Benjamin J Schwartz
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
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4.1
Overall Rating
Based on 21 Users
Easiness 1.4 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.1 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.2 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.3 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Engaging Lectures
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Tough Tests
  • Would Take Again
  • Often Funny
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

29.0%
24.2%
19.4%
14.5%
9.7%
4.8%
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.

23.7%
19.7%
15.8%
11.8%
7.9%
3.9%
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.

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Reviews (11)

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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A-
Dec. 14, 2019

Overall, I'm incredibly glad that I took this class in my first quarter at UCLA. The small class setting encourages a lot of collaboration and I definitely made a lot of friends that I might not have sitting in a large lecture hall. Professor Schwartz is incredibly kind and engaging and will do a lot for students especially if you reach out. Near the end of the quarter, we constantly joked around with the TA and professor and it never really felt like I was just being lectured at but really part of the class.

The class only requires a course reader for homework and additional understanding and the textbook is optional and mainly for practice problems (I didn't read it at all and honestly barely read the course reader, the lectures are good!)

In comparison to the 20A course, this course has an extra discussion section so you do spend a bit more time in class but a lot of students usually went to one or the other discussion sections and traded notes as we mainly just did practice problems in discussion. As well, I believe we finished everything the 20A course did (but only briefly touching upon some things that he expected you to know from AP Chem/Physics/Calculus so make sure you're familiar!) and aditionally were introduced to transition metals and spectroscopy as well as an awesome lecture about his research the day before Thanksgiving (which appeared as an extra credit problem on the final.)

This class is the first time he's taught it in a bit so a lot of the previous comments about an extra credit problem or whatever on the midterm was completely wrong and threw a lot of us off-guard when the median came back to be around 65 for the first midterm and 62ish for the second one.
This class is HARD. If you're premed I'd probably be a bit wary of taking this course if you really care about your GPA but the class is curved so don't let it discourage you if you want to learn a lot. All in all, I'd probably say that it isn't too hard to get a B, but you're really going to work hard for an A.

Helpful?

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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: B+
March 4, 2020

Very very very tough class. I think since he hasn't taught this class for 10 years, his grading system is a bit outdated (because this class is curved, and you'll be competing with the most ambitious chem majors) and the materials he tests you on is waayy beyond the level of 1A. I think after talking to him last quarter, he said he'll make it easier. But yeah, I threw many hours into this class and still ended with a B+ (for scale, I got all 5s on the AP physics exam and a 4 on the AP chem exam)

But learning-wise, I think it's very much worth it if you're interested. He's a really smart and nice guy. And since this is an honors class, you do get a level of interaction with the professor you normally don't.

Helpful?

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

Ben is a great professor. He genuinely cares for his students and tries his best to make sure you know and understand the material. While my grade not reflect that entirely, that's mostly has to do with my knowledge in the physics field (as this is physics based). The first portion of class is a lot of physics, so make sure to have taken a course or two already. The second portion is more of the chemistry similar to what you learn in AP chemistry. If you're up for the challenge I highly recommend this class.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 18, 2019

Take this class if you really like chem cuz you'll learn a ton. Schwartz is incredibly smart and the stuff he teaches is a lot different than what you probably learned in high school chem or AP chem. Also the tests are pretty difficult and there are not many questions so you really have to know your stuff

Helpful?

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 6, 2011

My first quarter at UCLA and I got a D in this class. Prof. Schwartz is an amazingly nerdy genius. He gets really excited about quantum mechanics and it made me want to get excited for it too. Unfortunately, my brain just kind of wiggled feebly inside my skull and imploded upon contact with the difficulty of this course, the speed with which he talks and the illegibility of his handwriting. I got a 5 in AP Chem and AP Calc but had no background in Physics when I took this class. I would recommend Prof. Schwartz because he is awesome, but seriously, make sure you're prepared.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Feb. 16, 2011

This class was amazing. On the midterm he gave us three problems, and we were allowed to pick 2 of them to count 50% and the other one to count 25%, which adds to 125% possible. The cool thing is that the average is always about 60% and on the second midterm, I had a 102 degree fever and forgot my calculator and still got over 100%. I totally bombed the final, but thanks to the midterm, I still got an A. I wish I could take more classes from Schwartz

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
July 2, 2010

Out of all my professors first quarter at UCLA, Professor Schwartz's class was one of the most interesting and difficult. He is truly passionate about the subject. He talks extremely fast and covers a lot of material in class, but he does go into detail. His office hours help expand on problems that students have. A strong background in Chemistry is definitely useful for this, preferably AP Chem. His class is extremely difficult, and it took up most of my time that quarter, but it was definitely useful. Even if your midterm grades are low, he also increases your grade depending on the amount of effort and improvement throughout the quarter, so go to office hours.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Jan. 30, 2010

Professor Schwartz is a great professor. He's really passionate about the material he taught us and he knew it well. Don't expect an easy grade in this class because you're definitely going to have to work for it. If you don't have a good, solid background in Chemistry (4-5 on AP) and at least some knowledge of Physics, I'd suggest you stay away from this class.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Jan. 15, 2010

Professor Schwartz is a brilliant teacher! He is extremely passionate, patient, intelligent and helpful. One of the best professors I've ever had by far. Take the honors class if you're up for a serious challenge. I had a rough start, but ended up with a B in the class. Professor Schwartz met with me personally to help me improve my study habits and test grades. Doing the homework is helpful, but it is difficult to get used to his test format. He does offer extra credit, but sometimes it can hurt you if you choose the wrong problem to use as your extra credit problem. Regardless of grades and tests, I learned SO much and in retrospect do not regret taking this class. He also lets you use a full page of notes front and back on all the tests. It helps to put practice problems on it and graphs. Study hard and don't slack off. Don't give up or drop the class even if you do badly on the first midterm because he will weight it less than your second and even your homework. If you get the chance to have Schwartz, take it!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Jan. 8, 2010

Professor Schwartz is definitely an amazaing teacher. He is passionate and willing to help. However, I have to say that his class is really hard and takes a lot of time. Every time the exam is pretty tricky and hard. So you must be really prepared every time. I mean you have to really understand the concept well. Unless you are really good in chemistry, consider well before take his class. It's not that easy to get an A.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A-
Dec. 14, 2019

Overall, I'm incredibly glad that I took this class in my first quarter at UCLA. The small class setting encourages a lot of collaboration and I definitely made a lot of friends that I might not have sitting in a large lecture hall. Professor Schwartz is incredibly kind and engaging and will do a lot for students especially if you reach out. Near the end of the quarter, we constantly joked around with the TA and professor and it never really felt like I was just being lectured at but really part of the class.

The class only requires a course reader for homework and additional understanding and the textbook is optional and mainly for practice problems (I didn't read it at all and honestly barely read the course reader, the lectures are good!)

In comparison to the 20A course, this course has an extra discussion section so you do spend a bit more time in class but a lot of students usually went to one or the other discussion sections and traded notes as we mainly just did practice problems in discussion. As well, I believe we finished everything the 20A course did (but only briefly touching upon some things that he expected you to know from AP Chem/Physics/Calculus so make sure you're familiar!) and aditionally were introduced to transition metals and spectroscopy as well as an awesome lecture about his research the day before Thanksgiving (which appeared as an extra credit problem on the final.)

This class is the first time he's taught it in a bit so a lot of the previous comments about an extra credit problem or whatever on the midterm was completely wrong and threw a lot of us off-guard when the median came back to be around 65 for the first midterm and 62ish for the second one.
This class is HARD. If you're premed I'd probably be a bit wary of taking this course if you really care about your GPA but the class is curved so don't let it discourage you if you want to learn a lot. All in all, I'd probably say that it isn't too hard to get a B, but you're really going to work hard for an A.

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: B+
March 4, 2020

Very very very tough class. I think since he hasn't taught this class for 10 years, his grading system is a bit outdated (because this class is curved, and you'll be competing with the most ambitious chem majors) and the materials he tests you on is waayy beyond the level of 1A. I think after talking to him last quarter, he said he'll make it easier. But yeah, I threw many hours into this class and still ended with a B+ (for scale, I got all 5s on the AP physics exam and a 4 on the AP chem exam)

But learning-wise, I think it's very much worth it if you're interested. He's a really smart and nice guy. And since this is an honors class, you do get a level of interaction with the professor you normally don't.

Helpful?

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

Ben is a great professor. He genuinely cares for his students and tries his best to make sure you know and understand the material. While my grade not reflect that entirely, that's mostly has to do with my knowledge in the physics field (as this is physics based). The first portion of class is a lot of physics, so make sure to have taken a course or two already. The second portion is more of the chemistry similar to what you learn in AP chemistry. If you're up for the challenge I highly recommend this class.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A
Dec. 18, 2019

Take this class if you really like chem cuz you'll learn a ton. Schwartz is incredibly smart and the stuff he teaches is a lot different than what you probably learned in high school chem or AP chem. Also the tests are pretty difficult and there are not many questions so you really have to know your stuff

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 6, 2011

My first quarter at UCLA and I got a D in this class. Prof. Schwartz is an amazingly nerdy genius. He gets really excited about quantum mechanics and it made me want to get excited for it too. Unfortunately, my brain just kind of wiggled feebly inside my skull and imploded upon contact with the difficulty of this course, the speed with which he talks and the illegibility of his handwriting. I got a 5 in AP Chem and AP Calc but had no background in Physics when I took this class. I would recommend Prof. Schwartz because he is awesome, but seriously, make sure you're prepared.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Feb. 16, 2011

This class was amazing. On the midterm he gave us three problems, and we were allowed to pick 2 of them to count 50% and the other one to count 25%, which adds to 125% possible. The cool thing is that the average is always about 60% and on the second midterm, I had a 102 degree fever and forgot my calculator and still got over 100%. I totally bombed the final, but thanks to the midterm, I still got an A. I wish I could take more classes from Schwartz

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
July 2, 2010

Out of all my professors first quarter at UCLA, Professor Schwartz's class was one of the most interesting and difficult. He is truly passionate about the subject. He talks extremely fast and covers a lot of material in class, but he does go into detail. His office hours help expand on problems that students have. A strong background in Chemistry is definitely useful for this, preferably AP Chem. His class is extremely difficult, and it took up most of my time that quarter, but it was definitely useful. Even if your midterm grades are low, he also increases your grade depending on the amount of effort and improvement throughout the quarter, so go to office hours.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Jan. 30, 2010

Professor Schwartz is a great professor. He's really passionate about the material he taught us and he knew it well. Don't expect an easy grade in this class because you're definitely going to have to work for it. If you don't have a good, solid background in Chemistry (4-5 on AP) and at least some knowledge of Physics, I'd suggest you stay away from this class.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Jan. 15, 2010

Professor Schwartz is a brilliant teacher! He is extremely passionate, patient, intelligent and helpful. One of the best professors I've ever had by far. Take the honors class if you're up for a serious challenge. I had a rough start, but ended up with a B in the class. Professor Schwartz met with me personally to help me improve my study habits and test grades. Doing the homework is helpful, but it is difficult to get used to his test format. He does offer extra credit, but sometimes it can hurt you if you choose the wrong problem to use as your extra credit problem. Regardless of grades and tests, I learned SO much and in retrospect do not regret taking this class. He also lets you use a full page of notes front and back on all the tests. It helps to put practice problems on it and graphs. Study hard and don't slack off. Don't give up or drop the class even if you do badly on the first midterm because he will weight it less than your second and even your homework. If you get the chance to have Schwartz, take it!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Jan. 8, 2010

Professor Schwartz is definitely an amazaing teacher. He is passionate and willing to help. However, I have to say that his class is really hard and takes a lot of time. Every time the exam is pretty tricky and hard. So you must be really prepared every time. I mean you have to really understand the concept well. Unless you are really good in chemistry, consider well before take his class. It's not that easy to get an A.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 2
4.1
Overall Rating
Based on 21 Users
Easiness 1.4 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.1 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.2 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.3 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Engaging Lectures
    (7)
  • Useful Textbooks
    (6)
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
    (6)
  • Tough Tests
    (7)
  • Would Take Again
    (6)
  • Often Funny
    (6)
  • Tolerates Tardiness
    (5)
  • Needs Textbook
    (4)
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