The Course

AP Human Geography

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Course Overview

AP Human Geography is an introductory college-level human geography course. Students cultivate their understanding of human geography through data and geographic analyses as they explore topics like patterns and spatial organization, human impacts and interactions with their environment, and spatial processes and societal changes.

Course and Exam Description

Course Resources

Course Content

Based on the Understanding by Design® (Wiggins and McTighe) model, this course framework provides a clear and detailed description of the course requirements necessary for student success. The framework specifies what students must know, understand, and be able to do, with a focus on big ideas that encompass core principles, theories, and processes of the discipline. The framework also encourages instruction that prepares students for advanced geography coursework and active global citizenship.

The AP Human Geography framework is organized into seven commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. As always, you have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.


Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)

Unit 1: Thinking Geographically


Unit 2: Population and Migration Patterns and Processes


Unit 3: Cultural Patterns and Processes


Unit 4: Political Patterns and Processes


Unit 5: Agriculture and Rural Land-Use Patterns and Processes


Unit 6: Cities and Urban Land-Use Patterns and Processes


Unit 7: Industrial and Economic Development Patterns and Processes


Course Skills

The AP Human Geography framework included in the CED outlines distinct skills that students should practice throughout the year—skills that will help them learn to think and act like geographers.



Exam Weighting (Multiple-Choice Section)

Exam Weighting (Free-Response Section)

1. Concepts and Processes

Analyze geographic theories, approaches, concepts, processes, or models in theoretical and applied contexts



2. Spatial Relationships

Analyze geographic patterns, relationships, and outcomes in applied contexts



3. Data Analysis

Analyze and interpret quantitative geographic data represented in maps, tables, charts, graphs, satellite images, and infographics



4. Source Analysis

Analyze and interpret qualitative geographic information represented in maps, images (e.g., satellite, photographs, cartoons), and landscapes



5. Scale Analysis

Analyze geographic theories, approaches, concepts, processes, and models across geographic scales to explain spatial relationships



AP and Higher Education

Higher education professionals play a key role in developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The AP Higher Education section features information on recruitment and admission, advising and placement, and more.

This chart shows recommended scores for granting credit, and how much credit should be awarded, for each AP course. Your students can look up credit and placement policies for colleges and universities on the AP Credit Policy Search.

Meet the Development Committee for AP Human Geography.

The AP Program is unique in its reliance on Development Committees. These committees, made up of an equal number of college faculty and experienced secondary AP teachers from across the country, are essential to the preparation of AP course curricula and exams.