Scott C James
Department of Political Science
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3.1
Overall Rating
Based on 32 User s
Easiness 1.6 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.1 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 1.4 / 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.

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There are no relevant tags for this professor yet.

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

32.2%
26.8%
21.5%
16.1%
10.7%
5.4%
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.

42.3%
35.3%
28.2%
21.2%
14.1%
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.

28.1%
23.4%
18.7%
14.0%
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.

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Reviews (14)

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 31, 2015

I took 140B, but the option wasn't there.
Professor James is a very fair professor. His classes are all lecture no participation really. He podcasts every lecture and posts all the power points ahead of time. one midterm, one final paper (15 pages), and one final. He gives all of the questions ahead of time from 18-20 of them and chooses four requiring about a page-page and a half answer. The paper was the most difficult for me because I didn't pay attention in class the day he spoke about it to make sure to pay attention when he talks about it or relisten to the podcasts about it because it helps a lot. He doesn't try to trick you, straight forward and requires work. Got an A.

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Sept. 19, 2012

I took 140B but they didn't have that as a choice for the drop down menu.

Anyway, I took the class during the summer, which meant 20 lectures in only 10 class periods. This was difficult at first to keep up with but definitely manageable. His lectures are podcasted and he puts all of his powerpoints online, so you can go at your own pace. But be warned that it is nearly impossible to read/listen to all of them at the last minute because there is a lot. Still the material itself isn’t very difficult; you basically talk about how presidents have changed their approaches towards rhetoric and addressing the public, as well as how they try to find extra-constitutional power resources to expand their preeminence over Congress.

James was extremely approachable in my interactions with him and his powerpoints were crystal clear. I also appreciate his effort during my specific session (he battled pneumonia the entire six weeks and still lectured).

Be cautious though: You MUST keep up with the readings. It is very difficult to miss all the lectures AND readings and then make them up at the end. But if you do leave it until the last minute which some people inevitably do, he does give a study guide from which he picks 4 questions for both the midterm and final. You know what you’re getting, but each study guide is 18 questions long so it takes forever to complete. Half of these are questions pertaining to specific readings. He requires examples too, so skimming isn’t recommended.

Also note that during the regular term there is a paper and discussion.

Final Grade: A

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 23, 2012

I took Poli Sci 140B (the Presidency) with Professor James and it entailed a LOT of reading. Some of the books he assigned (especially Tulis and Skowronek) were very dense and writing the 15 page paper was a *****. Make sure you take a lighter class load if you plan on taking James (it'll make that 'A' more manageable). In terms of his lectures, they can be mindnumbingly boring, but easy to follow (he outlines everything in detail in his PowerPoints). Everyone who said he talks in a theatrical voice...is right.

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Dec. 20, 2011

Easily the best class I've taken thus far at UCLA. The lectures at the beginning of the quarter were more interesting than the lectures at the end of the quarter, but don't let that stop you from going to class even though the lectures are podcast. It's obvious that Professor James knows what he's talking about, and if you see him in office hours he happily will expand upon course content. I went several times before the midterm and it really helped clarify some concepts (especially because my TA wasn't helpful at all). You do have to study for this class, but as far as the midterm and final go, if you prepare the questions he gives you, you can't fail. It's really straightforward. The paper was a pain in the ass, but relative to other 15 page papers it was easy to write. I didn't do a ton of the reading because there is a lot of it, and reading everything for substance would've been impossible. I skimmed the relevant chapters before the midterm and final and prepared the answers and I was fine. You definitely get out of the class what you put in for effort, though. I highly recommend this class. And, uhhhh, I'm not Professor James.

Final grade: A.

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
April 13, 2011

Overall, Professor James did an amazing job teaching us the complex nature of the American presidency while keeping the lectures interesting. He was very organized so we knew what to expect; it was pleasant to witness a professor so logical, organized and serious about his career (he has a high level of education and passion in American politics).

He presents all the questions for tests ahead of time (first day of class) but nevertheless, on average, PS 140B required more work than my other poli sci classes. In the end, it was worth the effort and time for the insight learned!

Final grade: A.

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 26, 2011

I have taken James for two classes, including the Presidency class which includes a 15 page paper, midterm and final.
I think James is one of the best professors I've had at Ucla. He is extremely effective in his lectures and organized.
He provides the final study guide and midterm study guide from the very beginning of the quarter so you can pretty much fill out your study guides as the quarter progresses. Makes things a lot easier and less stressful during finals week.
I highly recommend James for any student who is interested in working hard (as hard as you'd expect in a Ucla class), learning something valuable and getting a grade that reflects the hard work you put in.
I took James twice because although the work is "challenging," James makes it very clear what it takes to get an A and it's quite possible to get an A.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Feb. 11, 2011

Professor James is a great professor. And to the south campus major who was so offended by their bad grade on north campus and is now putting down the school for funding professors like James, get a life. James' lectures may be theatrical, but they are nevertheless interesting. You don't find many teachers who know their stuff as well as James. He knows his politics. The readings are just as heavy as other upper div Poli Sci courses, and you know exactly what's going to be on the midterm and final because he gives you the questions in advance.

So basically, go to lecture, do the readings, go to discussion, study a bit, write your paper, and you'll do fine.

And I am not Professor James.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Sept. 12, 2010

Horrible professor. I really regret taking this class (POLS 140B). I got a fair grade at the end but it was SUCH A WASTE OF TIME. My interest in Politics has disappeared and I can give himc redit for making that happen. It's actually kind of humorous; he speaks as if he's in a play. Going to lecture is absolutely theatrical--not that it makes it interesting but it gives the subject matter less substance. You can doyourself a favor by skimming the power points and not attending lecture. His T.A. does not have any obvious credentials to lead a discussion on American Politics; she doesn't have her undergrad qualifications up on UCLA's Political Science website...meaning she probably got into UCLA grad program because she came from an easy, sucky institution with a high GPA and doesn't want to reveal that. Both the professor and the T.A. put on the classic poker face when it comes to discussing the subject matter. It's actually funny..shame on UCLA for providing funds necessary for such comedy acts. Being a south-campy major, this class is very simple; yet the professor and the T.A. insist on making the subject matter challenging. Do yourself a favor and stay away from this POLS course.

Helpful?

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 29, 2010

I don't understand why everyone considers James to be so difficult. The grade is based on a midterm, a paper and a final. The midterm and final are 75 minutes long each, he gives you study questions and the grading is very fair. I did very little reading and managed to get an A in the class. The paper is 15 pages long and is actually pretty easy. James is very passionate about the subject and it show. If you like American politics, you have to take the class.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 28, 2010

quite straightforward professor. the lectures aren't too bad he's pretty into the material and is a lively guy. midterm and final were both a list of 14-17 essay prompts which we got at the beginning of the quarter. he randomly chose 4 of the questions for each test and the tests were quite easy. definitely the most challenging part of the class was the 15 page essay on top of the final which was a little too much work but the topic for the essay was extremely broad and extremely easy. take james if you can. you'll learn a decent amount and its very difficult not to get at least a B i'd say. if you know your essay prompts and research your essay there's no reason not to get an A.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 31, 2015

I took 140B, but the option wasn't there.
Professor James is a very fair professor. His classes are all lecture no participation really. He podcasts every lecture and posts all the power points ahead of time. one midterm, one final paper (15 pages), and one final. He gives all of the questions ahead of time from 18-20 of them and chooses four requiring about a page-page and a half answer. The paper was the most difficult for me because I didn't pay attention in class the day he spoke about it to make sure to pay attention when he talks about it or relisten to the podcasts about it because it helps a lot. He doesn't try to trick you, straight forward and requires work. Got an A.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Sept. 19, 2012

I took 140B but they didn't have that as a choice for the drop down menu.

Anyway, I took the class during the summer, which meant 20 lectures in only 10 class periods. This was difficult at first to keep up with but definitely manageable. His lectures are podcasted and he puts all of his powerpoints online, so you can go at your own pace. But be warned that it is nearly impossible to read/listen to all of them at the last minute because there is a lot. Still the material itself isn’t very difficult; you basically talk about how presidents have changed their approaches towards rhetoric and addressing the public, as well as how they try to find extra-constitutional power resources to expand their preeminence over Congress.

James was extremely approachable in my interactions with him and his powerpoints were crystal clear. I also appreciate his effort during my specific session (he battled pneumonia the entire six weeks and still lectured).

Be cautious though: You MUST keep up with the readings. It is very difficult to miss all the lectures AND readings and then make them up at the end. But if you do leave it until the last minute which some people inevitably do, he does give a study guide from which he picks 4 questions for both the midterm and final. You know what you’re getting, but each study guide is 18 questions long so it takes forever to complete. Half of these are questions pertaining to specific readings. He requires examples too, so skimming isn’t recommended.

Also note that during the regular term there is a paper and discussion.

Final Grade: A

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 23, 2012

I took Poli Sci 140B (the Presidency) with Professor James and it entailed a LOT of reading. Some of the books he assigned (especially Tulis and Skowronek) were very dense and writing the 15 page paper was a *****. Make sure you take a lighter class load if you plan on taking James (it'll make that 'A' more manageable). In terms of his lectures, they can be mindnumbingly boring, but easy to follow (he outlines everything in detail in his PowerPoints). Everyone who said he talks in a theatrical voice...is right.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Dec. 20, 2011

Easily the best class I've taken thus far at UCLA. The lectures at the beginning of the quarter were more interesting than the lectures at the end of the quarter, but don't let that stop you from going to class even though the lectures are podcast. It's obvious that Professor James knows what he's talking about, and if you see him in office hours he happily will expand upon course content. I went several times before the midterm and it really helped clarify some concepts (especially because my TA wasn't helpful at all). You do have to study for this class, but as far as the midterm and final go, if you prepare the questions he gives you, you can't fail. It's really straightforward. The paper was a pain in the ass, but relative to other 15 page papers it was easy to write. I didn't do a ton of the reading because there is a lot of it, and reading everything for substance would've been impossible. I skimmed the relevant chapters before the midterm and final and prepared the answers and I was fine. You definitely get out of the class what you put in for effort, though. I highly recommend this class. And, uhhhh, I'm not Professor James.

Final grade: A.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
April 13, 2011

Overall, Professor James did an amazing job teaching us the complex nature of the American presidency while keeping the lectures interesting. He was very organized so we knew what to expect; it was pleasant to witness a professor so logical, organized and serious about his career (he has a high level of education and passion in American politics).

He presents all the questions for tests ahead of time (first day of class) but nevertheless, on average, PS 140B required more work than my other poli sci classes. In the end, it was worth the effort and time for the insight learned!

Final grade: A.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
March 26, 2011

I have taken James for two classes, including the Presidency class which includes a 15 page paper, midterm and final.
I think James is one of the best professors I've had at Ucla. He is extremely effective in his lectures and organized.
He provides the final study guide and midterm study guide from the very beginning of the quarter so you can pretty much fill out your study guides as the quarter progresses. Makes things a lot easier and less stressful during finals week.
I highly recommend James for any student who is interested in working hard (as hard as you'd expect in a Ucla class), learning something valuable and getting a grade that reflects the hard work you put in.
I took James twice because although the work is "challenging," James makes it very clear what it takes to get an A and it's quite possible to get an A.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Feb. 11, 2011

Professor James is a great professor. And to the south campus major who was so offended by their bad grade on north campus and is now putting down the school for funding professors like James, get a life. James' lectures may be theatrical, but they are nevertheless interesting. You don't find many teachers who know their stuff as well as James. He knows his politics. The readings are just as heavy as other upper div Poli Sci courses, and you know exactly what's going to be on the midterm and final because he gives you the questions in advance.

So basically, go to lecture, do the readings, go to discussion, study a bit, write your paper, and you'll do fine.

And I am not Professor James.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Sept. 12, 2010

Horrible professor. I really regret taking this class (POLS 140B). I got a fair grade at the end but it was SUCH A WASTE OF TIME. My interest in Politics has disappeared and I can give himc redit for making that happen. It's actually kind of humorous; he speaks as if he's in a play. Going to lecture is absolutely theatrical--not that it makes it interesting but it gives the subject matter less substance. You can doyourself a favor by skimming the power points and not attending lecture. His T.A. does not have any obvious credentials to lead a discussion on American Politics; she doesn't have her undergrad qualifications up on UCLA's Political Science website...meaning she probably got into UCLA grad program because she came from an easy, sucky institution with a high GPA and doesn't want to reveal that. Both the professor and the T.A. put on the classic poker face when it comes to discussing the subject matter. It's actually funny..shame on UCLA for providing funds necessary for such comedy acts. Being a south-campy major, this class is very simple; yet the professor and the T.A. insist on making the subject matter challenging. Do yourself a favor and stay away from this POLS course.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 29, 2010

I don't understand why everyone considers James to be so difficult. The grade is based on a midterm, a paper and a final. The midterm and final are 75 minutes long each, he gives you study questions and the grading is very fair. I did very little reading and managed to get an A in the class. The paper is 15 pages long and is actually pretty easy. James is very passionate about the subject and it show. If you like American politics, you have to take the class.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 28, 2010

quite straightforward professor. the lectures aren't too bad he's pretty into the material and is a lively guy. midterm and final were both a list of 14-17 essay prompts which we got at the beginning of the quarter. he randomly chose 4 of the questions for each test and the tests were quite easy. definitely the most challenging part of the class was the 15 page essay on top of the final which was a little too much work but the topic for the essay was extremely broad and extremely easy. take james if you can. you'll learn a decent amount and its very difficult not to get at least a B i'd say. if you know your essay prompts and research your essay there's no reason not to get an A.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 2
3.1
Overall Rating
Based on 32 Users
Easiness 1.6 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.1 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 1.4 / 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.

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