Course Authorizations

Everything you need to know about designating your course as "AP."

Authorization to Use the "AP" Designation

Within 60 days of submitting AP Course Audit materials, schools will receive authorization for qualifying courses to use the “AP” designation on student transcripts. Teachers and principals will be able to check on the status of their courses through the AP Course Audit website, and at the beginning of each school year, principals will receive a listing of all authorizations granted to date.

Uses and Limitations of the AP Course Authorization

For each authorized course, College Board grants permission to use the “AP” designation on student transcripts.

The “AP” designation may only be used alongside the official course title, but you can place this official AP course title alongside local course titles. See FAQs for examples of how to use the AP course title in combination with another course title. The authorization is restricted to the sections of the specific AP course taught at a particular school, by the teacher who completed the AP Course Audit form. If the teacher moves to another school, the school must request a new authorization so that the school can demonstrate that both the principal and the new teacher are in agreement about the requirements.

The AP Program does not require schools to participate in the AP Course Audit before listing a planned AP course on student transcripts, in course catalogs, and/or on the school’s website. However, it is expected that schools are participating in the AP Course Audit process and only applying the “AP” label to the courses for which the school is seeking authorization. Until these courses are authorized or annually renewed through the AP Course Audit, they will not appear in the AP Course Ledger provided to colleges and universities. For example, if you intend to offer an AP course, but do not yet have a teacher for that course, you may use the “AP” designation for that course in the course catalog. However, once the teacher has been assigned to the course, they are required to follow the standard AP Course Audit procedure (submitting a completed AP Course Audit form and syllabus) to request full authorization for the course and inclusion in the AP Course Ledger.

It is the school’s responsibility to ensure that every AP course listed on student transcripts, in course catalogs, and on the school’s website are authorized and annually renewed through the AP Course Audit process. It is not the intent of the Advanced Placement® Program to prohibit schools from labeling courses “AP,” but to ensure the school’s curriculum offerings accurately reflect the AP Course Ledger. Conversely, schools with courses not authorized or annually renewed through the annual AP Course Audit process are strictly prohibited from using the AP trademark.

Renewing Course Authorization

After receiving authorization any given year, schools will not need to submit AP Course Audit forms or syllabi in following years unless the teacher has changed, the school offers a new AP course, or the curricular and resource requirements for a course undergo significant revision by the AP Program. However, beginning in August of each year, AP Course Audit administrators must renew authorizations for courses that will again be offered, using their AP Course Audit online accounts.