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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 2020, nearly 117,000 students took the AP CSP Exam—more than double the number of exam takers in the course’s first year. Since the launch of the course, the number of female AP CSP students has far outpaced overall growth, with an increase of 136% in 2020, and the number of Black and Latinx students taking AP CSP more than doubled.

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

Access AP Daily Videos
The AP Program has partnered with expert AP teachers to provide short, searchable, on-demand videos to maximize your class time with your students. These videos cover every topic and skill outlined in the AP Computer Science Principles CED. Videos can be assigned as homework to encourage students to watch on their own, so you can use class time to focus discussions where students need more help. Sign in to AP Classroom to access AP Daily.

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.

Watch a Webinar for Teachers
Watch the recording of 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. Watch the recorded webinar.

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 in computer science with essential computing tools and multidisciplinary opportunities.

Research shows that AP Computer Science Principles is making headway in diversifying computer science participation since its launch. See the 2020 research findings.

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 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.