Thomas W Gillespie
Department of Geography
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4.8
Overall Rating
Based on 22 Users
Easiness 4.8 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.8 / 5 How clear the class is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 4.7 / 5 How much workload the class is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.9 / 5 How helpful the class is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Often Funny
  • Would Take Again
  • Has Group Projects
GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS
32.0%
26.7%
21.4%
16.0%
10.7%
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.

45.9%
38.2%
30.6%
22.9%
15.3%
7.6%
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.

48.1%
40.1%
32.1%
24.1%
16.0%
8.0%
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.

57.9%
48.2%
38.6%
28.9%
19.3%
9.6%
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.

ENROLLMENT DISTRIBUTIONS
Clear marks

Sorry, no enrollment data is available.

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Reviews (19)

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Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A+
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
June 25, 2024

easiest GE ever, i recommend to anyone that needs it, or even as just a "filler" class for units because of how easy it is. prof would finish lecture wayyyy earlier, because he is so easy going, straightforward, and adds no extra fluff to anything. but his lectures are still insanely engaging i wish every prof was like him with material. you're honestly just learning about biomes, and it is graded on attendance to section, midterm, final, and group project. midterm and final he literally gave the study guides beforehand, and it was an exact replica of each. super easy btw there was not much to stress except memorizing. group project was a slide presentation on an endangered animal of your choosing. again, so insanely easy and stress-free class that was also fun.

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Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A+
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Oct. 19, 2023

Super straightforward class and Professor is interesting lecturer. A lot to memorize for the tests but everything is clearly laid out. Really fun class overall and a good GE

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Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A+
March 22, 2023

BEST PROFESSOR EVER BEST CLASS EVER TAKE THIS CLASS FOR FUN NOT EVEN FOR A GE

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Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Feb. 22, 2023

If I could recommend any GE it would be this one. First of all, Gillespie is one of the coolest and more entertaining professors out there. Like I genuinely loved hearing this man speak every morning. There is virtually no work in this class (no textbook, reading, papers, etc) outside of what you complete during your lab time. And the labs are more like discussions with field trips to the botanical gardens. To pass the midterm and the final i'd argue you just need to pay attention during lectures and be good at memorization. To be fair, I had already taken AP Environmental Science before this class and to be honest because of that I already knew 80% of the information so to be fair it may be a little harder if you don't have that background.

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Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Feb. 14, 2023

Best class you will ever take at UCLA!!! Gillespie genuinely cares about what he is teaching which reflects in his teaching style, for he is very engaging. There is no homework, all you need to do is study for the midterms. What you need to study is really straightforward and he tells you precisely what to memorize. TAKE THIS CLASS!!!

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Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A
Jan. 19, 2023

Honestly, if you are looking for an easy GE this is the best! Gillespie is super straightforward and is pretty funny in his lectures. He gives out study guides for his multiple choice midterm and finals and the study guide is literally the exact same things that are on the test.
He pretty much reads off slides so if you miss lectures you shouldn't be too bad, but you should still definitely go to lecture because he comes up with stuff on the fly to explain a particular topic which makes it easier to memorize.
I will say ... the final is cumulative but honestly not as bad as I thought it was going to be, just make really good flashcards or look up some on Quizlet lol.

OVERALL this is a great class, super easy, mostly memorization based, and contains one small group project at the end of the year (super manageable).

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Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: B+
Jan. 7, 2023

Prof. Gillespie is very engaging and passionate about Geography. The labs are worth 30% of your grade and are mandatory, and then the midterm and final are 30% and 40% of your grade. For the midterm, he claimed that it would be multiple choice, however it was all free response which really messed me up because I studied for a multiple choice exam. The final was cumulative and multiple choice this time which was great. Pretty fair course just wish I knew the midterm was free response.

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Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A+
Jan. 3, 2023

very easy ge tbh. during lecture, he uses slides (which are posted on bruinlearn) but honestly they are kinda unhelpful if you dont go to lecture because the content on his slides often seem to be a vomit of his stream of conciousness. that being said, he often ends lecture much earlier than the scheduled time on the class planner. i recommend you attend lecture and take notes on what he is saying so that you can actually understand what his slides say in the future. his lectures go at a brisk pace but they are not hard to follow AT ALL.

exams make up most of your grade. for the midterm I did some hard core studying the day before and got a 99. for the final i did the same hard core studying but started two days before and ended with an A+ in the class. he gives you a study guide (which is also kind of his stream of consciousness lol) and goes over his study guide in class to basically tell you what the questions/answers to each topic will be so ATTEND HIS LECTURE. if you can MEMORIZE everything on his study guide (just mindlessly regurgitating the material) you should be fine. basically there were no explanation/critical thinking questions on exams so j memorize the stuff.

the other portion of your grade is the lab. my TA was really nice, and to secure ur points just show up to the labs cuz they give out very easy assignments that you turn in at the end of the lab period. we had a group project that ultimately got cut short cuz of the TA strike, but generally you should be a-ok if you just SHOW UP.

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Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A-
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Dec. 6, 2022

TAKE THIS CLASS! I went into this class on a mission to find the easiest science GE and guys, I did it. You don't have to show up at all but you should because Gillespie is a snazzy guy. You literally just learn about biomes and just have to show up for a really easy midterm and final. The labs are basically just 30 minute discussions with like two worksheets so that was beautiful and my TA Eric was dope. If you take one class at UCLA this should be it.

Helpful?

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Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A
Dec. 6, 2022

Pros:
- Professor Gillespie is very engaging. You can tell he's passionate about what he teaches, and that he wants to make sure students understand and learn from him well.
- He's also extremely nice––if you email him, he'll respond, or if you have questions, he's happy to help. I had a family emergency and he was very understanding and generous with the accommodations I needed.
- He gives you a study guide before the midterm and final with basically every concept you'd need to know listed. Granted, it's terribly formatted and organized and you have to spend forever finding the answers in his slides/lecture notes (so I'd use Quizlets instead if I were you, that's what I did and I did well) but they're good for checking that you know everything, and he's very nice for telling us what's on the test.
- The TA's are also great! I heard great things about a couple of them, especially Isabel James.

Cons:
- If you don't care about geography, this class is not going to be enjoyable. Although it really does help, a passionate professor doesn't make a subject bearable if you hate it. We had to draw a world map on the midterm, which was the worst, and memorizing giant blocks of information that you don't like is painful. A couple hours of cramming was enough to do well, though.
- He said the tests were going to be multiple choice, and they were short answer. Study like they're going to be short answer. I lost a couple points on the midterm because I skimmed sections, thinking I'd be able to pick out wrong or right answers out of the multiple choice.
- Group project at the end. Mine was right after the final was due, which is super annoying (Week 10.) TA strikes this year put it online, though so was manageable.

TLDR; Easy class with passionate, funny, and helpful professor. Think about taking something else if memorizing big blocks of information about geography and drawing a map from scratch sound like hell to you.

Helpful?

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Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A+
June 25, 2024

easiest GE ever, i recommend to anyone that needs it, or even as just a "filler" class for units because of how easy it is. prof would finish lecture wayyyy earlier, because he is so easy going, straightforward, and adds no extra fluff to anything. but his lectures are still insanely engaging i wish every prof was like him with material. you're honestly just learning about biomes, and it is graded on attendance to section, midterm, final, and group project. midterm and final he literally gave the study guides beforehand, and it was an exact replica of each. super easy btw there was not much to stress except memorizing. group project was a slide presentation on an endangered animal of your choosing. again, so insanely easy and stress-free class that was also fun.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A+
Oct. 19, 2023

Super straightforward class and Professor is interesting lecturer. A lot to memorize for the tests but everything is clearly laid out. Really fun class overall and a good GE

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0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A+
March 22, 2023

BEST PROFESSOR EVER BEST CLASS EVER TAKE THIS CLASS FOR FUN NOT EVEN FOR A GE

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A
Feb. 22, 2023

If I could recommend any GE it would be this one. First of all, Gillespie is one of the coolest and more entertaining professors out there. Like I genuinely loved hearing this man speak every morning. There is virtually no work in this class (no textbook, reading, papers, etc) outside of what you complete during your lab time. And the labs are more like discussions with field trips to the botanical gardens. To pass the midterm and the final i'd argue you just need to pay attention during lectures and be good at memorization. To be fair, I had already taken AP Environmental Science before this class and to be honest because of that I already knew 80% of the information so to be fair it may be a little harder if you don't have that background.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A
Feb. 14, 2023

Best class you will ever take at UCLA!!! Gillespie genuinely cares about what he is teaching which reflects in his teaching style, for he is very engaging. There is no homework, all you need to do is study for the midterms. What you need to study is really straightforward and he tells you precisely what to memorize. TAKE THIS CLASS!!!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A
Jan. 19, 2023

Honestly, if you are looking for an easy GE this is the best! Gillespie is super straightforward and is pretty funny in his lectures. He gives out study guides for his multiple choice midterm and finals and the study guide is literally the exact same things that are on the test.
He pretty much reads off slides so if you miss lectures you shouldn't be too bad, but you should still definitely go to lecture because he comes up with stuff on the fly to explain a particular topic which makes it easier to memorize.
I will say ... the final is cumulative but honestly not as bad as I thought it was going to be, just make really good flashcards or look up some on Quizlet lol.

OVERALL this is a great class, super easy, mostly memorization based, and contains one small group project at the end of the year (super manageable).

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: B+
Jan. 7, 2023

Prof. Gillespie is very engaging and passionate about Geography. The labs are worth 30% of your grade and are mandatory, and then the midterm and final are 30% and 40% of your grade. For the midterm, he claimed that it would be multiple choice, however it was all free response which really messed me up because I studied for a multiple choice exam. The final was cumulative and multiple choice this time which was great. Pretty fair course just wish I knew the midterm was free response.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A+
Jan. 3, 2023

very easy ge tbh. during lecture, he uses slides (which are posted on bruinlearn) but honestly they are kinda unhelpful if you dont go to lecture because the content on his slides often seem to be a vomit of his stream of conciousness. that being said, he often ends lecture much earlier than the scheduled time on the class planner. i recommend you attend lecture and take notes on what he is saying so that you can actually understand what his slides say in the future. his lectures go at a brisk pace but they are not hard to follow AT ALL.

exams make up most of your grade. for the midterm I did some hard core studying the day before and got a 99. for the final i did the same hard core studying but started two days before and ended with an A+ in the class. he gives you a study guide (which is also kind of his stream of consciousness lol) and goes over his study guide in class to basically tell you what the questions/answers to each topic will be so ATTEND HIS LECTURE. if you can MEMORIZE everything on his study guide (just mindlessly regurgitating the material) you should be fine. basically there were no explanation/critical thinking questions on exams so j memorize the stuff.

the other portion of your grade is the lab. my TA was really nice, and to secure ur points just show up to the labs cuz they give out very easy assignments that you turn in at the end of the lab period. we had a group project that ultimately got cut short cuz of the TA strike, but generally you should be a-ok if you just SHOW UP.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Verified Reviewer This user is a verified UCLA student/alum.
Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A-
Dec. 6, 2022

TAKE THIS CLASS! I went into this class on a mission to find the easiest science GE and guys, I did it. You don't have to show up at all but you should because Gillespie is a snazzy guy. You literally just learn about biomes and just have to show up for a really easy midterm and final. The labs are basically just 30 minute discussions with like two worksheets so that was beautiful and my TA Eric was dope. If you take one class at UCLA this should be it.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2022
Grade: A
Dec. 6, 2022

Pros:
- Professor Gillespie is very engaging. You can tell he's passionate about what he teaches, and that he wants to make sure students understand and learn from him well.
- He's also extremely nice––if you email him, he'll respond, or if you have questions, he's happy to help. I had a family emergency and he was very understanding and generous with the accommodations I needed.
- He gives you a study guide before the midterm and final with basically every concept you'd need to know listed. Granted, it's terribly formatted and organized and you have to spend forever finding the answers in his slides/lecture notes (so I'd use Quizlets instead if I were you, that's what I did and I did well) but they're good for checking that you know everything, and he's very nice for telling us what's on the test.
- The TA's are also great! I heard great things about a couple of them, especially Isabel James.

Cons:
- If you don't care about geography, this class is not going to be enjoyable. Although it really does help, a passionate professor doesn't make a subject bearable if you hate it. We had to draw a world map on the midterm, which was the worst, and memorizing giant blocks of information that you don't like is painful. A couple hours of cramming was enough to do well, though.
- He said the tests were going to be multiple choice, and they were short answer. Study like they're going to be short answer. I lost a couple points on the midterm because I skimmed sections, thinking I'd be able to pick out wrong or right answers out of the multiple choice.
- Group project at the end. Mine was right after the final was due, which is super annoying (Week 10.) TA strikes this year put it online, though so was manageable.

TLDR; Easy class with passionate, funny, and helpful professor. Think about taking something else if memorizing big blocks of information about geography and drawing a map from scratch sound like hell to you.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 2
4.8
Overall Rating
Based on 22 Users
Easiness 4.8 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.8 / 5 How clear the class is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 4.7 / 5 How much workload the class is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.9 / 5 How helpful the class is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
    (17)
  • Engaging Lectures
    (16)
  • Often Funny
    (16)
  • Would Take Again
    (15)
  • Has Group Projects
    (15)
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