What’s the AP Capstone Diploma Program?
AP Capstone™ is a diploma program from the College Board based on two yearlong AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research.
Rather than teaching subject-specific content, these courses develop students’ skills in research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, writing, and presenting. Students who complete the two-year program can earn one of two different AP Capstone awards, which are valued by colleges across the United States and around the world.
Students can earn the AP Capstone Diploma™ or the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.
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™.
The Benefits of AP Capstone
Participating in AP Capstone can help students:
- Stand out to colleges in the application process.
- Develop key academic skills they’ll use in other classes, college, and beyond.
- Become self-confident, independent thinkers and problem solvers.
- Earn college credit: Many colleges offer credit for qualifying scores.
Offering the AP Capstone program gives school leaders and teachers:
- Academic distinction, as the program is widely recognized for its skills focus and innovation.
- Flexible student-centered curricula with room for creativity and student input.
- Access to a weeklong, collaborative training event.
Benefits for School Leaders
- AP Seminar is an introductory AP class for grades 10 and 11, and serves as a prerequisite for AP Research, which is typically offered in grades 11 or 12. Both courses are designed as yearlong courses.
- These courses can be assigned to a variety of academic departments, allowing flexibility for school leaders to maximize student access.
- AP Seminar is increasingly placed in English/language arts departments as a 10th-grade course. Learn why AP Seminar is an excellent option to enhance 10th-grade English.
- AP Research is typically placed in English/language arts, science, or social science departments for 11th- or 12th-grade enrollments.
Webinars and Events
Past: Learn More About the AP Capstone Diploma Program
Watch this informational webinar to learn how to become an AP Capstone Diploma school and about the benefits of the program, which include:
- AP Seminar and AP Research are interdisciplinary courses in which students develop their research, analysis, collaboration, and presentation skills.
- AP Capstone Diploma candidates stand out to colleges in the application process through academic distinction.
- AP Capstone alumni are more likely to earn higher first-year GPAs in college and persist to their second year.
Participating High Schools
Apply Now to Participate
More than 2,000 high schools are approved to offer the AP Capstone Diploma program. Use this search to find participating schools in your city, district, state, or country.
Required Professional Learning
All AP Seminar and AP Research teachers at approved schools must complete professional learning consisting of:
- In-person or virtual training: Teachers must complete a five-day workshop the summer before their first year of teaching the course.
- Annual online rubric training: During the school year, teachers must also complete online training modules on scoring student work.
Schools must apply and be approved to offer the AP Capstone Diploma program before they can offer AP Seminar and AP Research to their students.
That’s because these skills-focused courses are different from other AP courses in many ways, including exam structure, exam scoring, and training requirements.
We want to make sure your school understands these expectations and has the resources needed to support implementation.
If you’ve already applied, you can check the status of your application.