beginning of content:

Important Updates

2020-21 AP Course Audit: What You’ll Need to Do

If you’re teaching an AP European History course for the first time in 2020-21, you’ll need to submit two items:

  • A subject-specific AP Course Audit form
  • Documentation showing your understanding of course scope—choose 1 of 4 options:
    • adopt a sample syllabus
    • adopt the AP unit guides
    • claim identical to a colleague’s approved syllabus
    • submit your own course syllabus for review (For help creating your syllabus, sign in to your AP Course Audit account and click on the Resource section.)

If you’re teaching a previously authorized AP European History course, you won’t need to submit anything. Your school administrator can simply renew your course for 2020-21.

Once authorized, you’ll receive:

  • Access to AP Classroom (practice exams, formative assessments, etc.) in July 2020
  • Inclusion in the AP Course Ledger published in November 2020
  • Access to online score reports in July 2021

Getting to Know the the AP European History Course

The key document for each AP course is the course and exam description. Start by reviewing it to understand the objectives and expectations of the course and exam.

AP European History Course and Exam Description


Your course must fulfill these requirements.

AP European History curricular requirements:

  • The teacher and students have access to a college-level European history textbook, diverse primary sources, and multiple secondary sources written by historians or scholars interpreting the past.
  • The course provides opportunities to develop student understanding of the required content outlined in each of the units described in the course and exam description.
  • The course provides opportunities to develop student understanding of the course themes.
  • The course provides opportunities for students to develop the historical thinking skills:
    • Skill 1: Developments and Processes
    • Skill 2: Sourcing and Situation
    • Skill 3: Claims and Evidence in Sources
    • Skill 4: Contextualization
    • Skill 5: Making connections through the application of the three historical reasoning processes (comparison, causation, continuity and change)
    • Skill 6: Argumentation

AP European History resource requirements:

  • The school ensures that each student has a college-level European history textbook (in print or electronic format) published within the last 10 years for individual use inside and outside of the classroom. The textbook is supplemented when necessary to meet the curricular requirements.
  • The school ensures that the teacher has a copy of a recent edition of a European history textbook and other appropriate materials to support instruction.
  • The school ensures that each student has copies of primary sources and other instructional materials used in the course for individual use inside and outside of the classroom.
  • The school ensures that each student has access to support materials for the European history course, including scholarly, college-level works that correspond with course topics; writings by major history authors; as well as standard reference works such as encyclopedias, atlases, collections of historical documents, and statistical compendiums, either in a school or public library or via the internet.

The list below represents examples of textbooks that meet the resource requirements of AP European History. The list is not exhaustive and the texts listed should not be regarded as endorsed, authorized, recommended, or approved by College Board. Not using a book from this list does not mean that a course will not receive authorization. Syllabi submitted as part of the AP Course Audit process will be evaluated holistically, with textbooks considered along with supplementary resources to confirm that the course as a whole provides students with the content delineated in the curricular requirements of the AP Course Audit.

The current editions of the following textbooks meet the AP Course Audit curricular requirements. Earlier editions of these texts or other textbooks not listed here may meet the AP Course Audit curricular requirements if supplemented with appropriate college-level instructional resources. For discussions regarding the usefulness of these texts and other teaching materials in the AP European History classroom, please consult the AP European History Teacher Community.

  • Cole, Joshua, and Carol Symes. Western Civilizations; Their History and Their Culture. 19th edition. Norton, 2017.
  • Hunt, Lynn, Thomas R. Martin, Barbara H. Rosenwein, and Bonnie G. Smith. The Making of the West; Peoples and Cultures. 6th edition. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2018.
  • Kagan, Donald, Steven Ozment, and Frank Turner. The Western Heritage. 12th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2019.
  • Kagan, Donald, Steven Ozment, and Frank Turner. The Western Heritage Since 1300. 11th edition. Pearson, 2012.
  • Kishlansky, Mark, Patrick Geary, and Patricia O’Brien. Civilization in the West. 7th edition. Pearson, 2007.
  • McKay, John P., Clare Haru Crowston, Merry E. Weisner-Hanks, and Joe Perry. A History of Western Society Since 1300 for the AP® Course. 12th edition. Bedford, Freeman and Worth Publishing Group, 2014.
  • Palmer, R.R., Joel Colton, and Lloyd Kramer. A History of Europe in the Modern World, AP Edition. 11th edition. McGraw-Hill Education, 2014.
  • Sherman, Dennis and Joyce Salisbury. The West in the World. 5th edition. McGraw Hill, 2013.
  • Spielvogel, Jackson. Western Civilization. 10th edition. Cengage Learning, 2017.

This annotated sample AP Macroeconomics syllabus shows how the curricular requirements can be demonstrated in a syllabus and what level of detail you’ll need to include.

AP European History Sample Syllabus 1 (.pdf/779KB)

Get Started

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Sign up.