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About AP Computer Science Principles

The introduction of AP Computer Science Principles in 2016 was the largest course launch in AP Program history. In 2019, nearly 100,000 students took the AP CSP Exam—more than double the number of exam takers in the course’s first year. In the three years since the course launch, the number of female AP CSP students has far outpaced overall growth, with an increase of 136%.

AP Computer Science Principles introduces students to the foundational concepts of the field and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world.

Start and Grow AP Computer Science Principles

Get Support for Teaching the Course

Adopt Ready-to-Use Curricula
Interested in implementing AP CSP at your school but need resources to train teachers? Adopt an innovative curriculum created by expert educational organizations endorsed by the College Board. These out-of-the-box solutions include preapproved syllabi, lesson plans, formative assessments, and professional development. Explore the options.

Attend a Webinar for Teachers
Register for our “Teach AP Computer Science Principles” webinar to learn more about the value and structure of AP CSP, how to teach it, professional development opportunities, best practices in course implementation, and more. Live webinar takes place October 15, 7–8 p.m. EST. Register now.

Why We Created AP CSP

Whether it’s 3-D animation, engineering, music, app development, medicine, visual design, robotics, or political analysis, computer science is the engine that powers the technology, productivity, and innovation that drive the world. Computer science experience has become imperative for students’ success in the workforce of tomorrow.

We designed AP Computer Science Principles with the goal of creating leaders in computer science fields and attracting and engaging those who are traditionally underrepresented with essential computing tools and multidisciplinary opportunities.

If you learn about computer science, you have the ability to change the world.

— Art Lopez, AP Computer Science

Principles Teacher

How We Developed AP CSP

AP Computer Science Principles was created with significant support from the National Science Foundation and more than 50 leading high school and higher education computer science educators who piloted the program at their institutions.

The rigorous process of development and testing produced a course that reflects the latest scholarship in the field and provides students with a relevant and engaging learning experience.

Comparing the Two AP Computer Science Courses

AP now offers two computer science courses—AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles. Students can take the courses in any order.

The AP Computer Science Principles course complements AP Computer Science A by teaching the foundational concepts of computer science as it aims to broaden participation in the study of computer science. The AP Computer Science A course focuses on computing skills related to programming in Java.