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Important Updates

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

If you’re teaching an AP Human Geography 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 Human Geography course, you won’t need to submit anything. Your school administrator can simply renew your course for 2020-21.

One 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 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.

AP Human Geography Course and Exam Description


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. For discussions regarding the usefulness of these texts and other teaching materials, please consult the AP Human Geography Teacher Community.

  • Bjelland, Mark, Daniel R. Montello, Jerome Fellman, Arthur Getis, and Judith Getis. Human Geography: Landscapes of Human Activities. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2020.
  • Fouberg, Erin H., Alexander B. Murphy, and H.J. deBlij. Human Geography: People, Place, and Culture. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2020.
  • Knox, Paul L., and Sallie Marston. Human Geography: Places and Regions in Global Context. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2016.
  • Norton, William. Human Geography. New York: 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)

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