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AP Capstone


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. 


Program Details

Students are REQUIRED to take AP Seminar in grade 10, followed by AP Research in grade 11. 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.



Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing receive the AP Capstone Diploma™. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research but not on four additional AP Exams receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.Students who earn these awards can view and print their diploma or certificate online. The award is also acknowledged on any AP score report that is sent to colleges after the award has been conferred.


Note: the AP Capstone Diploma and AP Seminar and Research Certificate are reported to colleges and universities as AP Scholar Awards and appear in Scholar Roster reports


Student Comments:

“I loved the community we created the most. I think the skills I learned were important and they have really helped me with other classes to make them (essays) high quality, but the community has been really helpful.” -Layla  

“I loved how the teacher would be able to help us when we needed it.” – Luai 

“I loved the work ethic of AP Seminar. By choosing to be in this class I knew it would be a lot of work, but it taught me so much. I learned more about time management, deadlines (the importance of them), and overallresearch. Now I know the basics for when I enter college and have to write papers all the time.”   - Nola  

“I loved how independent we were able to be in AP seminar. We pretty much got to pick whatever topic we found the most interesting and write about it which makes the class much more enjoyable.”  – Maia  

“In other classes when I did group projects, work was not divided evenly and there was always someone doing more work. In this class, everyone had to participate and contribute the same amount.” – Aviva 

"Joining the AP Capstone program was the best decision I made at Murrow" - Nargiza 

Capstone Video
Click here to view a video on the AP Capstone class from the College Board.