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Peer-Guided Study Groups

Peer Guided StudyPeer-Guided Study Groups help you stay on track in challenging courses. Study Group students come together weekly throughout the quarter, in small, comfortable learning communities, to boost their learning and support their course success.

How do they work?

Students enrolled in an array of first-and second-year courses have the option of enrolling in a Peer-Guided Study Group alongside the course. Study Group participants meet weekly in groups of about 5 to 7 with a peer facilitator — another student who has taken and done well in the course (or, in some cases, an equivalent course). In the two-hour meetings, students talk through key concepts from the course, ask questions on points of confusion and help answer one another’s questions, and work through practice problems or exercises together. The Study Groups are highly collaborative, comfortable environments where undergraduates can learn from one another and help one another succeed.

Marina Siqueira

My Study Group was beyond amazing. It was the epitome of learning and doing. It helped me do really well on my quizzes and homework, and the group as a whole really bonded!”

Marina Siqueira, class of 2022

Talking to other students in the Study Group, and working through problems together, was a really effective way for me to understand the material.”

Deborah Shoola, class of 2020
Deborah Shoola
Nathan Friedle

The Study Group made a massive lecture class feel more personable, by giving us a smaller venue where we could talk about the concepts and our own reactions to the material.”

Nathan Friedle, class of 2022

I was able to ask my questions in a non-judgmental group setting, which allowed me to really continue to ask until I was certain I understood the concepts.”

Sarah Eisenman, class of 2022
Sarah Eisenman

What courses do they cover?

Peer-Guided Study Groups are available for the following courses:

  • Biology 201, 202, 203, and 301 (Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics & Evolution, Principles of Biochemistry)
  • Chemistry 110, 131, 132 (General Chemistry)
  • Chemistry 151, 152 (Accelerated General Chemistry)
  • Chemistry 215-1, -2, -3 (Organic Chemistry)
  • Economics 201, 202 (Intro to Macroeconomics, Intro to Microeconomics)
  • Economics 310-1, -2 (Microeconomics)
  • Engineering Analysis 1-4 (General Engineering 205-1,2,3,4)
  • Math 218-1,-2,-3; 220-1,-2; 228-1; Math 230-1 (Calculus)
  • Physics 130-1, -2, -3 and 135-1, -2, -3 (College Physics, General Physics)
  • Statistics 202, 210 (Intro to Statistics, Intro Statistics for the Social Sciences)

Who can join, and when can I register?

Any student enrolled in the accompanying course can join a Study Group. Students who are looking for a supportive, community-oriented learning experience and some additional support with the course may find the Study Groups particularly useful. If you are enrolled in one of the supported courses, you will receive information on registration at the beginning of the quarter.

Registration for study groups is through CAESAR and begins on Wednesday, September 22. Please note that the registration window opens at 12:00 am (midnight) Central Time. Study Groups will begin meeting Monday, September 27. 


What is the benefit?

Participants enjoy being part of a small, friendly learning community within large, rigorous courses. Having a set time to focus on the course material each week also helps participants stay on track in the course. Program evaluations show that students participating in small-group, peer-led study at Northwestern tend to find that their confidence in the course material increases, and that they improve their study skills. Many students also find that they learn the material at a deeper level, and that their grades improve.

A large body of research points to many benefits of peer-based learning, including an enhanced course experience, deeper learning, and improved grade outcomes. We have conducted a number of studies on our Northwestern programs – learn more about our research-based approach.

How can I become a peer facilitator?

We recruit for facilitators each spring. We look for students who have a strong command of the subject (although straight A's are not necessary), and who have good interpersonal skills and a desire to help others succeed. See our peer leader page for details.

Questions about peer-guided study groups?

For more information, please contact us.