AP Capstone is a College Board diploma program based on two year
long AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. While other AP
courses teach specific subject knowledge, AP Seminar and AP
Research use an interdisciplinary approach to develop critical
thinking, research, collaboration, time management, and
Students typically take AP Seminar in grade 10 or 11, followed by
AP Research. Each course is yearlong, and AP Seminar is a
prerequisite for AP Research. In both courses, students
investigate a variety of topics in multiple disciplines and have
the opportunity to choose topics to explore.
Both courses guide students through completing a research
project, writing an academic paper, and making a presentation on
Over the course of the two-year program, students are required
- Analyze topics through multiple lenses to construct meaning,
- Plan and conduct a study or investigation.
- Propose solutions to real-world problems.
- Plan and produce communication in various forms.
- Collaborate to solve a problem.
- Integrate, synthesize, and make cross-curricular connections.
Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP
Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing
receive the AP Capstone Diploma. Students who earn scores of 3 or
higher in AP Seminar and AP Research but not on four additional
AP Exams receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.
Most colleges in California that grant credit for these courses
are either CSUs or Community Colleges. Use the credit policy
search tool on the College Board website to find colleges and
universities that offer credit and/or placement for a qualifying
score in AP Seminar, AP Research, or both:
Find Colleges and Universities That Grant Credit for AP Seminar
and AP Research
AP Seminar (Grade: 10-11; Elective Credit: 10) *Available
AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in
cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of
academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent
perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice
reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and
foundational, literary, and philosophical texts; listening to and
viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and
experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to
synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own
perspectives in written essays, and design and deliver oral and
visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team.
Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to
analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in
order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments. UC A-G
approved – b English. NCAA approved.
Prerequisite: Application. Semester grade of C+ or better in most
recent English and Social Studies courses.
AP Research (Grade: 11-12; Elective Credit: 10)
*Available beginning 2022-23
AP Research, the second course in the AP Capstone experience,
allows students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem,
issue, or idea of individual interest. Students design, plan, and
implement a yearlong investigation to address a research
question. Through this inquiry, they further the skills they
acquired in the AP Seminar course by learning research
methodology, employing ethical research practices, and accessing,
analyzing, and synthesizing information. Students reflect on
their skill development, document their processes, and curate the
artifacts of their scholarly work through a process and
reflection portfolio. The course culminates in an academic paper
of 4,000–5,000 words (accompanied by a performance, exhibit, or
product) and a presentation with an oral defense. UC A-G approved
– g College Preparatory Elective. NCAA approved.
Prerequisite: AP Seminar is a prerequisite for AP Research.
Completing AP Seminar and all its required assessment components
is necessary for students to develop the skills to be successful
in AP Research.)