Higher Education’s Push for AP Capstone™
The AP Capstone Diploma™ program was created in response to college admissions leaders’ request for AP courses that would help students develop skills of collaboration, academic research, writing, and presentation. Because there are many other AP courses widely used for college credit—from Biology to U.S. History—admissions leaders wanted AP Capstone courses—AP Seminar and AP Research—to focus purely on skills needed in every college major, not the content of one specific college class. Accordingly, colleges and universities typically award college credit for AP Seminar and AP Research scores, most often as a general elective credit.
AP Seminar and AP Research are the ideal booster of subsequent AP scores and a powerful indicator of college readiness on a student’s transcript. Research has found that students who take AP Seminar and AP Research are more likely to persist in college and earn higher first-year college GPAs.
Find Colleges and Universities That Grant Credit for AP Seminar and AP Research
The AP Capstone Diploma is increasingly recognized in admissions by higher education institutions around the world. Many colleges and universities offer credit and/or placement for a qualifying score in AP Seminar, AP Research, or both. Use the credit policy search tool on our AP Students site to find them:
Common Application and Coalition Application
The Common Application and Coalition Application forms now include the AP Capstone Diploma Candidate distinction. Counselors can identify AP Capstone Diploma candidates on the counselor form, and eligible students should continue to self-identify as AP Capstone Diploma candidates in the “Honors and Distinctions” section. Colleges and universities that use these forms can quickly see AP Capstone students among their applicants.
What College Faculty and Admission Officers Are Saying
"[Through this program] you get students turned on to higher education in a way they are not currently and they enter university with a different kind of attitude."
— Susan Roth, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, Duke University
"The AP Capstone program will help students to develop critical thinking skills that allow them to think independently, to analyze issues from different perspectives, to communicate clearly, and to conduct independent research. These are exactly the types of skills that they will be expected to utilize in college, and the AP Capstone program will give them a terrific head start."
— Zina L. Evans, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Associate Provost, University of Florida
"The ability to guide the student toward understanding where a research method is valid needs to be explicitly taught."
— Ellen Woods, Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Director of Thinking Matters, Stanford University
"AP Capstone provides more of the learning students will need for success in college and beyond. . . . We want them to come in ready to analyze issues from multiple perspectives, integrating disparate ideas and comfortable with innovation, so they can make real contributions when they get here."
— Ken O’Donnell, Senior Director, Student Engagement, California State University, Office of the Chancellor