AP Capstone


Salesianum has implemented an AP Capstone innovative diploma program that helps advanced students to develop the skills that matter most for their future college success: research, critical analysis and communication. The program includes a two-year, two-course sequence: AP Seminar and AP Research. Developedby CollegeBoard in direct response to feedback from higher education faculty and college admission officers, AP Capstone complements the in-depth, subject-specific rigor of Advanced Placement courses and exams. The course cultivates curious, independent, and collaborative scholars and prepares them to make logical, evidence-based decisions.

AP Capstone benefits begin with earned distinction. Successful completion of the course helps students to stand out in the college admission process and provides the opportunity to earn valuable college credit or placement. Students also acquire challenging college-level analysis, writing, and research skills that are increasingly valued by colleges. Finally, students benefit by choosing their own research topic and studying issues and topics of interest and importance to them.

AP Seminar (10th grade)

The sophomore year features an Interdisciplinary Investigations and Critical Reasoning Seminar in which a specific topic or issue of cultural relevance is presented to students. With this topic as the centerpiece of class discourse, students learn to employ critical thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, differentiation, and interpretation—to name a few—and engage in collaborative teamwork and project-based learning. (Students are required to take an AP exam upon conclusion of this course).

AP Research (12th grade)

The senior year of this program allows students to put the skills acquired in their junior year to practice in a Capstone Research Project. This independent study, executed under the mentorship of a teacher, culminates in a 5,000 word (roughly 20 pages) paper whereby the student defends and articulates his/her position on his/her chosen subject.

Ultimately, this two-year process reveals a student’s ability to collect, evaluate, analyze and synthesize knowledge and information, and then communicate his/her findings.

Students who complete the AP Seminar and AP Research courses with scores of 3 or higher, and who receive scores of 3 or higher on four AP Exams in subjects of their choosing, will receive the AP Capstone Diploma. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on the two AP Capstone exams but do not take or earn qualifying scores on four additional AP Exams will receive the AP Seminar and Research certificate.

For more information about this program at Salesianum, please contact Julianne Longo, Director of Curriculum and Instruction.