AP Capstone FAQs


1) What is AP Capstone?

AP Capstone is an innovative diploma program that provides students with an opportunity to engage in challenging scholarly practice of the core academic skills necessary for successful college completion. The program is built on the foundation of two courses — AP Seminar and AP Research — and is designed to complement and enhance the in-depth, discipline-specific study provided through AP courses. It cultivates curious, independent, and collaborative scholars and prepares them to make logical, evidence-based decisions.

2) How will AP Capstone prepare students for success in college?

By taking the two AP Capstone courses, AP Seminar and AP Research, students have the opportunity to explore issues of interest to them, while developing the analytic, research, problem-solving and communication skills that colleges have stated are critical to student success in college. It cultivates curious, independent, and collaborative scholars and prepares them to make logical, evidence-based
decisions.

3) What is required to earn the AP Capstone Diploma?

Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on the AP Seminar and AP Research Exams and scores of 3 or higher on four AP Exams of their choosing will be awarded the AP Capstone Diploma.

4) What is the benefit of the AP Capstone Diploma for students applying to college?

The AP Capstone Diploma signifies a student’s outstanding scholastic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and research skills. Accordingly, the AP Capstone diploma is primarily valuable for admissions consideration.

5) What kind of input and support has AP Capstone received from the higher education community?

College faculty members and admissions staff from more than 50 colleges/universities (including from Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Duke, Brown, BYU, UCLA and Berkeley) have been a vital part of the design and development of the AP Capstone program. The AP Capstone experience will be most valuable for students seeking to build the skills critical to success in college and to stand out in the
admissions process. In terms of credit and placement, over 100 colleges and universities now grant credit for the successful completion of the AP Seminar and/or AP Research exam. The College Board continues to provide detailed information that colleges, universities and state systems need to make sound, data-driven credit policy decisions. Students should always check with the colleges for the most up-to-date information on their policies.

6) How could AP Capstone potentially attract students who might not be inclined to take AP
courses?

By tapping into students’ personal interests, AP Capstone propels a diversity of students to want to achieve more and gives them options for achievement levels. Students develop the tools to meaningfully and thoughtfully weigh in on issues that matter to them – be they local, regional, national or global in nature. Students choose their own research topic for their thesis. For some schools, AP Seminar is being used as a way to introduce students to the rigor of Advanced Placement while providing the foundational skills that will complement other AP courses.