AP Capstone™ is a diploma program based on two yearlong AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. These courses are designed to complement other AP courses that the AP Capstone student may take.
Instead of teaching specific subject knowledge, AP Seminar and AP Research use an interdisciplinary approach to develop the critical thinking, research, collaboration, time management, and presentation skills students need for college-level work.
The College Board developed the AP Capstone Diploma program at the request of higher education professionals, who saw a need for a systematic way for high school students to begin mastering these skills before college.
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. 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.