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About AP Computer Science Principles

In 2016, the AP Program oversaw the largest course launch in our 60-year history with the release of AP Computer Science Principles. More than 2,500 schools offered the new course and more than 50,000 students took the AP CSP end-of-course exam in May 2017.

In 2017, the number of schools offering the course increase to 3,700 and more than 70,000 students took the end-of course exam in May 2018. 

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.

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.

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. 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.

Currently one of the fastest growing AP courses, AP Computer Science A focuses on computing skills related to programming in Java. The new 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.