Does anyone have more recent insights/thoughts about UCLA’s GE clusters and Fiat Lux seminars? Any recommended ones?
DD took the America in the 1960s cluster two years ago and loved it (her second favorite class at UCLA to date, by a wide margin). The clusters give you a consistent group of classmates and sometimes the same TA all year (that’s up to you when you enroll in discussions), so it really helps make the enormous campus feel smaller. During a truly brutal all-zoom freshman year, it was a saving grace. The advice is typically to take a cluster that is outside of your area of interest in order to maximize the value of the GE credits. This worked out well in DD’s case.
She also took four fiat lux classes. They were variable, but all good enough that she never dropped any of them. They’re a fantastic way to have a small-class experience early at UCLA and explore a totally novel topic. In fact, she begged her way into another one as a sophomore (usually they’re restricted to freshmen). I’d recommend taking one every quarter as a freshman – they’re taken pass/not pass so there’s no real risk. Best way to find good ones is to look up prof ratings on bruinwalk.
Much thanks-- great tips! Logistics questions-- there shouldn’t be issues with signing up for the same cluster for the remaining quarters of the academic year? Also, re Fiat Lux-- did your daughter find the work reasonable (recognizing these are P/NP) and not a huge burden on the rest of her school load
Sorry so long to respond! Actually, the clusters make subsequent registration easier, because you’re guaranteed a spot all year. As a result, you can save the cluster enrollment for your 2nd pass in winter and spring quarters. The only issue is getting the specific discussion section you want, but that’s minor in comparison to having a guaranteed class.
The fiat lux classes had very light workloads – of the four she took, only two had actual assignments (short papers), if I recall correctly.