Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network

Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network

Photo of students in a classroom

What is the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network?

The Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network (UPTN) connects McMaster undergrad students with accessible, affordable and quality tutoring from undergrad McMaster tutors.

Tutors are here to help their peers and agree to charge a reasonable rate of $18 per hour. Students and tutors connect on the TutorOcean platform and mutually agree to meet in person, or through the 24/7 virtual classroom to review course content and make new understandings with course materials. All McMaster undergrad tutors must have received a minimum of A-/10 in the course.

Tutors can become McMaster Certified, through the SSC Academics workshop, look for this identification on their profile page.

Find a Tutor

How to Find a Tutor

  • Access the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network
  • Search for a tutor using the course code you need help with (for example, MATH 1A03).
  • Read the profiles of tutors who appear in the results. Tip: Find tutors who are “McMaster Certified” showing they have completed the SSC Academics training workshop.
  • Choose a tutor and start a chat with them. If you think they will be a good fit for you, schedule a tutoring session, in person or in TutorOcean’s virtual classroom!

How much does a session cost?

Tutoring sessions are $18 per hour.

How do I pay the tutor?

All payment transactions are completed online through TutorOcean’s payment system (PayPal, credit card or Stripe).

Can tutors do my work for me?

Absolutely not. Submitting work that is not your own, or completing someone else’s work, is a breach of McMaster’s Academic Integrity Policy. Tutors can help you understand concepts, prepare for exams, and develop deeper thinking skills, but they can’t give you answers or complete your work for you.

Who are the tutors?

Tutors in the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network are McMaster undergraduate students who have successfully completed the course for which they tutor. They must have achieved a minimum grade of A-/10 in order to become a tutor.

Are tutors trained?

All tutors in the UPTN have the option to receive tutor training. This training enhances tutors’ skills to make them more effective tutors and communicators. Tutors who complete the training requirements are identified as “McMaster Certified Tutors” on their tutoring profile.

Where do tutoring sessions take place?

Sessions should take place in a well-lit public space, look for suggestions for on the McMaster campus on TutorOcean. They can also take place in TutorOcean’s online classroom.

I can’t find a tutor in the course I need. Does that mean there aren’t any available?

Not necessarily. If you can’t find a tutor, email skills@mcmaster.ca and we may be able to find you one.

What should I expect during a tutoring session?

You should expect your tutor to ask what your goals are and to ask what you already know of the content, in order to best utilize your session together.

Tutors will model for you the course concepts, check for your understanding, provide guided practice and offer to book another session.

Please refer to the “Making the Most of a Tutoring Session” below.

Become a Tutor

How to Become a Tutor

  • Access the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network
  • Create a profile, that includes the course codes you will tutor
  • Click and allow SSC Academics to verify your course grades on Mosaic
  • Wait to be contacted by potential students! When contacted, schedule a tutoring session, in person or in TutorOcean’s virtual classroom!

Why should I become a tutor?

There are many benefits to tutoring peers: gain teaching and leadership experience, help your fellow Marauders, receive professional training, improve your own grades and content knowledge, add skills to your resume or grad school applications, earn money!

How much can I charge a student per session?

This program is meant to offer affordable tutoring to McMaster undergrads. You are providing a valuable service to fellow Marauders by being limited to an $18 per hour fee.

How do I get paid?

TutorOcean pays you directly every 2 weeks. They directly deposit to your credit card, paypal or Stripe account. Please note TutorOcean receives a 10% session fee.

As a tutor, should I claim the money I make from tutoring on my income tax return?

Yes – money made from tutoring is taxable income and should be reported on your Tax Return, as self-employed income.  If you require help completing your tax return, the Student Success Centre offers support during the winter semester.

Why should I become a McMaster Certified tutor and take the 6-hour tutor training workshop?

It is a great investment of your time that will enhance your qualifications and make you a better tutor!

You will learn topics such as: tutor/student roles and responsibilities, analyzing tutoring situation ethics, how to plan a successful session, communication skills

You may have an increase in the number of tutoring sessions.

Your Profile page will show you completed of the workshop.

Making the Most of a Tutor Session

As a Student

  • Arrange to meet in a mutually agreeable, public place on campus. Both you and your tutor need to be comfortable in your surroundings.
  • Research available tutors, read their Profile comments and check their ratings.
  • Think about what your goals and expectations are of a tutoring session. Let your tutor know before you meet.
  • Be aware of a tutor’s limitations. They are not professors/TA’s/teachers but they will try their best to support your learning.
  • Choose a time and location where you won’t be interrupted, even when meeting virtually.
  • If meeting in person sit beside each other and not across, to better share the material and create a collaborative rapport.
  • Bring all your materials with you.
  • Be aware of what constitutes Academic Misconduct, including plagiarism.
  • After the session, make sure you reflect and determine if you need another session.
  • Rate your tutor, based on star rating and write a comment on their TutorOcean profile. Be sure to tell them when they’ve done a great job! Any offensive comments will be deleted.

As a Tutor

  • Arrange to meet in a mutually agreeable, public place on campus. Both you and your student need to be comfortable in your surroundings.
  • If meeting in person sit beside each other and not across, to better share the material and create a collaborative rapport.
  • Ask the student what their goals and needs are of the session. listen carefully, to then create a plan to address these first.
  • Create a session that includes modeling concepts, checking for student understanding and change tutoring strategies as need and guided practice
  • Keep your session professional and do not share personal information, use your time to best serve the student. This is a service they are paying you for!
  • Be aware of what constitutes Academic Misconduct, including plagiarism.

Keep in Mind

  • Before every tutoring session let a friend or roommate know where you are going and who you are meeting. Leave his/her/their contact information.
  • Tutors are independent contractors and not employed directly by McMaster University.
  • TutorOcean is a third-party website that requires users to share private information, such as your McMaster email address, in order to connect with tutors.  It is your responsibility to make sure that you obtain any information which may be relevant to making a decision, and that you read the privacy and security policy on such third-party websites. McMaster University has no control over third-party websites and will not be liable for any loss or damage you suffer, whether directly or indirectly, as a result of your use of third-party websites. You agree that where you access third party websites you do so entirely at your own risk. McMaster University is not responsible for any fees/payments outstanding.
  • The information gathered by the Student Success Centre for the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network is collected under the authority of The McMaster University Act, 1976.  The information is used only for the purposes of administering the Student Success Centre’s Academic Skills service and, on occasion, for statistical purposes. Personal student information provided will not be used for any unrelated purpose without the consent of the student. This information is protected and is being collected pursuant to section 39(2) and section 42 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of Ontario (RSO 1990).  Questions regarding the collection or use of this personal information should be directed to the Student Success Centre, Gilmour Hall, Room 110, McMaster University. For complete details, review the McMaster University Policy on the Collection of Personal Information.
  • For additional support using TutorOcean please review here.
  • Please contact skills@mcmaster.ca for assistance.


We offer one-on-one academic support services at the Student Success Centre. Book a free consult on OSCARplus.