Arlene Saxonhouse - University of Michigan

Professor: Arlene Saxonhouse
Department: Political Science
College: University of Michigan
Rating # 1
Overview:
  • Course: POLSCI302
  • Grade Received: N/A
  • Overall Rating: 4.0
  • Course Difficulty: 3.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: Yes
  • Attendance: Not Mandatory
Comment:
Professor Saxonhouse is great. She is understanding and supportive of all students Her courses are not easy, but if you put in the effort, then you will get the grade you truly want. Regardless of which course, make sure that you attend lecture. She makes everything crystal clear and straightforward. Students who don't do well likely skip lecture.
Rating # 2
Overview:
  • Course: POLISCI302
  • Grade Received: N/A
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 5.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: No
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
Professor makes the class difficult to succeed in if you don't follow everything she says to the letter. Her lectures are all verbal about the long readings. With nothing to follow the lectures with whether it's powerpoint or writing on a chalkboard, it is difficult to follow everything she says. Her class doesn't foster a successful environment.
Rating # 3
Overview:
  • Course: POLSCI301
  • Grade Received: A+
  • Overall Rating: 5.0
  • Course Difficulty: 4.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: Yes
  • Attendance: Not Mandatory
Comment:
Professor Saxonhouse is finest professors that I've had the privilege of learning under. If you're interested in political theory and you attend the University of Michigan, you would be doing yourself a disservice not to take her class. She's erudite and witty; she also puts together a diverse reading list for the course. Attend class and read!
Rating # 4
Overview:
  • Course: POL301
  • Grade Received: A
  • Overall Rating: 4.0
  • Course Difficulty: 4.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: Yes
  • Attendance: Mandatory
Comment:
Ignore the bad ratings about her. She is a great professor, and if you are interested in Ancient Political Thought, I'd highly recommend her class. She provides a good survey of classical political thought and does a good job at relaying thematic development through the semester.
Rating # 5
Overview:
  • Course: POL301
  • Grade Received: A-
  • Overall Rating: 3.5
  • Course Difficulty: 5.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: Yes
  • Attendance: Not Mandatory
Comment:
Saxonhouse is a kind and knowledgeable professor, very helpful during office hours. If you are interested in ancient thought, this is a great class for you. Exams are long and related to readings. Readings are heavy. You have to take good notes during class. Would recommend taking a class with her
Rating # 6
Overview:
  • Course: POLSCI301
  • Grade Received: N/A
  • Overall Rating: 4.0
  • Course Difficulty: 3.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: N/A
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
Though the readings are long, she goes into them in great detail. As long as you take good notes and make sure to reassert the points she has made in class you will get a good grade. Participation is encouraged, but not mandatory. Came into the class with little knowledge of ancient theory, would only suggest interested in ancient thought though.
Rating # 7
Overview:
  • Course: PS495
  • Grade Received: B+
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 5.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: No
  • Would Take Again: N/A
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
Unclear and frustrating. Sit in the front row and listen closely. A tough class because lectures are bad.
Rating # 8
Overview:
  • Course: PS301
  • Grade Received: A
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 5.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: No
  • Would Take Again: N/A
  • Attendance: Mandatory
Comment:
A horrible time for all involved as groans and long faces were common. Oscillates between dull and cringe-inducing.
Rating # 9
Overview:
  • Course: PS301
  • Grade Received: N/A
  • Overall Rating: 4.0
  • Course Difficulty: 4.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: N/A
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
Reading is crucial. Specific references to the text will improve your exam scores. Take this course only if you are interested in the history of political thought and are willing to do a large amount of reading.
Rating # 10
Overview:
  • Course: PS301
  • Grade Received: A+
  • Overall Rating: 4.5
  • Course Difficulty: 3.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: N/A
  • Attendance: Not Mandatory
Comment:
This class was a delight. The material is incredibly interesting on its own but professor Saxonhouse successfully transcended the readings by linking them all together in a way that made perfect sense. Her lectures were as helpful as it can get. If you show up regularly and do the readings to a certain extent then this class is an easy A.
Rating # 11
Overview:
  • Course: PS301
  • Grade Received: N/A
  • Overall Rating: 3.0
  • Course Difficulty: 4.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: N/A
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
Only take this class if you're 100% interested in the topic. Be prepared to take vigorous notes on everything she says. She doesn't accept outside opinions because she's convinced everything she says is the only answer. The tests are graded partially by her but also by a GSI who has told me that even she gets confused by what Arlene says in lec.
Rating # 12
Overview:
  • Course: POLSCI301
  • Grade Received: N/A
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 4.0
  • For Credit: Yes
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: N/A
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
Lectures tend to be long and brutally boring. She speaks very quietly and is hard to understand. Do not take this class with her. You will be in for a painfully boring and tough semester dragging yourself to class.
Rating # 13
Overview:
  • Course: POL495
  • Grade Received: N/A
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 5.0
  • For Credit: N/A
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: N/A
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
Grades unfairly and does not even grade her own tests. This is done by assistants who aren't familiar with the material by their own admission.
Rating # 14
Overview:
  • Course: POL301
  • Grade Received: N/A
  • Overall Rating: 4.5
  • Course Difficulty: 4.0
  • For Credit: N/A
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: N/A
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
This class is for grownups. No give aways, it pushes you to learn. 4 hours reading a week and can't miss class. Do yourself a favor- sit in the front, she speaks softly. That said, it was the most rewarding class I've ever taken. Material is brilliant, lectures were full of thoughtful analysis. Included some time for class discussion, questions.
Rating # 15
Overview:
  • Course: POLSCI301
  • Grade Received: N/A
  • Overall Rating: 1.5
  • Course Difficulty: 5.0
  • For Credit: N/A
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: N/A
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
Arlene is a tough professor. She is strict in her interpretation of the readings and fairly arrogant. On the last day of class, she refused to talk about the reading. She also post minimal resources online and talks like a mouse while telling us to speak up. This is a very difficult course and do not recommend taking it with her.
Rating # 16
Overview:
  • Course: POLSCI495
  • Grade Received: N/A
  • Overall Rating: 3.5
  • Course Difficulty: 4.0
  • For Credit: N/A
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: N/A
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
The class involves a lot of reading and 3 essays, but that was it. Attendance is mandatory, and you must participate and pay attention constantly in class. Arlene really knows the subject well; however, at times she can be a little picky. This was a class where I worked hard (but not too hard), enjoyed it, and learned a lot, definitely recommend.
Rating # 17
Overview:
  • Course: POLISCI495
  • Grade Received: N/A
  • Overall Rating: 3.5
  • Course Difficulty: 4.0
  • For Credit: N/A
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: N/A
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
The whole class was, understandably, based off reading the Federalist Papers, but we also read it in class together, which cut into time for discussing and analyzing the text. It also prevented us from being able to go over everything we read. Essay grading is a bit subjective, but she's willing to help if you go to office hours
Rating # 18
Overview:
  • Course: PS301
  • Grade Received: N/A
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 5.0
  • For Credit: N/A
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: N/A
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
Easily the worst class I've ever taken and the teaching style is the reason why. You can feel the arrogance.
Rating # 19
Overview:
  • Course: PS301
  • Grade Received: N/A
  • Overall Rating: 1.0
  • Course Difficulty: 5.0
  • For Credit: N/A
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: N/A
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
Bad lectures and readings don't prepare one for the tests and isn't helpful in office hours.
Rating # 20
Overview:
  • Course: POLSC301
  • Grade Received: N/A
  • Overall Rating: 4.5
  • Course Difficulty: 1.0
  • For Credit: N/A
  • Textbook Used: Yes
  • Would Take Again: N/A
  • Attendance: N/A
Comment:
Go to lecture. Keep good, DETAILED notes. If you miss a class, get good notes from a friend. Read. Ask a lot of questions, and visit her in office hours (ask the right questions and she'll basically tell you what she's going to stress for the exams). Like others said, it's not a blow-off class, but almost a guaranteed A if you do the work.
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