Thomas Schwartz
Department of Political Science
AD
3.8
Overall Rating
Based on 88 User s
Easiness 4.0 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.4 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 3.6 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.2 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook
  • Often Funny
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Snazzy Dresser
  • Would Take Again

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

42.7%
35.6%
28.5%
21.4%
14.2%
7.1%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

29.4%
24.5%
19.6%
14.7%
9.8%
4.9%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

34.8%
29.0%
23.2%
17.4%
11.6%
5.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

35.1%
29.2%
23.4%
17.5%
11.7%
5.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

34.5%
28.8%
23.0%
17.3%
11.5%
5.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

36.0%
30.0%
24.0%
18.0%
12.0%
6.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

33.5%
28.0%
22.4%
16.8%
11.2%
5.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

50.0%
41.7%
33.3%
25.0%
16.7%
8.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

36.6%
30.5%
24.4%
18.3%
12.2%
6.1%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

33.4%
27.9%
22.3%
16.7%
11.1%
5.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

48.6%
40.5%
32.4%
24.3%
16.2%
8.1%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

35.0%
29.1%
23.3%
17.5%
11.7%
5.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

AD

Reviews (73)

1 of 8
1 of 8
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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 25, 2019

Overall, this is an easy although relatively uninteresting class. It mostly covers mundane stuff (ex. the powers of the US branches of government, how a budget bill is passed), which I think most people would find not super engaging. Like many have said before, Schwartz is a really nice guy (I actually found his "dad" humor kinda enjoyable), but his lectures are not super exciting and its easy to space out.
That being said, if you study appropriately, it's easy to get a good grade in the class (especially if you took AP Gov in high school or have some background knowledge of the subject). I had a TA that couldn't really speak English too well and it was still not that difficult.
What you need to do to succeed is basically cram all the material a couple nights before the mid-term and the final, and then consult your TA about your final paper to make sure its good.
I'd recommend using Schwartz "hunks" (essentially really well written, concise summaries of each of his lectures, which can sometimes be uninteresting and slow paced), in addition to, or substituting lecture attendance. Also use the test bank for the mid term and final. The tests aren't hard, but he recycles the same questions from year to year, some of which are oddly specific scenarios that I definitely wouldn't have gotten correct if I hand't used the test bank.
In summary, this class is "easy", but not in the sense that you can just sit back and expect everything to be taught to you. But take a little initiative and study for a couple nights and you can get an A. Also the textbook isn't important at all.

Helpful?

3 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A+
Dec. 20, 2019

I never took AP Gov so in the beginning of the quarter I was honest to god lost and had no idea what was going on compared to everyone else. That said I still ended up with an A+! I never really went to lecture after the midterm - Schwartz is a nice guy but I found his slides kind of boring and he posts verbatim lecture notes online, so I stopped showing up and instead took notes on those. For the midterm, the test bank has like 40 past exams to choose from, so I printed two from different years and aced the midterm with no problems whatsoever. The test bank from the final only had 2 past exams from like 2012 and they had 20 less questions on them than our final, so I made a quizlet of info from the hunks instead, spent like three days reviewing those, and did pretty well on it considering the final grade I got :) It is a lot of memorization, but it's not too bad coming from someone who never learned anything about gov before this. Also beware that this prof does not believe in multiple choice so everything is short answer.
DON'T BUY THE LOWI BOOK. It's useless and I stopped reading it after Week 1 because it just kinda goes over the same stuff his lecture notes do. The Kollman textbook is pretty helpful for the midterm in-class essay, but after the midterm I literally never opened it again. The readings after that weren't on the final and are just meant to help you with your final essay. The final essay is based on your TA, so I went to office hours to go over my stuff and make sure I was on the right track. My TA didn't require us to reference any books or specific readings so the Kollman book was really useless after Week 5. Overall, this class is really straightforward and easy if you put in some work before the exams. Really good intro course, I'd recommend it as a GE for sure.

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3 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Aug. 13, 2021

Basically if you did AP gov it's going to be the same thing.. with a crappier lecturer. I did not learn anything new except some game theory.. which I learned from the TA (my TA was A Young - best girl) and not the prof. It's an easy but boring course and I recommend if you need a sure A to boost your gpa.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
June 20, 2021

Class Structure: Midterm Exam(20%), Midterm-in-section essay(20%), Final Exam (30%), Final Paper (30%)

1. Midterm Exam and Final Exam: REPEAT AFTER ME: HUNKS AND PAST EXAMS. HUNKS AND PAST EXAMS. HUNKS AND PAST EXAMS. HUNKS AND PAST EXAMS. Did I say lectures? NO. Did I say readings? NO. REPEAT AFTER ME: HUNKS AND PAST EXAMS. Memorize these and you will be golden.

ps. We were online so we couldn't access the test bank, but some folks asked on the UCLA subreddit / had access to past exam questions so we were able to get access to them.

2. Midterm In-section essay: This is the only instance where doing the readings might be beneficial to you. Each TA had their own essay prompts so I can't be too specific. For mine, we had a couple of prompts to choose from and needed to use a number of either the readings, or other documents (eg. court cases, the constitution, etc.) to answer the prompts and get points. I just used the federalist papers and court cases from when I took AP Gov in high school and that was fine.

3. Final paper: don't need any readings. talk to your TA on this one and get help from them, mines basically gave me ideas for my entire paper after I came into office hours with barely anything and I just used their advice.

I stopped watching lectures after the midterm because they were boring and disorganized with very little information on slides. However, for the ones I did watch Professor Schwuartz did throw in a couple of funny jokes here and there, so there's that.

Overall I agree with the other reviewers. Lots of memorization, straightforward but boring.

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2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
June 20, 2021

This class was fairly straightforward. If you took AP Gov in high school, this should be an easy A. The only thing you really need to know is the "hunks"/lecture notes that Schwartz provides you with. Everything from both the midterm and final is on the hunks, so just know the information on those very well. Besides the short answer midterm/final, the only other things that count for your grade are the midterm/final essays. You need the Kollman book to complete this essay as you have to write about the readings you completed and the discussions you had in class about the readings. Don't bother buying the Lowi book. The midterm essay was done during discussion section in about 50 minutes while you have about 3 weeks to complete the final essay. Overall, I recommend this class for an easy GE or easy political science prep course. I also really liked my TA A Young, she was super clear about what she was looking for when grading so that was a major help.

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Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
June 17, 2021

This class is easy, and it is very possible to get a 100 in the course. However, Prof Schwartz gives poorly made and old lectures, cannot use technology, and makes sure to put a conservative spin on American politics. The TAs were helpful, which made the class successful. There are 2 textbooks that are required, the Lowi one is not very helpful unless you need a recap of lecture material but the Kollman one is required for the midterm essay. Grading was very lenient, but Schwartz was not flexible for students in alternate time zones in regards to final exam timing. I did not learn all that much from this course, it felt like a repeat of AP Govt for the most part.

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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 20, 2019

This Class is extremely easy if you are good in Political Science and History. I loved this Class and loved both the Professor and the TA (Joseph Perry, he is a gem). The Professor posts detailed Lecture Notes 'Hunks' on CCLE (you don't need to take Notes in Class). Study them in detail, memorizing and remembering each and every detail and you will score easily on the Midterm and Final Exams, 20% and 30% of the Final Grade respectively. The Readings are extremely interesting and you need to do them till the Midterm only (The Readings are tested on the Midterm Paper, 20%, in which you have to write an Analysis on specific Readings. Taking Joseph Perry will be an advantage here as he will tell you the set of Readings you have to do). There is a Final Paper, 30%, which is not as difficult if you have an easy Topic and talk about it with your TA. Go to the Discussion Sections, no matter what or why, especially before the Midterm and the Final. It will help you comprehend and revise the Topics. The Lectures are often un-engaging, but it won't matter. There are Extra Credit questions in both the Midterm and Final Exams. Depending on the Quarter, there might be extra Extra Credit, but not as an addition to your Final Grade, but to your Midterm Exam (I scored 100). For the Final Paper, this Class makes you a more analytical and critical thinker, which is extremely beneficial.
Overall, a highly recommended Class.

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2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2018
Grade: A
Jan. 2, 2019

only an easy A if you read the lecture notes, exploit and memorise the test banks at the SAC and on course hero word for word and see the TA's about ur research paper. go for lecture from time to time altho they're a snore just to help the material stick better

Helpful?

3 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Oct. 15, 2021

Covid 19 review!! This prof is so boring and basically just rambles on during lecture. My TA taught me everything about the class and she was amazing - if you have Chun as your TA you're set. The logistics of the class are as follows: one midterm, final, and paper. For the paper, you get to choose the topic which actually makes it interesting and engaging. I studied the test bank for the midterm and final which really helped, and both were very easy and straightforward if you just cram the notes the night before!

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Aug. 6, 2021

Just like most of the other reviewers said, it's a pretty standard and kinda boring American Politics course. Dr. Schwartz is an interesting enough lecturer, but he posts these things called "Hunks" which pretty much summarize the entire things. Usually I would just take notes on the Hunks while listening to the lecture recordings on 1.5x speed, but if you really want to save time, you could just study directly from the Hunks. The Lowi textbook is really not necessary and doesn't add new information, but you do need to reference some readings from the Kollman book. Both exams half essay and half short answer, and your essay grade/questions really depends on your TA. I think all of the TAs are fairly lenient though. For the short answer, pretty much all of the questions are reused from old tests. Overall it was a fairly easy class without too much of a workload. But if you aren't already familiar with the American system of government, esp the Constitution, it might take a lot more studying to memorize all the necessary details.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 25, 2019

Overall, this is an easy although relatively uninteresting class. It mostly covers mundane stuff (ex. the powers of the US branches of government, how a budget bill is passed), which I think most people would find not super engaging. Like many have said before, Schwartz is a really nice guy (I actually found his "dad" humor kinda enjoyable), but his lectures are not super exciting and its easy to space out.
That being said, if you study appropriately, it's easy to get a good grade in the class (especially if you took AP Gov in high school or have some background knowledge of the subject). I had a TA that couldn't really speak English too well and it was still not that difficult.
What you need to do to succeed is basically cram all the material a couple nights before the mid-term and the final, and then consult your TA about your final paper to make sure its good.
I'd recommend using Schwartz "hunks" (essentially really well written, concise summaries of each of his lectures, which can sometimes be uninteresting and slow paced), in addition to, or substituting lecture attendance. Also use the test bank for the mid term and final. The tests aren't hard, but he recycles the same questions from year to year, some of which are oddly specific scenarios that I definitely wouldn't have gotten correct if I hand't used the test bank.
In summary, this class is "easy", but not in the sense that you can just sit back and expect everything to be taught to you. But take a little initiative and study for a couple nights and you can get an A. Also the textbook isn't important at all.

Helpful?

3 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A+
Dec. 20, 2019

I never took AP Gov so in the beginning of the quarter I was honest to god lost and had no idea what was going on compared to everyone else. That said I still ended up with an A+! I never really went to lecture after the midterm - Schwartz is a nice guy but I found his slides kind of boring and he posts verbatim lecture notes online, so I stopped showing up and instead took notes on those. For the midterm, the test bank has like 40 past exams to choose from, so I printed two from different years and aced the midterm with no problems whatsoever. The test bank from the final only had 2 past exams from like 2012 and they had 20 less questions on them than our final, so I made a quizlet of info from the hunks instead, spent like three days reviewing those, and did pretty well on it considering the final grade I got :) It is a lot of memorization, but it's not too bad coming from someone who never learned anything about gov before this. Also beware that this prof does not believe in multiple choice so everything is short answer.
DON'T BUY THE LOWI BOOK. It's useless and I stopped reading it after Week 1 because it just kinda goes over the same stuff his lecture notes do. The Kollman textbook is pretty helpful for the midterm in-class essay, but after the midterm I literally never opened it again. The readings after that weren't on the final and are just meant to help you with your final essay. The final essay is based on your TA, so I went to office hours to go over my stuff and make sure I was on the right track. My TA didn't require us to reference any books or specific readings so the Kollman book was really useless after Week 5. Overall, this class is really straightforward and easy if you put in some work before the exams. Really good intro course, I'd recommend it as a GE for sure.

Helpful?

3 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A+
Aug. 13, 2021

Basically if you did AP gov it's going to be the same thing.. with a crappier lecturer. I did not learn anything new except some game theory.. which I learned from the TA (my TA was A Young - best girl) and not the prof. It's an easy but boring course and I recommend if you need a sure A to boost your gpa.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A+
June 20, 2021

Class Structure: Midterm Exam(20%), Midterm-in-section essay(20%), Final Exam (30%), Final Paper (30%)

1. Midterm Exam and Final Exam: REPEAT AFTER ME: HUNKS AND PAST EXAMS. HUNKS AND PAST EXAMS. HUNKS AND PAST EXAMS. HUNKS AND PAST EXAMS. Did I say lectures? NO. Did I say readings? NO. REPEAT AFTER ME: HUNKS AND PAST EXAMS. Memorize these and you will be golden.

ps. We were online so we couldn't access the test bank, but some folks asked on the UCLA subreddit / had access to past exam questions so we were able to get access to them.

2. Midterm In-section essay: This is the only instance where doing the readings might be beneficial to you. Each TA had their own essay prompts so I can't be too specific. For mine, we had a couple of prompts to choose from and needed to use a number of either the readings, or other documents (eg. court cases, the constitution, etc.) to answer the prompts and get points. I just used the federalist papers and court cases from when I took AP Gov in high school and that was fine.

3. Final paper: don't need any readings. talk to your TA on this one and get help from them, mines basically gave me ideas for my entire paper after I came into office hours with barely anything and I just used their advice.

I stopped watching lectures after the midterm because they were boring and disorganized with very little information on slides. However, for the ones I did watch Professor Schwuartz did throw in a couple of funny jokes here and there, so there's that.

Overall I agree with the other reviewers. Lots of memorization, straightforward but boring.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A+
June 20, 2021

This class was fairly straightforward. If you took AP Gov in high school, this should be an easy A. The only thing you really need to know is the "hunks"/lecture notes that Schwartz provides you with. Everything from both the midterm and final is on the hunks, so just know the information on those very well. Besides the short answer midterm/final, the only other things that count for your grade are the midterm/final essays. You need the Kollman book to complete this essay as you have to write about the readings you completed and the discussions you had in class about the readings. Don't bother buying the Lowi book. The midterm essay was done during discussion section in about 50 minutes while you have about 3 weeks to complete the final essay. Overall, I recommend this class for an easy GE or easy political science prep course. I also really liked my TA A Young, she was super clear about what she was looking for when grading so that was a major help.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A+
June 17, 2021

This class is easy, and it is very possible to get a 100 in the course. However, Prof Schwartz gives poorly made and old lectures, cannot use technology, and makes sure to put a conservative spin on American politics. The TAs were helpful, which made the class successful. There are 2 textbooks that are required, the Lowi one is not very helpful unless you need a recap of lecture material but the Kollman one is required for the midterm essay. Grading was very lenient, but Schwartz was not flexible for students in alternate time zones in regards to final exam timing. I did not learn all that much from this course, it felt like a repeat of AP Govt for the most part.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 20, 2019

This Class is extremely easy if you are good in Political Science and History. I loved this Class and loved both the Professor and the TA (Joseph Perry, he is a gem). The Professor posts detailed Lecture Notes 'Hunks' on CCLE (you don't need to take Notes in Class). Study them in detail, memorizing and remembering each and every detail and you will score easily on the Midterm and Final Exams, 20% and 30% of the Final Grade respectively. The Readings are extremely interesting and you need to do them till the Midterm only (The Readings are tested on the Midterm Paper, 20%, in which you have to write an Analysis on specific Readings. Taking Joseph Perry will be an advantage here as he will tell you the set of Readings you have to do). There is a Final Paper, 30%, which is not as difficult if you have an easy Topic and talk about it with your TA. Go to the Discussion Sections, no matter what or why, especially before the Midterm and the Final. It will help you comprehend and revise the Topics. The Lectures are often un-engaging, but it won't matter. There are Extra Credit questions in both the Midterm and Final Exams. Depending on the Quarter, there might be extra Extra Credit, but not as an addition to your Final Grade, but to your Midterm Exam (I scored 100). For the Final Paper, this Class makes you a more analytical and critical thinker, which is extremely beneficial.
Overall, a highly recommended Class.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2018
Grade: A
Jan. 2, 2019

only an easy A if you read the lecture notes, exploit and memorise the test banks at the SAC and on course hero word for word and see the TA's about ur research paper. go for lecture from time to time altho they're a snore just to help the material stick better

Helpful?

3 1 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A+
Oct. 15, 2021

Covid 19 review!! This prof is so boring and basically just rambles on during lecture. My TA taught me everything about the class and she was amazing - if you have Chun as your TA you're set. The logistics of the class are as follows: one midterm, final, and paper. For the paper, you get to choose the topic which actually makes it interesting and engaging. I studied the test bank for the midterm and final which really helped, and both were very easy and straightforward if you just cram the notes the night before!

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: A+
Aug. 6, 2021

Just like most of the other reviewers said, it's a pretty standard and kinda boring American Politics course. Dr. Schwartz is an interesting enough lecturer, but he posts these things called "Hunks" which pretty much summarize the entire things. Usually I would just take notes on the Hunks while listening to the lecture recordings on 1.5x speed, but if you really want to save time, you could just study directly from the Hunks. The Lowi textbook is really not necessary and doesn't add new information, but you do need to reference some readings from the Kollman book. Both exams half essay and half short answer, and your essay grade/questions really depends on your TA. I think all of the TAs are fairly lenient though. For the short answer, pretty much all of the questions are reused from old tests. Overall it was a fairly easy class without too much of a workload. But if you aren't already familiar with the American system of government, esp the Constitution, it might take a lot more studying to memorize all the necessary details.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 8
3.8
Overall Rating
Based on 88 Users
Easiness 4.0 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.4 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 3.6 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.2 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
    (31)
  • Tolerates Tardiness
    (28)
  • Needs Textbook
    (23)
  • Often Funny
    (22)
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
    (16)
  • Snazzy Dresser
    (19)
  • Would Take Again
    (21)
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