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Any course that a school labels “AP” must receive authorization through a process called the AP Course Audit, which confirms teacher awareness of course scope and occasional exam changes, and ensures that confidential practice exams and other resources are only accessible to real AP teachers verified by a school administrator.

Once an AP course is authorized, the teacher will have access to confidential practice exams and other resources (formative assessments; the AP Question Bank) that are reserved for AP teacher usage.

And the course will be included in the AP Course Ledger—the official list of all AP courses—so colleges and universities can verify what they see on student transcripts.

Each individual school may develop its own curriculum for courses labeled “AP.” The AP Program does not mandate a specific curriculum for AP courses to follow. Instead, the official Course and Exam Description provides a scope and sequence for new AP teachers to utilize, modify, and adapt, rather than having to build from scratch. We also provide several sample syllabi that teachers can submit to confirm their awareness of course scope. Or teachers can develop an original syllabus or submit a colleague’s already-approved one.

New teachers have four options to demonstrate awareness of the course scope and receive AP course authorization:

  • adopt a sample syllabus
  • adopt the AP Unit Guides in the course and exam description for their subject
  • claim identical to a colleague’s approved syllabus
  • submit their own course syllabus for review

Teachers and a school administrator will also need to complete and submit the short AP Course Audit form to confirm awareness of the core requirements for offering a specific AP subject.

What does it mean to “adopt” the AP Unit Guides or a pre-approved syllabus? This simply means that the teacher has reviewed the material, is aware of the content and skills colleges expected to see in any course labeled “AP,” and will use the document as the starting point for their own course plan, adapting and modifying it over time as the teacher determines what will best enable his/her students to develop the knowledge and skills required for college credit and placement.

Exception: AP Art and Design, AP Computer Science Principles. These subjects do not have AP Unit Guides, so new teachers must adopt a sample syllabus, or a colleague’s already-approved syllabus, or submit their own original course syllabus for review. New AP Seminar and AP Research teachers cannot adopt an AP resource and must submit an original syllabus.

Teachers should make sure to consult their course’s individual pages for specific instructions.

Previously authorized courses can simply be renewed by an AP Course Audit administrator. When a subject has significant course and/or exam changes, teachers will be instructed to submit a new Course Audit form and complete one of the four options above to demonstrate awareness of the changes.


How It Works


Get Started

Visit course page
Teachers of the course visit Explore by Course and click on their course to open its specific Course Audit page, which contains multiple resources to help teachers understand and meet the curricular requirements.




Sign in to AP Course Audit
Teachers sign in to or create their AP Course Audit account.

Add course
Teachers click Add New Course and choose the subject.

Fill out form
Teachers fill out the online AP Course Audit form and submit it.

Approve form
The school AP Course Audit administrator—the principal or a principal’s designee—signs in to AP Course Audit and approves the form.

Adopt AP unit guides or submit a course syllabus
Teachers adopt AP Unit Guides or submit a course syllabus (their syllabus, a colleague’s authorized syllabus, or a sample syllabus). The deadline for submission is January 31.



After Submission

Program review
For teachers who submit a course syllabus, external college faculty members who teach an equivalent college course review the syllabus and grant AP designation if it’s approved. Teachers will hear from the program within eight weeks and, if needed, they have two additional chances to submit.

Teachers who adopt AP Unit Guides or sample syllabi or submit a colleague’s approved syllabus receive immediate authorization.

If the course is authorized
It is added to the AP Course Ledger. Also, the AP teacher is granted access to AP Classroom and online student score reports and secure documents including practice exams.

If the course is not authorized
Teachers can revise the syllabus and resubmit it. If authorization is not granted after the second submission, teachers can speak directly with one of the college faculty members who reviewed their syllabus for assistance.

In Depth: Course Authorization

Learn more about course authorization, including how you can and can’t use the “AP” label.

Download the AP Course Audit User Guide for detailed instructions on participating in the course audit.


AP Course Audit Site: Key Offerings

For Teachers

  • List of the curricular and resource requirements for each AP course.
  • Resources to help you design a syllabus to obtain course authorization.
  • Access to your students’ AP Exam score reports (after your course is authorized).
  • Access to secure documents including practice exams and sample student responses (after your course audit form is approved by a school administrator).

Go to the Teacher page.



For Administrators

  • Lists of curricular and resource requirements for each AP course.
  • Link to the AP Course Ledger, so you can verify that your school’s AP courses are listed correctly.

Go to the Administrator page.


See All Authorized AP Courses

The AP Course Ledger is the official, up-to-date, comprehensive list of courses that have passed the AP Course Audit. It’s searchable by school, subject, city, state, country, and more, and it’s updated every year in November to reflect offerings in the current school year.


Go to the AP Course Ledger