Getting to Know the AP Human Geography 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 Human Geography curricular requirements:
- The students and teacher have access to a college-level human geography textbook, maps, atlases, and other resource materials including data sources, case studies, mapping resources, and news media.
- 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 big ideas.
- The course provides opportunities for students to practice and develop the skills in:
- Skill Category 1: Concepts and Processes
- Skill Category 2: Spatial Relationships
- Skill Category 3: Data Analysis
- Skill Category 4: Source Analysis
- Skill Category 5: Scale Analysis
AP Human Geography resource requirements:
- The school ensures that each student has a college-level human geography textbook (in print or electronic format) 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 the most recent edition of a college-level human geography textbook or other appropriate materials to support instruction.
- The school provides a collection of maps, atlases, and other resource materials (including data sources, case studies, mapping resources, and news media) for use by students.
The list below represents examples of textbooks that meet the curricular requirements of AP Human Geography. 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, please consult the AP Human Geography Teacher Community.
- Bednarz, Sarah, Mark Bockenhauer, and Frederik Hiebert. Human Geography: A Spatial Perspective. Boston, MA: National Geographic/Cengage Learning, 2020.
- Bjelland, Mark, Daniel R. Montello, Jerome Fellman, Arthur Getis, and Judith Getis. Human Geography: Landscapes of Human Activities. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2020.
- Fouberg, Erin H. and Alexander B. Murphy. Human Geography: People, Place, and Culture. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons, 2020.
- Hildebrant, Barbara, Max Lu, Kenneth Keller, and Roderick P. Neumann. Human Geography for the AP Course. New York, NY: Bedford, Freeman & Worth, 2021.
- Knox, Paul L., and Sallie Marston. Human Geography: Places and Regions in Global Context. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2016.
- Malinwoski, Jon and David H. Kaplan. Human Geography. New York, NY: McGraw Hill, 2013.
- Norton, William. Human Geography. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016.
- Rubenstein, James M. The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2020.
This annotated sample AP Human Geography syllabus shows how the curricular requirements can be demonstrated in a syllabus and what level of detail you’ll need to include.
AP Human Geography Sample Syllabus 1 (.pdf/219KB)
Review this document for help creating your syllabus.
Syllabus Development Guide: AP Human Geography (.pdf/177.38 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.