AP Capstone Diploma

AP Capstone is an innovative diploma program that helps you stand out in the college admission process by developing the critical skills needed to succeed in college and in life.

Two new courses — AP Seminar and AP Research — allow you to immerse yourself in topics that matter to you while developing the analytic, research, problem-solving, and communication skills that colleges seek in their applicants. This challenging program helps you deepen your passion for learning, gives you greater confidence in your academic skills, and provides a broader perspective on your world.

Students typically take AP Seminar in the 10th or 11th grade, followed by AP Research. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on the AP Seminar and AP Research Exams and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing will receive the AP Capstone Diploma™. This signifies outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and research skills. Alternatively, the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™, signifying attainment of college-level academic and research skills, is awarded for scores of 3 or higher on the AP Seminar and AP Research Exams only.


Combining Scholarly Practice with Academic Intensity

AP Capstone was developed in response to feedback from the College Board’s Higher Education membership. The two AP Capstone courses, with their associated performance tasks, assessments, and application of research methodology, complement the rigor of AP courses and exams by challenging students to:

  1. Think critically and creatively to construct meaning or gain understanding
  2. Plan and conduct a study or investigation
  3. Propose solutions to real-world problems
  4. Plan and produce communication in various forms
  5. Collaborate to solve a problem
  6. Integrate, synthesize, and make cross-curricular connections

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