John Gavin Branstetter
Department of Political Science
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4.3
Overall Rating
Based on 7 Users
Easiness 2.7 / 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 3.1 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.9 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Would Take Again
  • Often Funny

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

25.5%
21.3%
17.0%
12.8%
8.5%
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.

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Reviews (7)

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Quarter: Spring 2022
Grade: A
June 19, 2022

What's there to say? Easily one of the top 5 political science classes at UCLA taught by probably the best lecturer in the department.

Prof. Branstetter deeply cares about his students and offers engaging and funny lectures that will keep you interested in the material even if you despise the topic.

The class was 7 quizzes (two of the lowest scores being dropped) that relied on very very basic understanding of lecture as well as a midterm and final that are several short answers. These can be a little tricky because there area alot of intricate details but Prof. Branstetter does a great job preparing you for them. Every lecture is recorded to make things even better with no attendance requirement.

He stresses that the book is needed and wants you to read it, however I found that simply paying close attention to lecture was all that was really needed to succeed as he does such a good job at relaying Marx's points and what is needed on the exams. Book was optional to me even if the Professor and several students may tell you it is critical.

Always available for questions and always willing to help students learn. Not much else to say but if you see this class has an open spot enroll in it right away!

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A
May 20, 2022

Absolutely loved this class, easily one of my favorite classes taken here. Branstetter does a great job of making one of the most daunting and challenging books I've ever seen extremely accessible and relatively easy to get. There was (I think?) 7 quizzes that you had from the end of the class to the beginning of the next class to do on that chapter/lecture worth a total of 20%, and a midterm and final each worth 40%. He is extremely helpful if you have any questions about the material. I am not normally a fan of political theory, but he definitely made it worth it.

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Quarter: Spring 2022
Grade: N/A
May 17, 2022

Prof. Branstetter is a nice guy, but this is easily the worst class I've taken at UCLA. Disorganized, incomprehensible lectures and the lack of detailed powerpoints makes the dense material even harder to understand.

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Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A+
March 29, 2022

Amazing class: the usual from Branstetter. While the material is quite challenging, the lectures will help get you through it. I'd highly recommend doing all the reading, even if it's just skimming, but absolutely positively go to lecture. Nothing made sense to me toward the latter half of the quarter. The only reason I was able to end as strongly as I did was because of lecture and because I went back and corroborated it with the reading. That said, it's probably my least favorite Branstetter class. I think his East Asian PT and Comparative PT classes are way better. I think the material in those classes suit him better. Nonetheless, you will not go wrong with this class.

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Quarter: Spring 2021
Grade: B+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Nov. 4, 2021

Branstetter is one of my favorite profs - this is the second class of his that I've taken! He's really smart, funny, and cares about his students. This class mainly goes over Marx's Capital Vol. 1, which is a *very* heavy read. However, Branstetter does an amazing job of breaking down the reading and pulling out the most important points. The course itself has 7 unannounced quizzes to make sure you keep up with the reading (lowest 2 scores are dropped), a midterm, and a final. Overall, the quizzes/exams aren't too bad as long as you've done the readings and paid attention in class to get a real understanding of the material. You definitely have to put in the work to do well in this class, but it's worth it!

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Quarter: Spring 2019
Grade: A-
Nov. 11, 2019

I really like the professor. He is very kind and helpful. The course is comprised of reading quizzes (given out randomly), a take home midterm, and a take home final. You really have to understand Branstetter's interpretation of Marx to get full credit on the exam. It was a lot harder than I was expecting based on the reviews. I would suggest going to office hours and copious notes during lectures to get full credit on the midterm and final.

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Quarter: Spring 2019
Grade: A
July 12, 2019

Branstetter is by far one of the most caring and considerate professors at UCLA. His lectures make something as complex as Karl Marx understanding, and he is very forgiving if he sees you putting in an effort. The class is very reading dense and requires rereading of a very big and dense book, but rest assured Branstetter is so helpful in his lectures. His course has 7 pop quizzes but he drops 2. He also has one midterm worth 30% of your grade and a final making up 45% of your grade. Overall, I highly recommend this class.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2022
Grade: A
June 19, 2022

What's there to say? Easily one of the top 5 political science classes at UCLA taught by probably the best lecturer in the department.

Prof. Branstetter deeply cares about his students and offers engaging and funny lectures that will keep you interested in the material even if you despise the topic.

The class was 7 quizzes (two of the lowest scores being dropped) that relied on very very basic understanding of lecture as well as a midterm and final that are several short answers. These can be a little tricky because there area alot of intricate details but Prof. Branstetter does a great job preparing you for them. Every lecture is recorded to make things even better with no attendance requirement.

He stresses that the book is needed and wants you to read it, however I found that simply paying close attention to lecture was all that was really needed to succeed as he does such a good job at relaying Marx's points and what is needed on the exams. Book was optional to me even if the Professor and several students may tell you it is critical.

Always available for questions and always willing to help students learn. Not much else to say but if you see this class has an open spot enroll in it right away!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A
May 20, 2022

Absolutely loved this class, easily one of my favorite classes taken here. Branstetter does a great job of making one of the most daunting and challenging books I've ever seen extremely accessible and relatively easy to get. There was (I think?) 7 quizzes that you had from the end of the class to the beginning of the next class to do on that chapter/lecture worth a total of 20%, and a midterm and final each worth 40%. He is extremely helpful if you have any questions about the material. I am not normally a fan of political theory, but he definitely made it worth it.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2022
Grade: N/A
May 17, 2022

Prof. Branstetter is a nice guy, but this is easily the worst class I've taken at UCLA. Disorganized, incomprehensible lectures and the lack of detailed powerpoints makes the dense material even harder to understand.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2022
Grade: A+
March 29, 2022

Amazing class: the usual from Branstetter. While the material is quite challenging, the lectures will help get you through it. I'd highly recommend doing all the reading, even if it's just skimming, but absolutely positively go to lecture. Nothing made sense to me toward the latter half of the quarter. The only reason I was able to end as strongly as I did was because of lecture and because I went back and corroborated it with the reading. That said, it's probably my least favorite Branstetter class. I think his East Asian PT and Comparative PT classes are way better. I think the material in those classes suit him better. Nonetheless, you will not go wrong with this class.

Helpful?

0 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: B+
Nov. 4, 2021

Branstetter is one of my favorite profs - this is the second class of his that I've taken! He's really smart, funny, and cares about his students. This class mainly goes over Marx's Capital Vol. 1, which is a *very* heavy read. However, Branstetter does an amazing job of breaking down the reading and pulling out the most important points. The course itself has 7 unannounced quizzes to make sure you keep up with the reading (lowest 2 scores are dropped), a midterm, and a final. Overall, the quizzes/exams aren't too bad as long as you've done the readings and paid attention in class to get a real understanding of the material. You definitely have to put in the work to do well in this class, but it's worth it!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2019
Grade: A-
Nov. 11, 2019

I really like the professor. He is very kind and helpful. The course is comprised of reading quizzes (given out randomly), a take home midterm, and a take home final. You really have to understand Branstetter's interpretation of Marx to get full credit on the exam. It was a lot harder than I was expecting based on the reviews. I would suggest going to office hours and copious notes during lectures to get full credit on the midterm and final.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2019
Grade: A
July 12, 2019

Branstetter is by far one of the most caring and considerate professors at UCLA. His lectures make something as complex as Karl Marx understanding, and he is very forgiving if he sees you putting in an effort. The class is very reading dense and requires rereading of a very big and dense book, but rest assured Branstetter is so helpful in his lectures. His course has 7 pop quizzes but he drops 2. He also has one midterm worth 30% of your grade and a final making up 45% of your grade. Overall, I highly recommend this class.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 1
4.3
Overall Rating
Based on 7 Users
Easiness 2.7 / 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 3.1 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.9 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
    (5)
  • Engaging Lectures
    (5)
  • Would Take Again
    (5)
  • Often Funny
    (4)
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