AP Capstone™ is a diploma program from the College Board. It’s based on two yearlong AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research.
Rather than teaching subject-specific content, these courses develop students’ skills in research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, writing, and presenting. Students who complete the two-year program can earn one of two different AP Capstone awards, which are valued by colleges across the United States and around the world.
Students typically take AP Seminar in grade 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. Students may choose to explore topics related to other AP courses they’re taking.
Both courses guide students through completing a research project, writing an academic paper, and making a presentation on their project.
Over the course of the two-year program, students are required 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.
Visit the AP Seminar and AP Research pages on our AP Students site to explore the courses.
AP scores for both courses are based on teacher assessment of student presentation components and College Board scoring of student-written components plus an end-of-course exam (for AP Seminar only).
Visit the AP Seminar Exam page and the AP Research Exam page to learn more about the assessment of student work in AP Capstone courses.
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™.