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AP Capstone


What Is AP Capstone?

AP Capstone™ is a College Board program that equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork, and communication skills that are increasingly valued by colleges. It cultivates curious, independent, and collaborative scholars and prepares them to make logical, evidence-based decisions.

AP Capstone is comprised of two AP courses — AP Seminar and AP Research — and is designed to complement and enhance the discipline-specific study in other AP courses. Participating schools can use the AP Capstone program to provide unique research opportunities for current AP students, or to expand access to AP by encouraging students to master the argument-based writing skills that the AP Capstone program develops.

Benefits of AP Capstone

For Students

  • Fosters the research, argumentation, and communication skills that are at the core of college readiness and essential for lifelong learning
  • Provides a setting to build on the knowledge and rigorous course work of AP in an interdisciplinary format
  • Offers students a unique opportunity to distinguish themselves to colleges and universities

For Teachers and Schools

  • Builds professional excellence through participation in an intensive, weeklong collaborative professional development institute
  • Offers a flexible curricular content model with room for creativity and student input
  • Affords schools and districts the distinction of offering a rigorous, widely recognized diploma program

For Colleges and Universities

  • Helps identify students who are prepared to enter college with the research, writing, and collaboration skills necessary for successful college completion
  • Provides consistent, externally validated measures of student ability
  • Demonstrates student research and writing abilities through a 5,000-word scholarly research paper

Combining Scholarly Practice with Academic Intensity

AP Capstone was developed in response to feedback from higher education. The two AP Capstone courses, with their associated performance tasks, assessments, and application of research methodology, require students to:

  • Analyze topics through multiple lenses to construct meaning or gain understanding.
  • 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.