The program consists of two yearlong courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. Students who score a 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing earn the AP Capstone Diploma™. This signifies outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and research skills. Students who score a 3 or higher in both AP Seminar and AP Research (and not on four additional AP Exams) earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.
In AP Seminar, typically taken in 10th or 11th grade, students choose and evaluate complex topics through multiple lenses; identify credibility and bias in sources; and develop arguments in support of a recommendation. AP Seminar is a project-based learning course. Each student’s AP Seminar score is based on a set of assessments including research reports, written arguments, timed essays and group and individual presentations completed throughout the academic year.
In the subsequent AP Research course, students design, execute, present, and defend a yearlong research-based investigation on a topic of individual interest. They build on skills developed in AP Seminar by learning how to understand research methodology; employ ethical research practices; and collect, analyze, and synthesize information to contribute to academic research. Like AP Seminar, AP Research is a project-based course. Each student’s AP Research score is based on their academic paper, presentation, and oral defense.