Life: Concepts and Issues

Jay Phelan

Life: Concepts and Issues

Life Sciences department

Jay Phelan

Add Review
from 174 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 4.7
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 3.3
Easy
Heavy
Workload 3.3
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 4.7
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 4.7
Helpful
AD

Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Often Funny
  • Would Take Again
  • Is Podcasted
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Has Group Projects
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Snazzy Dresser
  • Tough Tests
  • Participation Matters

Grades

Winter 2019
28.2%
23.5%
18.8%
14.1%
9.4%
4.7%
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.

Fall 2018
30.6%
25.5%
20.4%
15.3%
10.2%
5.1%
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.

Spring 2017
28.0%
23.3%
18.7%
14.0%
9.3%
4.7%
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.

Winter 2017
26.9%
22.4%
18.0%
13.5%
9.0%
4.5%
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.

Fall 2017
27.1%
22.6%
18.1%
13.6%
9.0%
4.5%
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.

Spring 2016
27.1%
22.6%
18.1%
13.5%
9.0%
4.5%
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.

Winter 2016
26.4%
22.0%
17.6%
13.2%
8.8%
4.4%
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.

Fall 2016
27.1%
22.5%
18.0%
13.5%
9.0%
4.5%
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.

Spring 2015
27.6%
23.0%
18.4%
13.8%
9.2%
4.6%
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.

Winter 2015
27.8%
23.2%
18.5%
13.9%
9.3%
4.6%
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.

Fall 2015
26.7%
22.2%
17.8%
13.3%
8.9%
4.4%
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.

Spring 2014
26.5%
22.1%
17.7%
13.3%
8.8%
4.4%
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.

Winter 2014
26.7%
22.2%
17.8%
13.3%
8.9%
4.4%
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.

Fall 2014
26.1%
21.7%
17.4%
13.0%
8.7%
4.3%
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.

Spring 2013
22.8%
19.0%
15.2%
11.4%
7.6%
3.8%
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.

Winter 2013
26.7%
22.3%
17.8%
13.4%
8.9%
4.5%
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.

Fall 2013
25.7%
21.5%
17.2%
12.9%
8.6%
4.3%
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.

Fall 2012
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.

Fall 2009
31.9%
26.6%
21.2%
15.9%
10.6%
5.3%
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.

Fall 2006
33.7%
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.

AD
AD
1 of 15

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020 Submitted Aug. 20, 2020 Grade Received: A

I AM SELLING THE PDF VERSION OF "WHAT IS LIFE? 4TH EDITION WITH PHYSIOLOGY" FOR $5. TEXT ME AT (916) 895-4806 IF INTERESTED WITH YOUR VENMO AND EMAIL.

-

You only need "What is Life? 4th Edition with Physiology" for this class. Mean Genes is fun to read, but is not really "required" to do well in this class, so unless you're interested in reading more about it then you don't really need to get it. The actual textbook is pretty expensive, so I highly suggest buying the pdf version of the book. I'm selling it for only $5!

Quarter Taken: Spring 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted July 15, 2020
Grade Received: A

SELLING TEXTBOOK FOR $10, "What is Life, 4th Edition". Text me at (949)-835-6213 , I'll get back to you super quick! PDF version, very easy to use and the table of contents has a navigation setting where it will bring you to different sections (a must-have for this huge book). I loved this class, definitely take it if you're looking for a LifeSci course.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted Dec. 12, 2019 Grade Received: NR

TAKE THIS CLASS!!! Okay so all my life I was like ew biology sucks its so boring BUTTTT I took this class and it completely changed my perspective!! Like lowkey considering switching my major to something related to evolution or genetics. Also, this class lowkey gave me an existential crisis like YO your emotions aren't what you actually think they are :o and oh boy don't get me started on the theory of kindness :/// BUT YOU WILL FEEL SELF MOTIVATED TO ATTEND EVERY SINGLE LECTURE!! My advice: study for the weekly quizzes so you don't need to put too much effort into studying for finals like I'm so happy we got weekly quizzes it made the final much easier. I don't know my grade yet in the class but I got a 79% on the midterm and As on most of the quizzes.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2016 Submitted Dec. 30, 2016 Grade Received: A

I absolutely loved this class and professor. Phelan was incredibly engaging and you can tell he was passionate about teaching the students. He made sure to lecture in ways that would stick with the students. The material itself also was incredibly interesting, and that is coming from someone who is NOT a fan of science/math things. It has a lot to do with using biology and science as a way explain why humans are the way we are and why we do the things we do. I found it so interesting! It was definitely my favorite class and I actually really looked forward to lectures.
The class itself consists of a weekly optional assignment of usually about 8 questions, but it's best to complete the assignment because one of the eight questions would be on the weekly quiz in discussion.
Discussion was unnecessarily long but still enjoyable. You are required to participate in one formal debate during the course of the quarter in front of your discussion with a partner, which seems really scary but really was not. I had Chris as my TA and he made it very unintimidating. It does not require an extensive amount of preparation and as long as you are confident and cohesive you'll get a good grade.
The midterm /final wasn't an easy A, but it is definitely possible and even likely if you just put a little bit of effort. He hosts a review session in which he gives you around 23 questions that if you know the answer to, you're guaranteed an A. Low and behold, I studied all of those questions and received an A on both. I suggest studying as soon as those review questions are given, and going to the test bank for the midterm.
I also recommend going to Phelan's office hours at least once, because he genuinely wants to get to know his students and he will answer pretty much any course-material questions that you have (though he's more reluctant if it's questions from the final/midterm review). However, I didn't continuously return because sometimes he spends so long talking to one person that you're sitting there awkwardly (it's in a group) while you wait.
Overall, I highly recommend this class and think Phelan was an absolutely amazing professor.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2018 Submitted Nov. 21, 2019 Grade Received: A-

I LOVE JAY PHELLAN AND HIS BOOK AND HIS CLASS AND HIM❤️

Quarter Taken: Summer 2020 Submitted Aug. 13, 2020 Grade Received: A

Jay and his class are both AMAZING and this is coming from someone who used to hate biology (that was until I took his class). His lectures are engaging, he makes the content interesting, and teaches the course from a non bio student perspective which is nice.

Lectures: Because I took this class during COVID-19, lectures were prerecorded videos and overall were very engaging. He kept them organized, used examples, and his slides were useful (although he doesn't post them). He also kept the videos short which is nice.

Discussions: Discussions consisted of a weekly quiz (one of the problem set questions), review lectures, a group problem set presentation, and a group debate. These projects did require some prep time out of class but it wasn't unmanageable.

Homework/Reading: This class did have a fair amount of work, especially for a GE. There were weekly problem sets that were assigned, but weren't graded (except for one of the questions was chosen for the weekly quiz). We also had to write discussion board posts and create a music video (which was a lot of work but surprisingly helpful for studying). His books are optional but they are well written and help explain concepts further.

Exams: Exams in this class overall were fair, consisting of both M/C and short answer. The midterm was a bit time constrained and some of the short answers required more explanation to get full points, but the final was more manageable. Open notes due to COVID but could be different if taken in person. He doesn't post review materials which makes it tough, but as long as you understand the concepts and examples, you should be good.

Overall: TAKE THIS CLASS! Prof Phelan is a gem and you won't be disappointed! This class really changes your whole view on science and biology and you find out it is actually cool.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted July 1, 2020 Grade Received: A

Phelan is a great professor that makes his lectures and material very relatable and applicable to real life. He's funny and engaging and genuinely wants his students to do well. There are quizzes in discussion each week based on a problem set of about 7-8 short answer questions, and then the quiz is just one of those questions, exactly as it was written in the problem set, no tricks. So if you can memorize the answers to each question, you'll be set on the quiz. Midterm and final are long and take the whole time and graded pretty tough BUT he curves a LOT so it doesn't matter at all. Pay attention to the examples he uses in class, they usually end up on the tests. He doesn't test you on meticulous details, mostly overall ideas. If you need to take a science GE and aren't normally a science person, take this class!

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted June 16, 2020 Grade Received: A-

I took this class my first quarter at UCLA and it was a fun class! Prof. Phelan is a great professor and he keeps lectures interesting. I actually looked forward to attending lecture and I hardly missed because he was funny and engaging. However, his lectures were on BruinCast so that was helpful if I had to miss. I also watched his lectures on double speed while studying for the midterm and final & I found this to be a helpful review. For both exams, he held review sessions where he went over everything that would be on the exams. There are weekly quizzes in discussion but if you do the reading and prepare, you should be fine since he gives you the quiz questions a week in advance (there are about 7 questions each week and 1 is chosen for the quiz).

I am selling the paperback textbook for this course "What Is Life? A Guide to Biology-- 4th Edition" for $90. It is in fairly new condition (no writing/highlighting) and I am willing to ship it to you (included in the price). I prefer physical textbooks rather than pdfs and I bought the book brand new for $160 so I think this is a reasonable price (plus free shipping) but I am willing to negotiate. Text me at 661-549-2416 if you are interested :)

Quarter Taken: Fall 2019 Submitted June 10, 2020 Grade Received: A

This class was the best. Phelan is such an engaging lecturer and made every single topic covered so interesting. I also had a great TA that made the discussion's interesting and fun. There is a small group element in discussion where you need to debate another group on a given topic, but I think most people did well. The midterm and final were definitely tricky, but nothing was unfair and its possible to do well if you study.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted April 27, 2020 Grade Received: A

Take this with Dr. Phelan. He is a super engaging lecturer, really wants you to learn, and is there to help you if you have questions.

There were weekly quizzes in discussion, one debate against another group in your discussion section about a variety of topics to pick from, and the midterm and final. He also gave problem sets each week to help you study for the quizzes and exams.

I didn't take AP bio, and the class that I did take was no good. Despite this, I had no trouble keeping up with the content. As long as you do the problem sets and skim the chapters, you'll be fine. It's all big concepts, and less about the nitty gritty.

1 of 15

Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Often Funny
  • Would Take Again
  • Is Podcasted
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Has Group Projects
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Snazzy Dresser
  • Tough Tests
  • Participation Matters
ADS

Report Review

Did this review contain...

There are errors in the report form.

Thank you for the report!

We'll look into this shortly.

It seems like you’re

using an ad blocker. :(


Bruinwalk is an entirely Daily Bruin-run service brought to you for free. We hate annoying ads just as much as you do, but they help keep our lights on. We promise to keep our ads as relevant for you as possible, so please consider disabling your ad-blocking software while using this site.

Thank you for supporting us!