Department of Mathematics

Van Vleck Hall, 480 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI

Tutorial Program FAQ

IMPORTANT NOTE: Fall 2020 Tutorials will be conducted virtually.

Please contact Math Learning Center Director Leah Rineck ( for information on Tutorial Program participation via Canvas.

Who are the students in the tutorial program?

We attract a very diverse crowd of students! The Math Tutorial Program is appropriate for anyone who can benefit from our structured support as they work through their math class. Our primary focus is students who without our structure and support would not be successful in their current class. In addition, we work with returning students, students who haven't taken a math class in several years, and students who are repeating a class, as well as with students from groups which are underrepresented in mathematics and the sciences.

When I went to apply for the tutorial program, I was told to wait and see how the next exam went, or to come back in a couple weeks.

Because our resources are limited, we can't possibly accept every student who applies to the Mathematics Tutorial Program. We are often forced to judge whether a person will be able to maintain a passing grade in a class without our help; students who we suspect won't be successful working on their own have to take a higher priority with us. If we suspect that a student will be able to do okay on their own (using their instructor's office hours and the MathLab), or if a student hasn't yet tried these means of getting help in their math class, we'll often ask them to keep working at it, and schedule a followup visit to help them assess their progress. We're not the only resource available; there are a wide variety of programs which can provide support for students in mathematics department courses

I hear you demand a LOT of time and work from your students.

Yes, I suppose that is true. Our program gets results, but it isn't magic: it's hard work that gets the results. We demand of our students that they

  1. attend their regular lecture and discussion sections
  2. continue to use their instructor's office hours
  3. attend two mandatory tutorial sessions per week
  4. attend some of our office hours each week
  5. put in a reasonable amount of outside study time
    • Math 113,14: 6 study hours per week
    • Math 171/217, 211, 221, 222, 234: 12 study hours per week

    Those study times are what one would expect of any student in order to make satisfactory progress.

A lot of time and work? Maybe, but not much more than you should already be putting into the class. We can help you find ways to get more out of your effort, but the motivation for putting in the effort should be there already.

How do I apply to enter the Mathematics Tutorial Program?

During the first four weeks of the semester, no referral form is necessary; you should use the online application at the How to apply page or you can apply in person, by seeing Leah Rineck (

After the fourth week in the semester, you'll need to get a referral form from your instructor, advisor, or dean. (Your TA is probably the easiest source for this.). Have them fill out the referral form on the How to apply page.

 If you are accepted into the program, your schedule information will be used to find a tutorial section that can fit into your schedule.

We admit students into the program up to the 13th week of class.

I'm not sure the tutorial program is for me; what other help resources are available?

Here are some pointers to several sources for getting additional help in your math class.

Any further questions contact

Leah Rineck

621 Van Vleck Hall

UW-Madison Department of Mathematics
Van Vleck Hall
480 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI  53706

(608) 263-3054

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