Getting to Know 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.
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writings by major history authors; as well as standard reference works such as encyclopedias, atlases, collections of historical documents, and statistical compendiums, either in a school or public library or via the internet.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. While every effort is made to keep this list current, it can take a few months for newly published titles and revised editions to be reviewed.
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.
- Merriman, John. A History of Modern Europe. 4th edition. W.W. Norton & Company, 2019
- 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.
- Spielvogel, Jackson. World History and Geography. 1st edition. McGraw Hill, 2018.
This annotated sample AP European History 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)
Review this document for help creating your syllabus.
Syllabus Development Guide: AP European History (.pdf/207.74 KB)
This resource includes the guidelines reviewers use to evaluate syllabi along with three samples of evidence for each requirement. This guide also specifies the level of detail required in the syllabus to receive course authorization.