University of California-Los Angeles Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?


Tough- depends on major. Social sciences can be a breeze depending on professor, math/science are in a diff part of campus.


Whenever it comes to academics, there is only one word in my mind: stressful. Every student is so smart here and you have to put all your hearts into one class if you want to get an A! However, that's not to say they are not doable, and everyone, if he work hard enough, can of course earn what he deserves! And for example, I work really hard here and my GPA now is 4.0.


I'll be honest, classes here are ridiculously large, especially the science classes. My freshman general chemistry class was 300 people. The professor doesn't know your name (how can he?), and people really don't care if you show up or not. Because we're on the quarter system, classes go by really fast. It's good if you don't like a class, because you're done with it after 10 weeks, but if you don't actually know what's going on, then you can fall behind really quickly. As a biochemistry student, I haven't taken many humanities classes, so I can't speak for them, but as far as the science classes go, they're competitive. My classmates study all the time. They go to office hours whenever they're available, and they're constantly trying to get a good grade in the class. Our classes are all lecture-based, so there's absolutely zero participation (unless you have a question to ask), but I know that in the English classes, it's all discussion-based. While all the professors are extremely accomplished, some are simply better at teaching than others, at which point, it's up to you to figure out the material. Lack of funding has cut tutoring programs on campus, making it harder to get help, but the TAs are always there if you need help.


UCLA is divided, colloquially, into 'North Campus' (the humanities majors) and 'South Campus' (the sciences majors). South Campus majors are generally understood to be more academically time-consuming, but that's not to say North Campus majors aren't challenged. You get out of your classes what you put into them - lecture attendance is rarely required, but going often, and developing a relationship with the professor in office hours, will ensure a more worthwhile use of your time and money (and a better grade). Most large lectures also have TA-taught discussion sections to better refine and explain the material.


North campus is where all the liberal arts classes are, and South campus is where all the science classes are. It really is strange how different classes are between campuses. South Campus- huge 300 people lectures. Want to get to know the professor? You need to WERK! You need to take initiative, take advantage of his office hours, ask questions! Usually, math classes SUCK and the professors are too smart for their own good and don't know how to explain theories to us normal folk. But the science classes like chem and bio are organized and students know they have to form study groups. North Campus- smaller lecutures (100-200?) and VERY intimate and helpful discussions. Discussions are the smaller division of student classes lead by a teachers assistant, and you really get to know everyone in your discussion, but each discussion heavily depends on the TA. You definitely should try asking around to see which TAs grade better or teach better- it can make or break you! I'm pre-med and switching between psychobiology or psychology major. I was considering minoring in spanish linguistics, but I realized I would need to be a super senior in that case =/. I've only recently switched from undeclared to phychobio to psych... and now I'm considering switching back to pyschobio! I've talked to the graduate counselors and they were very helpful in figuring out what classes I need to take when and what the differences were between majors.


Academics here can be tough, especially if you are a science major aka south campus major. I've taken GE classes in many north campus classes, and the majority of them have a lot of reading. So be prepared to read at least 200 pages a week. For science classes, you take the core classes with hundreds of other students, and depending on the professor, they can be your most favorite or worst nightmare. Each professor has a different style of teaching, what they want to emphasize on, how hard they want to make the exams, how much homework they assign, and show if they care about student learning or not. It really all depends on the professor. I've had some so-so and some very awesome professors; how much you like the class really depends on the professor who teaches it. Some professors will make an effort to know your name, that is, if you try to know them yourselves and go to office hours. Students who go here, worked hard in high school to get here, so they will definitely make sure they stay here and graduate. Everyone is studious, to some extent. Science classes are where you will find the most competitive students--mainly because the majority of them are pre-med, pre-dent, pre-pharm, etc. The student atmosphere also depends on which class you're taking. Some classes promote collaborative student learning while some others just end up being that you're learning on your own (if you have friends taking the same classes, then form study groups! They help a lot!).


Great professors, inspiring TAs, academics are the only thing I can say nothing negative about. I had a marvelous time here learning and it made me want to stay in academics. A small dust up has been made over USC beating UCLA in the (possibly arbitrary) USN&WR rankings for National Colleges (undergrad). This might matter to you if you did no other research into the matter. Further study into the academic programs at UCLA prove that the Science and Humanities are almost ALL top 10, and rank in direct competition with only Ivies (English, Engineering, Sociology, Psych, Anthro, History, Econ, Chemistry, Computer Science, Applied Math). Therefore, asan undergrad in say physics, you are studying under a professor from one of the greatest physics departments in the country, and your being tutored by TAs who are themselves proteges of the top programs available to their discipline. Think about that. UCLA doesn't just have great Med/Law/Business schools, its individual programs are even HIGHER ranked. So, regardless of your major, you're highly likely to be studying with the most esteemed intellectuals in that field, and under the tutelage of the most competent graduate students in the country. Check mate USC, get back on the football field where you belong and stop trying to compete academically with the greatest school in southern California.


SOME professors actually do know your name, contrary to popular belief... it's all up to you whether or not you want to make yourself memorable by taking part in class and talking to your professor during office hours. A lot of my professors have had coffee and donuts hours, and other social events to better get to know their students. I'm currently taking one class that has 7 students, and another that consists of 15, so the myth that our classes are always huge and impersonal is not true, although the big lecture halls have their advantages, too. The academic requirements cover a wide range of topics and subjects, and sometimes there are things you'd think that were totally unrelated to your field that you have to take, but then later you realize why you needed to take them (or not!). Most of the classes have given me useful knowledge for the future, but a few have been a useless waste of time.


The academics are outstanding. They are so outstanding that despite everything else I've said, the professors, classes, and material here more than make up for everything else. I am gladly going into debt to sit at the foot of the masters here. Of course to get the experience, you have to plan and prioritize it. My major is in the social sciences. If you're like me, the best way to get a good experience is to enroll in more seminars than lectures. These classes are small and discussion based, somewhat student guided, and generally culminate in a substantial paper at the end. You get to have great interaction with professors and students at a higher level than in other classes. This is important because in larger classes, students tend to desperately swarm the professors at the end of every class in the vain hope that they will differentiate themselves and receive a letter of recommendation for law or grad school.


UCLA is a very competitive school when it comes to academics. Students study very often, especially the many pre-med kids, and class participation is fairly common. Students carry on intelligent conversation outside of class, ranging from class topics to politics to philosophy. The most unique class I have taken is Art and Archeology of Ancient Greece, which was really fascinating. I loved learning about classical and bronze age Greeks, especially how the cultures developed over time. Many major-specific courses are designed towards getting a job, but the wide variety of other classes enables learning for pleasure.


Academics at UCLA are excellent. We have relatively small class sizes compared to most major universities, plus we have weekly discussion sections that have maybe 10-20 people in them, so each student gets as much attention as necessary from the professors and the TA's. The professors here often know the names of the people in their classes. The thing that impresses me the most about UCLA is how willingly students participate in class. That makes class much more interesting and creates an excellent learning environment. In fact, the learning environment extends even outside of class. There are student groups and activists all over campus that are glad to share their opinions AND hear ours. There are many unique classes here at UCLA, but one of the most unique is the Imagineering class. It's a complete course on how to do what the Disney Imagineers do. Its an incredible opportunity for any students who are interested in that field or in any engineering field in general. The students here are quite competitive, especially in the south campus majors (sciences and math). The departments are extremely helpful in getting you the information you need to know and helping you graduate in your projected window. UCLA's academic requirements are rigorous, but manageable and it is always possible to graduate in 4 years if you plan them well. The education at UCLA is amazing. It involves learning for the sake of learning in a program that takes you directly to your field of choice in the future.


GE classes at UCLA can be pretty large. Even some of the classes for your major, it if is one of the more popular ones. However, to counteract the size of the lectures, many courses have discussion sections where T.A.s help students with the material by getting them to talk about it. So, even though your professor might not know who you are, if you are active in discussions, your T.A.s will and they can be a good source for letters of recommendation if you need them. My favorite class has probably been one of the Honors Collegium courses offered. It was about modern transformations of classical story forms - specifically it was the transformation of the Cinderella story and a transformation of Robinson Crusoe. It was the first and only class where I actually liked writing my papers because I was actually coming up with my own thoughts rather than regurgitating what the professor in my class had told us. I guess that excited me that I was able to discuss my own ideas and not be penalized for going off about what I think. Competitiveness really seems to depend on the kinds of courses you are taking at UCLA. If you are in a bio or chem class that is curved, the class is pretty much cutthroat in their acquisition of grades. I have heard of "friends" denying to help each other for fear that one would do so much better than the other. However, there is really nothing like this in the social sciences. The first priority of a lot of the professors at UCLA isn't teaching, it is their research. This should be kept in mind. Although professors have office hours, it might be harder to get a hold of some of them beyond those times if you need to see them. Education at UCLA seems very much like it is geared toward a professional career of some kind. Most students here, if they know what they are going to do after graduation, seem to be on the path to become some kind of lawyer or doctor.


I'm an English major so a majority of the classes are based around heavy discussion of texts. The professor's here are very helpful, both in class and during office hours. They make it so that the studen feels free to recieve help at any given time if confusion arises. There is an immense amount of studying and analyzing involved which would equate to about 4-5 hours daily in my case. The requirements are fair and it can definetly be managed thorugh out a 4 year period. The students in my department are very knowledgable, yet they seem to always find time to lend a helping hand outside of class. My favorite class so far would be English 141A: Canterbury Tales becuase the text we read was filled with some amazing imagery and themes. I feel that going to class here is really worthwhile and gives you a sense of comfort.


Professors will know your name if you raise your hand and are a good student. My favorite classes have been the two classes I've taken that I anticipated to be the most boring: Introduction to Jewish Studies and 19th Century American History; Jewish Studies because I'm a Jew and therefore have a strong background in the information I would be learning, and History because well...come on, it's history. The truth is, I could not have been more wrong. Both professors retaught me how to think, encouraging the incorporation of viewing information as belief instead of fact and analyzing for what it can be instead of what it is. Both professors knew my name because I raised my hand often and disagreed with their views even more often. Both TAs (grad students) knew my name all through the courses and got me thinking even more than the professors did. I met the professors and TAs outside of academic purposes a few times as well. My least favorite class was Theater 20. Now hold your horses, I LOVE acting, come on. But the class was for non-majors, and the TA didn't seem to respect the students' potential very much. I attribute this to the fact that our Theater school is one of the best in the nation. All of my GE classes have been interesting and I've had great selection. I took a class on music's influence on Religion in global cultures. It was taught by a professor who was born in Macedonia, grew up in Croatia, spoke 7 languages, and had experienced and worshiped with virtually every religious tradition in existence as part of a life goal of hers. THIS CLASS WAS A GE!!! I learned a lot, despite her thick accent. Don't underestimate the power of ALL departments at UCLA. There are no weaknesses (except Geology, I've heard?). Engineering is top notch (I have friends pulling all nighters to write 30 page computer programs, so I know), humanities are well funded and attract thinkers from all over the country, sciences seem to attract a lot of professors who used to teach at MIT...weird, and the Arts are so comprehensive, I don't see how anyone could choose *cough* CAL *cough*.


Not as hard as I expected - you can bullshit your way through a lot of classes. the English department has some really great professors but the classes are pretty huge, so what you get out of it depends entirely on what you put into it. if you want to get to know your professor, take the honors sections. north campus students are not competitive in the ways south campus students are because we're not graded on a curve.


As an english major, many of my pre-req. classes are large. I personally didn't make myself known to the professors, but I'm sure it could have been possible. The large lectures are usually divided into smaller sections taught by graduate student TA's, in a sense, it was kind of upsetting to have that personal discussion time with grad. students, but you come to find out that they are just as enlightening as the professors (however, some TAs aren't so good... so its kind of a toss up). It seems that most students are on the ball with their reading assignments, while I usually left them to the last minute, but I managed to maintain B's through most of my UCLA career! Class participation is fairly common and almost everyone seems to have something intelligent to add and a new perspective to give. The professors are wonderful, each have their own personality, but their knowledge is incredible! I don't see too much competition between the students since everyone, at this point, has learned to respect the other since we all had to meet the same requirements to get here! The requirements, at the transfer level, are totally "doable". I transferred! At the high school level, I think it's ridiculous, but all colleges have gotten to that point pretty much. The english major in itself is such a great major, it seems more like learning for it's own sake but what you learn is really applicable to ANY job. The english major gains knowledge in analyzing and reading between the lines, our reading comprehension and grammar skills are exercised and we learn how to construct successful arguments based on specific evidence, all of which can be applied to almost any career choice - and it allows for the flexibility of switching careers paths while in college (as is almost inevitable for most students)!


If you want your professor to know your name, s/he will. It's difficult in the really big classes, but UCLA has been around for a long time, and so they mostly have it down when it comes to getting what you want out of your education. The academic requirements, however, can be rigid and hard to deal with, especially if you want to try and craft you own major. Then, beware!


unless u meet with a professor outside of class or you have a small discussion, it is highly unlikely that your teacher will know you by name. my favorite class so far was EDU-130, it was extremely interesting and i learned so much. i highly recommend it even if your not planning on teaching. least favorite ENGLISH 109, my teacher is all high and mighty and really mean, but the readings for the class are excellent. i'm going to say the study workload depends on the major, i study like 15 hours per week, south campus majors which are sciences and math majors probably need more since their classes are extremely competitive. students here are VERY competitive! especially in the math and sciences. the most unique class i have taken so far was The Cultural History of Rap. it wasn't something i was very interested in, but i learned a lot about black arts movement, i know a lot of random facts that surprise the people who are interested in hip hop. it was pretty fun. my major is not super competitive but its not, not competitive either. it is very difficult and i don't think english majors get enough credit. its all critical thinking and its the hardest thing i have ever had to do. the Academic requirements are fair, its a tough school, they need to know that you can hang with the big dogs. getting a job or learning? i think it depends on what you study its both i think. we are prepared for anything.


The Spanish Department here is a bit of a joke. Last year had a ton of really great professors and really great courses, but this year the department has just gone downhill. It's horrible with communication and has pretty much messed up the schedules of a ton of seniors because of certain classes not being offered enough that are needed to graduate. Some professors are really great and are actually really focused on trying to get students to learn as opposed to just ranting and raving about how much they hate the administration and how they'd just rather go back to Spain.


Professors are all different. I've heard of some professors memorizing an intire class of 60 people's names by the end of the first week and using them often. Others, like my lower division chem classes, are 300 student lectures were personal touches don't always exist. For the most part, when you get into your major and are taking upper division classes you become a lot more personal with professors and they often learn a lot about you. Favorite class - Neuroscience 102 with Dr. Arnold Sheibel - The most difficult and most rewarding class I have taken at UCLA. Dr. Sheibel is a living legend and at around 85 years old he is still the most well mannered, most articulate, and inpirational teacher I have had at UCLA Worst class - 9 am multivariable calculus class with a teach that had a monotone voice and a thick accent. Study time varies by major, carrer choice, and intelligence but many students do make time to study vigorously. Thankfully, there are so many students at UCLA that when you are done studying or just need a break there is always someone ready to go out and have fun with you. UCLA students are often students first so conversations outside of class are often (or at least more often than at other schools) intelligent in nature. UCLA is very competative in cerain majors. This has hurt my GPA, but my bedside manner and people skills I have aquired outside of the classroom will deffinately pay off during interviews. The neuroscience major at UCLA is difficult but rewarding. The information you learn is all cutting edge and neuroscience is one of the great frontiers that still has much potential for more knowledge compared to macrobiology and anatomy. The concelor is amazing and the teachers are very supportive and intelligent.


Professors did know my name - but that's because I worked for some of them in the Communications Department as a grader, so I spent time with them outside of calss as well. One of my favorite classes was the History of American Film, which I think is a staple at UCLA. Even though the class is four hours long (twice a week) it always fills up the quickest, mostly because people probably want to watch movies. I don't recall a least favorite class. Class participation is common, and I think the level of competition varies in different majors. The Comm Dept was very relaxed. The education at UCLA is definitely geared at learning for its own sake - which I think is good, because the things that we need to learn to get a job or do a job dont require much skill or thought.


Classes at UCLA are best described as impersonal and labor-intensive. It is generally up to the student to take initiative and responsibility to ensure his/her own academic success, but again, help is easily found by the outgoing student. Office hours and various discussion sections offer smaller-group environments to assist learning for students and most professors are more than willing to help an eager student. That being said, most classes are very competitive, often absurdly so, by students used to striving to get an "A" at any cost. Depending on the major, coursework is often undertaken with a "run before youc an walk" attitude due to the quarter system in which classes last only 10 weeks before completion. For students interested in small classroom environments and close supervision, UCLA may not be an encouraging place to attend.


Our general ed classes are huge, but thats probably true at most universities. Once you get further into your major though, classes get smaller and more personal. Im not one to see professors outside of class, but I know that they are available if you need them.


As a science major, I have yet to take a small class where the professor learns my name like in high school classes. I have personal relationships with only TA's, no professors, as classes are too large to bother. You would easily be able to find someone who studies all the time, and someone who never does - the whole spectrum of student type is represented here.


No. My favorite class is social psychology. Least favorite is physics. Every day. Yes. Yes. YES. Eng 4W. I hate chemistry! No. They're cool. It's geared toward whatever you make it. Getting a degree from UCLA in and of itself isn't all that bad though. =)


Professors definitely do not know my name, but that is because I don't go to office hours and classes are pretty big. Students definitely have intellectual conversations outside of class, which largely revolve around stuff we're learning, but it's not what we spend all our time doing (we don't often sit around with coffee and discuss the meaning of life). The most unique class I've taken was the history of science, magic, and religion; we're pretty sure the proessor was a witch.


I feel that academics at UCLA are truly based on the individual student. Your professor will know your name if you take the time to get to know the professor. You will find your self in classroom discussions if you are willing to participate yourself. Some students study for hours and hours a week, for others a few hours is enough. And I truly believe that good grades are attainable for those that are willing to put in the effort required.


1. more do now 2. haven't categorized my classes that carefully 3. depends on the students 4. varies with the class and the professors 5. yes 6. premeds more than engineers 7. nothing pops out 8. civil and environmental engineering 9. yes 10. fairly strict 11. more towards theory


Professors do not know very many names of students. Lectures are enormous, but reasonably so. It's understandably impersonal in this sense, but nevertheless I don't feel like "just a number." Competition is only evident in the classrooms; people study and perform well on exams, making it to do well unless you yourself bring yourself to the same standard and study hard.


Some of them. Anthro 12- the honors section. It was me, three other girls, and a world renowned anthropologist. Once in a life time experience... and we got to go to the zoo! Least fav.: trying to get into lower division poli sci classes is like trying to win a car race with a bicycle. Most weekends, maybe three weekdays a week. Yes. Well, no. It depends on the class size/how intimidating a professor/TA is. We have great discussions outside of class; they're not all intellectual, but every so often something intelligent sneaks in. VERY competitive. Most unique class: History of Magic, Science, and Religion. But I don't recommend it. Political Science and Psychology happen to be the two most popular majors on campus. They're crowded and hard to get into--- but! that means there's the biggest range of class topics. I can literally take a class on whatever I want to study. Not really. The requirements are fair, but hard to make them work with one another sometimes. Learning for its own sake. but that's got a lot to do with my majors-- neither is really made for a job just out of college.


My most favorite class is my Honors Collegium seminar with Professor Von Blum. He knows my name, but most professors don't know my name simply because of the size of most classes.


Some of the classes are pretty big..favorite class would have to be MAE 150A...students study pretty often but not so much that it takes up all their time...just gotta manage time well. Intellectual conversations...sure. Students are pretty competitive, but who isn't? Everyone wants to do well. Don't really spend time outside engineering with professors.. Academic requirement? Kind of geared towards both getting a job and theoretical learning for its own sake...way too many upper division requirements though.


You have to admit professors do not know your name in your beginning courses; but only if you sit there and do nothing. If you are involved in your academics and want the professor to know your name, he will, all you have to do is go to office hours, get some extra help. Use your professors not only as academic tools but as mentors as well. I am actually a GLOBAL STUDIES major and Geography major but I couldn't pick that from the list I had on this survey. It's awesome, the departement is great. THe international burkle institue is world renown and one of its former fellows is General Wesley Clark, former NATO supreme commander of allied foces in Europe!


Nope my professors dont' know my name. It's kinda sad really, but I never have the bravery to go into office hours and introduce myself. It's nerve wracking to go into office hours. And yes, students are freaking insanely competitive here at this school - it borders on the ridiculous side. Biology is by far the chillest major but a lot of the snotty pre meds look down on it because it's "easier" than other things like Phy Sci or MCDB, but hey, I like animals and don't like narrowing my focus to something that I'll probably be studying when I'm in medical school.


the classes here are typically huge lecture halls but who cares really? academics rests in the hands of the student and if they want to be best friends with the prof, that is do-able, with office hours and the like. students here can be very competitive but it is usually easy to find help in class, and most people are laidback. class participation is not common but also not rare, it depends on the prof. i am a sociology major so my field of study involves how society works and how people interact, therefore a lot of the soc professors are very interactive and good communicators. ucla has a GE program that forces you to take a bunch of classes you otherwise wouldnt take, its painful at times but is a necessary evil that we all will someday appreciate. ucla has a lot of features that prep us for the real world as well, like career center, job fairs, internship fairs, and simply being in the los angeles area helps too.


Professors do not know my name because the classes are huge and I don't attend office hours (because I don't feel I need to). My favorite class was physics because it explained the world to me in a scientific manner. I learned why things work the way they do. It seems applicable in the real world as well, not just for a career in physics. The academic requirements for my actual major are fine, but I don't like having to take so many General Education requirements. Why can't they have a class on football? After all, they offer a lot of music history classes and movie classes, but no sport ones. Sports classes could include a lot of academic information: for instance, how sporting events have influenced history, strategies of playing the game, scouting, the physics of throwing a ball, etc.


In my lower division courses, none of my professors knew my name. I did have some good relationships with Teaching Assistants and now that I am starting to take upper division classes in an unimpacted major (linguistics), my professors actually know who I am and notice whether I am in class or not.


This is a tough subject for me to write about, because I can't quite tell if I have had an uncommonly poor experience with professors, or if everyone else is just too damn eager to succeed that they don't stop to ask why the hell they can't understand a damn thing they're being told. No one seems to be vocal as me about their dissatisfaction with the faculty, yet if you were to ask someone why they were struggling in their classes, that person would be likely to say that it is because their professor did an extremely poor job explaining it. You see, the greatest problem I have found with the professors is that, while they are EXTREMELY intelligent and competent people, they are interested primarily in the research being funded by the school, and have neither passion for teaching, nor the ability to do it. That leaves the TA's, who are often more interested in student learning, but who almost always use a very different method of explaning material than the professor. In fact, I have had a few TA's who don't even attend lecture. They merely take the topic being covered and find they quickest way to explain it to their students, who then often find themselves confused not only by the material itself, but also by the way in which they ought to go about handling it. There's also another big problem I've encountered with TA's (mainly in math and science courses), and this is kind of a touchy subject, so I'll do my best to be P.C. The majority of my TA's have been foreign. Okay, no problem. However, about half of these foreign TA's had such a poor grasp on the English language that they had trouble grasping some concepts (such as those in word problems), so students would have to explain them. Needless to say, this is not how the limited time of a discussion should be spent. And of course, many of these TA's had accents so thick that they would have to be asked to repeatedly repeat things so that students would understand. Honestly, I don't know what could be done about this problem, since someone should no be denied a position because of his or her background. Still, though, I think it does need to be acknowldged as a problem.


Some professors know me by name. Obviously, my fist 2 years it was rare that a professor would know me personally. Now that I am taking smaller classes, and the nature of the classes I take ( a lot based on discussions and interactions and opinions) you get to connect with your professors more. My favorite professors are either Getty or Lohmann. Getty teaches Soviet history and Lohmann teaches poli-sci with an emphasis on ethics. They both seemed genuinely interested in student learning over grades and had plenty of on-the field accounts to spice up lectures. Getty had incredible stories about times he met important players like Gorbachev and was easily the best lecturer ive ever had- he was realy old school. Lohmann is a gem- she is out of her mind and is obsessed with student interaction above all else. Some people can be annoyed by her tangents, but Im down. She really challenges you and grades are the last thing she worries about. I think her class is how university education should be. My least favority courses are ones where it is obvious that the teachers dont want to be there. A lot of teachers are experts in their fields and do research, and they just dont seem to give effort to class. Jacoby Russel comes to mind...Students study a lot, but my major is unique in the sense that it is sorta easy to bullshit and not dso all the assigned reading. Oppose to something like physics, where I image it is a lot more studying. Intellectual conversations are common outside of class and sometimes creep into parties, but it is more about praising or talking shit about progfessors. I am a double major (history/polsci) and enjoy both. Like I said, UCLA is huge and there are good professors and bad ones, finding and connecting with the good ones is key. The academic requirements are really that bad (but everyone complains about them). For me, I had no idea what I really wanted to study, so why not take a Bullshit science class???? They are for the most part easy and you meet people. Yeh, they are ultimately useless, but I guess I know about dinasours and nutrition now?? I think whether UCLA is geared towards getting a job or learning depends on the major and classes you take. History majors, for the most part, are interested in history and not necessarily concerned with a job. Obviously, Law school is emphasized in polisci courses, but it really depends on the professor.


If you're in a small class, professors know your name, otherwise they won't. TA's will try to get to know you because you are in a smalelr class. My favorite class will probably have to be Life Science 15, and my least Computer Science 31. Students study when they need to study - for midterms, quizzes, homework, finals. Class participation is more common in smaller classrooms, and UCLA students definitely have intellectual conversations outside of class. Students are quite competitive, especially in my department. THe most unique class I've taken is Arts and Architecture. My major consists of 300 undergraduates, so there are less than 100 people per class, which means you can make strong connections with your peers. I spend time with some professors outside of class, such as my research professor - but mostly because I work with her. UCLA gears their education both on getting a job and learning for your own sake, because they teach what you want to know and what you should know.


Some do, lectures are dry for civil engineering, some students are hardcore studying, but i feel most do just an adequate amount.


It’s a misconception—even an excuse—that the professors will not know your name. Yes, there are enormous lectures, but I’d rather be in a large lecture from a world-class professor than a seminar with someone less qualified. The professor can and will get to know you if you make the effort. Sitting in the front, raising your hand a few times, and attending office hours are small prices to pay for the recommendations and connections you could gain from the first-class professors at UCLA. As a north campus major, my classes subsist on a healthy balance of professor lectures and student discussions, usually both within the same hour period. The academic expectations of UCLA translate into a competitive student body, which means that discussions can actually be useful. And, while it may say something about my “party life”, more often than not I find myself in intellectual conversations outside of class, because in the end, most of us got here and remain here because we value intelligent thought and discussion. UCLA has designed a totally optional one-year program for freshmen, a class known as a “cluster”, which focuses on a certain theme with multi-disciplinary approaches. For example, I took one on “History of Modern/Social Thought”. (Topics vary from “The 1960s” to “Global Environment”, “Interracial Development, etc.) The class spans all three quarters, and features lecturers from related and overlapping fields—my cluster was taught by professors and teaching fellows from the history, anthropology, philosophy, and sociology departments. It was difficult, and intense, especially for a freshman, but I have used the knowledge I gained in that class in literally every class that has followed. In addition, some perks include priority enrollment for cluster students and early training in seminar writing and discussion, which not only trains students for upper division classes but satisfies otherwise often tricky seminar and writing requirements for the university. I have recommended the cluster program to literally every student that I’ve talked to about coming to UCLA. I came to UCLA as a physics major, impressed with and excited about the well-respected science department. However, after a few quarters I realized that my strengths and interests lay instead in the English department. I was incredibly satisfied, therefore, to experience UCLA’s versatility, because the English department here is as world-renowned as its science department, if not more so, allowing me the same academic excitement that had brought me here on a different academic track. My experience within the department has been quite inspiring, as I’ve gotten the opportunity to study with some big names within the field. I would stress the influence of the study abroad program within my major as well, because it’s afforded me the opportunity to get to know some of these professors in a very focused setting, plus it’s studying abroad. It’s been within seminar settings such as the study abroad classes that I’ve been able to really experience some awe-inspiring intellectual discussions that ensure my enthusiasm for the subject. After taking a Fiat Lux—a small, one-unit, pass/fail class meant purely for fun—I got to know the professor, who every summer took students to a major English conference for professors and graduate students, that we might get to observe, and participate in, a higher level of discussion than most undergraduates. This experience allowed me to make the absolute most out of my major, and I’ve been thrilled about studying English, with the UCLA English department, ever since. There’s a lot of opportunity for a student to make the most out of their major here, because all it takes is the time to get to know one professor, and suddenly a wide range of connections and opportunities opens. I feel that individual departments are very good about rewarding those students that want to be there, and when you’re already in a big pond, getting to be a big fish carries some considerable rewards and renown. Thus, it’s often easy to get a little intimidated by the minds teaching the classes—for instance, when your professor has written the textbook which you’re assigned—but my experience has been that, during office hours or appointments, these world-recognized professors are here to encourage students to get as excited about their field as they are, and so they reward students who show a little more interest or willingness to do well. The one thing to remember is that it’s a student’s responsibility to make him/herself memorable. Sitting in the front is a small price to pay for a letter of recommendation from a top-ranked professor. I’ve gotten to know a few of my favorite professors by taking multiple classes from them, visiting their office hours to discuss everything from a specific paper thesis to my academic career and possible future opportunities. Also, I’ve had overall a pretty good experience with TA’s, who, I’ve found, are great sources of information on things like grad school, because they’re so close to my own age and experience. To sum up, the professors here, while they’re gods during lecture, are approachable and helpful human beings as soon as you approach them as such. Thanks to the academic rigor at UCLA, while each class is structured and taught as if it were learning for learning’s sake, it’s as effective and applicable to the working world as if it were taught that way. Since our professors are so knowledgeable and our students so competitive, what feels like “learning for learning’s sake” is effective job training in itself. Some of the academic requirements have forced me outside my field of interests, but in hindsight I am glad that I’ve had to take south-campus science and math classes despite their utter irrelevance to my future degree in British Literature. The GE requirements are tedious at the outset—they make schedule-planning seem like a chore and they often result in a lecture-long nap session. But, every once in a while, a GE class in a field which you thought you disliked can offer some uncanny and interesting connections. Luckily, the quarter system allies particularly well with GE requirements, because they go very quickly. Also, with just a little bit of research or counseling, you’ll find that there is more than one way to fill a requirement—for me, History of Rock and Roll fulfilled a performing arts requirement, and Linguistics fulfilled a life science requirement, which means that even if your interests lie firmly and solely in one area of study, there’s still a little room to tailor those “unrelated” requirements to round out, if not parallel, your preferred fields.


Professors don't usually know your name. Although recently I got a high score on an exam and my professor gave me a present in front of the whole class. It was fun but embarrassing too! I don't really talk to other students unless I know them already so I don't know that much about people being competitive. I hear they are assholes about things like that though, especially pre-meds. I don't know about most unique class but I took a really cool Viking history class with Jesse Byock. That guy was way awesome and the class was cool too. Vikings are just cool anyway I guess so it might be hard to mess that up. I went to office hours for my physics 6C professor all the time because he was hella helpful and I totally owned that class. I don't like to go to office hours normally- they are a lot better when there are other kids there. I wouldn't want to just go in and ask a question by myself.


As aforementioned, UCLA is a very, very large school. Frequently, you hear lectures in a auditorium with two hundred other people. You could probably go through your four years here with never having a professor call you by your first name. You may find that private attention from your instructors is wanting. However, if you put in the effort, it is not too difficult to form closer relationships with the professors. Classes usually get much smaller as you progress through your major, and as a junior or senior you will find ample opportunity to participate and discuss in class. Professors are also generally very nice; they like having you come to their office hours and will frequently extend it or will make special time for you to visit them. But there are definite downsides to having such a large student body. Not getting individual attention pervades outside of the classroom; it is virtually impossible to get an appointment with an academic counselor come enrollment times, when you need them. Academically, students are very competitive and care deeply about their studies, or at least I am, and so are many of my friends. I think I mentioned that some people sleep in the library -- this is definitely true, especially during Finals Week. I think UCLA fosters academic excellence; there are many opportunities for scholarships, or competitions (like essay competitions) and getting honors so you can shine. Being in the UCLA Honors program also comes with a few perks, one of which is priority enrollment, which comes in really handy. There are definitely those who really don't care though, who never go to lecture (and magically show up in times for midterms or the final exam) -- so there is quite a spread.


Classes are often huge, so big, in fact, that sometimes it's impossible to get a seat. Professors rarely know names in big lecture halls, but going to office hours certainly helps. Professors teaching smaller classes tend to be more concerned with student learning and getting to know the people they are teaching. Office hours are a great way to increase your chance of getting to know the professor, and many professors are more than willing to make time to help with paper writing and other concerns. Student studying often depends on the intensity of the major. South campus majors tend to study more, while north campusers wind up spending their time writing papers. Students tend to be very vocal regarding academics, and intellectual discussion, especially political, are extremely common. My major, English, is relatively broad, as the requirements are quite flexible and they offer several different concentrations (Creative Writing, World LIterature, etc). Of course, I was also required to take general education requirements, which give insight into fields of study I might not otherwise pursue. UCLA gives a liberal arts education- most people will wind up needing a masters in order to move up in the workforce. UCLA seems concentrated on making students well rounded and interested in learning, but not necassarily preparing for the most technicaly jobs, as it is expected most will go to grad school.


Professors don't know your name. depends on the major.. some study every day, art majors never study. Participation not common; no intellectual conversations. Competition depends on the major, especially curved majors are very competitive.