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Last Updated: December 31, 2023

AP Capstone Diploma Program

AP Capstone is a Diploma program of 2 years which is conducted for high school students as two AP courses called AP Seminar and AP Research. Unlike the other courses offered in the AP program which can be written as independent exams and are focused on individual academic subjects, this course deals with skills that are essential in academia.

The skills that are explored through this course are critical thinking, collaboration, conducting research, and public speaking. They focus on developing skill sets that are required in college and workspaces. Students will also be able to earn academic awards from different colleges worldwide by participating in the course. This also helps the student earn extra college credits before joining colleges.

Explaining AP Capstone

In order to complete the AP Capstone Diploma Course students are required to take two AP courses, one in their 10th or 11th grade and the other in their 11th or 12th grade respectively. It is essential that the school the student is part of the AP Capstone Diploma Program without which they will not be allowed to take the course. Students will not be permitted to take both these courses in the same year and the order of the courses will be AP Seminar first followed by AP Research.

Along with receiving a grade of 3 or above in AP Seminar and AP Research respectively, students are expected to take a minimum of 4 AP classes of their choice during high school and clear the exams with a 3 or above in order to receive their AP Capstone Diploma. The AP Seminar and Research Certificate is given to students who clear only their AP Seminar and AP Research courses.

Courses Offered in AP Capstone Diploma

The two courses offered in AP Capstone are AP Seminar and AP Research. In AP Seminar, students will have to learn about topics in different subject areas and write research-based essays on the topics provided. At the same time in AP Research, students will have to build on the information they have received in the AP Seminar course and conduct researches based on their findings. Both these courses are for the duration of a year.

AP Seminar

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Course Content
The course content for AP Seminar is as follows-

Skills Acquired Through the Course
Assessment Criteria

Assessment is done through performance tasks and one end-of-course exam. The Team Project and Presentation takes up 20% of the test, the Individual Research-Based Essay and Presentation takes up 35% of the course and the End-of-Course Exam with a time-frame of 2 hours consists of 45% of the grade.

AP Research

Students can attend the AP Research Program only after completing their AP Seminar Course and successfully clearing the paper.

Course Content
The course content for AP Research is as follows-

Skills Acquired Through the Course
Assessment Criteria
The assessment criteria for the AP Research Course consists of an academic paper which takes up 75% of the grade and then the presentation and oral defense which takes up the rest of the 25% of the grade.

Registering for the AP Capstone Diploma

Students can register for the AP Capstone Diploma Program if they want to take the AP Seminar and AP Research Courses. This can be done only if the school the student is studying in offers AP Capstone. If the school does not offer the program, it is recommended that students contact their counselor, AP coordinator, or principal and request them to join the program so that they can avail the course.

AP Capstone Awards

Importance and Benefits of AP Capstone

The AP Capstone Diploma has been offered by the College Board only since 2014 and due to its relatively recent appearance in the academic field, the course is not that popular. The diploma is offered only at select schools in the country and hence is not actively sought after in college applications. But at the same time, highlighting that the student has an AP Capstone Diploma also states that the student has done 6 AP courses in all and that provides students with a better chance of attaining a college admission.

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Courses Offered in AP