UCLA Cluster Program


Why take a Freshman Cluster?

There are many advantages to taking a cluster. As Freshmen, students are able to:

  1. Study with distinguished faculty
  2. Delve into thematic, interdisciplinary material
  3. Join a vital intellectual community
  4. Complete over a third of their general education requirements
  5. Fulfill the College's Writing II requirement
  6. Receive priority enrollment in English 3 (Writing I) class, fall, winter and spring quarter
  7. Receive three quarters of Honors credit for students in College Honors
  8. Receive Honors Collegium Credit for spring quarter seminar


What do students say?

We asked students if they would recommend their GE Cluster Course, and here is what they had to say.

    GE Cluster M1A,B,CW - Global Environment: A Multidisciplinary Perspective

    "Everyone seems to be very knowledgeable about the information they are teaching and it is really encouraging to see such a passion in the teachers and T.A's. I really love this cluster and it is one of the best decisions I've made in college so far."

    "Yes! The topic of environmental science is both interesting and pertinent. I also really recommend this course due to its interdisciplinary aspect. All of the professors were knowledgeable and engaging. It is also nice to have a year-long class as a freshman because it is something familiar."
    GE Cluster 20A,B,CW - Interracial Dynamics in American Society and Culture

    "I would definitely recommend this course to other students. It provides a fresh and interesting perspective on the topic of race in the United States. I am very happy that I chose to stay in the cluster for the full year because the winter quarter truly tied all of the topics together. Thank you!"

    "Yes! I believe the topic of interracial dynamics is one that everyone should be aware of. The workload is also very manageable and each professor was very approachable and knowledgeable. In just two quarters, I learned a great deal which I can carry throughout my life because no matter where I am, race will always be a topic."
    GE Cluster 21A,B,CW - History of Modern Thought

    "ABSOLUTELY! I loved this course! I enjoyed reading about the various philosophers and their theories. How they were influenced by the events happening around them and how their writings seemed to build on and challenge on another. It is an interesting dialogue if you look at it overall and I truly enjoyed the authors we read throughout this and last quarter."

    "Yes, I had no idea what I was getting into with this course, but I absolutely loved it. The material was fascinating, the lectures this quarter were really well thought out, and the things I learned in this class honestly make me feel much more knowledgeable about society. This is by far my favorite class. There is also such a strong sense of community within my classmates and myself."
    GE Cluster 26A, B, CW - Poverty and Health in Latin America

    "I LOVED this cluster course. You learn so much and gain a greater perspective on everything around you. Everything I have learned throughout this course is valuable knowledge that I will carry with me for my future years. This course had even helped me realize what my passion is. I definitely encourage students to take this course. The professors are amazing; they are knowledgeable and kind people. I couldn't have asked for more from this course."

    "I found this cluster course to be a very interesting and compelling one and would definitely recommend it to other people. The readings are unlike anything I have seen before, and some of them have definitely impacted me and changed me as a person. And no, you do not need to be fluent in Spanish in order to take this course!"
    GE Cluster 30A,B,CW - Neverending Stories: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Myth

    "I would definitely recommend this cluster, most of the TAs and professors are funny and present their lectures in quite entertaining ways, and some of the professors (like Tangherlini) are downright hilarious. This was by far my favorite class these last two quarters, and I'm sad that I won't be taking it anymore. It is fun and not too difficult in terms of material learned, but it also challenges you to become a better writer."

    "Yes, this cluster is well worth the time. Although the work load is relatively larger than that of other GE courses, I think it is fair to expect UCLA students to read and do their homework. I find mythology and story-telling interesting, so I thoroughly appreciated the course's interdisciplinary approaches to older texts. I also appreciated that each member of the teaching team had a specific area of interest that made each presentation unique and relevant to the aims of the class."
    GE Cluster 60A,B,CW - America in the Sixties: Politics, Society, and Culture 1954-1974

    "I would definately recommend this course to other students. The material is really interesting and applicable to today's society. My favorite aspects of the course were the musicology and political science lectures. The professors used technology (such as movies, TV shows, and music) to make lectures more entertaining and attention grabbing. I came into the course having a fixed image of what the 60's was like, and this class broadened that image and made me aware of things that I didn't know previously. Many of the issues covered in the course have also come up in other classes I've taken at UCLA, which just goes to show how applicable it is in other disciplines."

    "I have already told many other students how much I am enjoying this course. I have learned so much material during this quarter from this course and can't wait to learn more throughout the year. The professors are really engaging, and I think all of them are great during lectures. The lectures are also very interesting. I always look forward to coming to this class. I have never enjoyed history or writing, but this class has made me more interested in politics, music, and literature. I would definitely recommend this cluster course to other students, because I feel like everyone can take something from
    it at the end."
    GE Cluster 66A,B,CW - Los Angeles: The Cluster

    "Yes, I would definitely recommend this cluster course to other students for several reasons. First of all, the subject matter is very interesting and unlike any other course that is provided here at UCLA -- learning the real life history about the city we all live in is very beneficial. Secondly, the multidisciplinary coursework is extremely important for continuing this method of learning in life. This course helps in being able to combine different elements and look at one subject in multiple ways."

    "Yes, I would recommend this cluster course. It was nice to have a familiar class throughout the quarters, with devoted and organized professors and TAs that were very fair and helpful. I enjoyed the teaching staff and the cluster set-up is very helpful in fulfilling requirements at UCLA."
    GE Cluster 70A,B,CW - Evolution of the Cosmos and Life

    "I like how this class covers a wide range of material, and fulfills so many GEs. It is a privilege to have so many scientists in so many fields leading lectures, and field trips outside of class."

    "I would recommend this cluster if they are looking for a challenging yet rewarding course. Having a year-long course helps greatly to build better relationships with professors, TA's, and other students. This course also is great to test the water if someone is considering a science major."
    GE Cluster 72A,B,CW - Sex: From Biology to Gendered Society

    "Yes, definitely. I found the material extremely interesting and I recommend it to everyone I talk to. The workload was manageable and the pace was good for freshman year. It's also nice being in the same class for a whole year so you can really bond with fellow students."

    "This cluster course has completely changed the way I view the world. As broad as that sounds, but it’s true. I see certain aspects so much more differently than I did a couple months ago. I feel like a much more educated person about something that I thought I already understood. I can analyze things differently and see aspects in my life that relate to this cluster and realize how i can change them for the better. The topics are extremely interesting and so relatable to the lives we live."
    GE Cluster 73A,B,CW - Mind Over Matter: The History, Science and Philosophy of the Brain

    "I have learned SO MUCH! I am a business economics major but I feel like I'm in a neuroscience pHD program whenever I enter this class. It is very advanced. I really like how everything comes together – the instructors all did an excellent job in giving students a holistic understanding of the material"

    "I highly recommend this course to any freshmen next year. As a freshmen with absolutely no background in the science of the brain, I have learned so much these last two quarters. I am absolutely astounded by the knowledge I have gained, and I'm extremely excited to learn even more during our seminar next quarter. This class has truly ignited the spark of curiosity I had about the brain and turned it into a raging fire. Although this class is difficult, the difficulty and the depth of the material we were expected to know brought the class together as a whole. I have made great friends with my study group through our weekly meetings and midterm/finals study marathons, and I'm glad to have met awesome people in the class."
    GE Cluster 80A,B,CW - Frontiers in Human Aging: Biomedical, Social, and Policy Perspectives

    "Yes. What really would make me recommend the course was the five weeks of service learning we had to complete during Winter Quarter. Interacting with older adults and learning by DOING was a fantastic experience that I'll never forget. It also spurred me into volunteerism here on campus."

    "Yes. I would definitely recommend this cluster course to other students. The instructors and teaching fellows are all committed to their work, and it shows in the quality of their teaching. I liked how last quarter's coursework tied into this quarter's coursework, because it helped reinforce my understanding of the material. The service learning was also a great experience. I was really able to apply my knowledge about aging to the senior center, and it was a way to observe and analyze the people around me. The debates also helped improve my research and communication skills- skills that I will need in my other courses at UCLA."