on problem sets with your peers and the faculty member/TFs
  • In 1-1 meetings, briefly introduce yourself: identify the class, your class year, whether or not you are a major or potential major in the field. Explain why you were interested in taking the course
  • Come with a specific purpose. If you have questions about the lecture, discussion, readings, or assignment, write them down and bring the list with you.
  • Put your class’s office hours on your calendar and make a point of going at least once every few weeks.
  • Going to office hours well before an assignment is due will save you time!
Study Halls:
  • Some courses, especially in STEM fields, offer study halls where you can work on your homework alongside your peers.
  • Structured time to get your work done
  • Frequently the professor or TFs will be on hand to answer questions

Example: Physics- https://physics.yale.edu/academics/innovative-teaching/study-halls

Study Groups:
  • Informal peer groups of 4-6 students
  • Useful for problem sets, reviewing lecture materials and readings, studying for exams
  • Academic Strategies Mentors can advise you in forming study groups
Science and QR Tutoring

Courses with course-based peer tutors (see CTL website for more):


Biology: 101, 102, 103, 104

Chemistry: 161, 163, 174, 220, 221, 330L, 332

Econ: 115, 116, 121, 131, 132

Math: 112, 115, 116, 118, 220, 225, 230 (more courses available)

Physics: 170, 180, 200

Poorvu Center Tutoring – Humanities and Social Science
  • 1-1 tutoring for humanities and social science courses for concerns other than writing.
  • For students who have already received a low grade in the course (or in previous courses in the discipline)
  • Students eligible for up to 10 sessions; must be requested during the first seven weeks of class
  • Download a tutoring request form from the CTL website and see your residential college dean.
Writing Resources

Residential College Writing Tutors

  • Professional writers, editors, teachers with offices located in each residential college
  • By appointment (see CTL Writing Tutoring website for link)
  • Send in work ahead of time
  • Great for longer projects (seminar papers, senior thesis)
Poorvu Center Tutoring – Writing (Writing Partners & 10-session tutoring)

Writing Partners

  • Yale college undergraduates with special training in tutoring writing
  • Drop in service located on CTL mezzanine
  • Hours: Sun-Thurs: 3-5 pm & 7-9 pm, Fri. 10 am - 12 pm & 3-5pm; Sat. 3-5 pm

10-Session Writing Tutoring

  • For international/ELL students, students with learning differences, or who have had less experience with formal academic writing in their previous educations
  • Contact Associate Director Ryan Wepler (ryan.wepler@yale.edu) for more details
Academic workshops:

Academic Strategies Program: Designed to share effective ways of approaching your academic work at Yale


  • Sessions usually led by juniors and seniors who have been trained as Academic Mentors
  • Small groups (usually 5-10 students)
  • Offer both new ways of thinking about your work and practical approaches
Academic Peer mentors:

Meet for an individual consultation with an Academic Strategies mentor

  • Tailor strategies for your particular context and learning style
  • Make plans and set goals
  • Check-ins and support to help you meet your goals
  • Schedule an appointment online (starting Jan. 27 for Spring 2019)
  • Or contact academicstrategies@yale.edu to be matched with a mentor and set up time around your schedule
Student Wellness and Mental Health Services
Yale Libraries:
  • Good resource for locating required class readings at little or no cost
  • Help you find background material on a course topic or discipline
  • Research
  • Meeting with a personal librarian or subject librarian as soon as you receive an essay topic can help you narrow your focus and prevent you from going down unproductive research paths
  • Can help you more quickly locate the materials that will best help you for your papers and presentations
  • Also use for research for fellowship and internship applications
Study Spaces

14 Residential College Libraries

Sterling Library

Bass Library

Beinecke Library

Departmental Libraries

Graduate and Professional School Libraries

Medical School Library

Reducing Stress and keeping balance:


Planning for the long term:

Residential College Dean: The person you can work with for general academic advising and long-term goal setting and planning

Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS): Can help you decide what major is right for you and can help you plan your way through your major

Advisers: Faculty and staff who can also give you advice on your long-term academic plans; good to seek out advice from as many people as possible

Yale Center for International and Professional Experience:
  • Study Abroad
  • Planning for Graduate School
  • Post-graduate fellowships