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Capstone Diploma Program

January 26, 2023

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 around the world.

Participating in AP Capstone can help students:

  • Stand out to colleges in the application process.
  • Develop key academic skills they'll use in college and beyond.
  • Become self-confident, independent thinkers and problem solvers.
  • Earn college credit: Many colleges offer credit for qualifying scores.

AP Seminar Overview

In Seminar, you'll develop analytic and inquiry skills, exploring two to four issues chosen by you or your teacher, depending on how your teacher runs the class.

The class focuses on themes based on student interests, local and/or civic issues, global or international topics, and concepts from other AP courses. For example, you might explore the question of whether national security is more important than a citizen's right to privacy; or whether genetic engineering is a benefit to society. Both topics would draw from multiple subjects (social studies, science, ethics) and allow you to look at issues through many different lenses.

During the course, you also complete a team project, an individual paper and presentation, and take a final AP exam. The AP Seminar Exam score is based on all three components and is reported on the standard 1–5 AP scoring scale.

AP Research Overview

You have to take AP Seminar before you can take AP Research. While Seminar introduces you to discussion, research, and presentation skills, AP Research allows you to design, plan, and conduct a year-long research-based investigation on a topic that interests you.

You'll build on skills from AP Seminar by learning about research methodology, using ethical research practices, and analyzing the information you find to write and defend your argument.

For more information on the Advanced Placement or AP Capstone program please contact the Guidance department or visit the AP Central website.

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