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All schools that want to label a course “AP” must get authorization by going through the AP Course Audit. This means submitting two things:

  • A subject-specific AP Course Audit Form
  • A course syllabus

Teachers have the option to create their own syllabus or adopt one of the sample syllabi provided. A teacher-created syllabus is checked by our reviewers to ensure that the course fulfills the AP Program’s course-specific curricular and resource requirements.

We offer plenty of resources, below, to help teachers understand course requirements and create a syllabus that fulfills these.

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Designing Your AP Macroeconomics Course

The AP Macroeconomics course should be designed by your school to provide students with a learning experience equivalent to that of an introductory college course in macroeconomics. The purpose of your course should be to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to a market-based economic system as a whole.

There are no specific curricular prerequisites for students taking AP Macroeconomics.

Getting to Know the Course and Exam

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 AP course and exam.

  • AP Economics Course Description (.pdf/846.4KB) - Describes in detail the AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics courses and exams. Includes the curriculum framework and a representative sample of exam questions.

Creating Your Syllabus

Use these resources to design your syllabus.


Download this document for more help creating your syllabus.

  • Syllabus Development Guide: AP Macroeconomics (.pdf/746KB) - 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.

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

Your course must fulfill these requirements, and your syllabus should make it clear how the requirements will be addressed.

AP Macroeconomics curricular requirements:

  • The teacher has read the most recent AP Economics Course Description (.pdf/845KB).
  • The course provides instruction in each of the following seven topics outlined in the course description:
    • Basic economic concepts
    • Measurement of economic performance
    • National income and price determination
    • Financial sector
    • Inflation, unemployment, and stabilization policies
    • Economic growth and productivity
    • Open economy: international trade and finance
  • The course promotes the understanding of aggregate economic activity, the utilization of resources within and across countries, and the critical evaluation of determinants of economic progress and economic decisions made by policymakers.
  • The course teaches how to generate, interpret, label, and analyze graphs, charts, and data to describe and explain economic concepts.

AP Macroeconomics resource requirements:

The school ensures that each student has a college-level macroeconomics textbook (supplemented when necessary to meet curricular requirements) for individual use inside and outside of the classroom.

The list below represents examples of textbooks that meet the curricular requirements of AP Macroeconomics. The list below is not exhaustive and the texts listed should not be regarded as endorsed, authorized, recommended, or approved by the 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, supporting 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 specified editions of the following textbooks meet the AP Macroeconomics 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 Macroeconomics classroom, please consult the AP Macroeconomics Teacher Community.

  • Anderson, David, and Margaret Ray. Krugman’s Economics for AP. Worth Publishers.
  • Arnold, Roger A. Economics. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
  • Bade, Robin, and Michael Parkin. Foundations of Economics, AP Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
  • Baumol, William J., and Alan S. Blinder. Economics: Principles and Policy. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
  • Boyes, William, and Michael Melvin. Economics. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
  • Case, Karl G., Ray C. Fair, and Sharon Oster. Principles of Economics. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
  • Chiang, Eric. CoreEconomics. New York: Worth Publishers.
  • Colander, David C. Economics. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Coppock, Lee, and Dirk Mateer. Principles of Macroeconomics. New York, NY: W.W. Norton and Co.
  • Cowen, Tyler, and Alex Tabarrok, Modern Principles: Economics. New York: Worth Publishers.
  • Frank, Robert H., and Ben Bernanke. Principles of Economics. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Gottheil, Fred M. Principles of Economics. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
  • Gwartney, James D., et al. Economics: Private and Public Choice. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
  • Hall, Robert E., and Marc Lieberman. Economics: Principles and Applications. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning
  • Hubbard, R. Glenn, and Anthony Patrick O’Brien. Economics. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
  • Krugman, Paul, and Robin Wells. Economics. New York: Worth Publishers.
  • Mankiw, N. Gregory. Principles of Economics. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
  • McConnell, Campbell R., Stanley L. Brue, and Sean Masaki Flynn. Economics: Principles, Problems, and Policies. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • McEachern, William A. Economics: A Contemporary Introduction. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
  • Miller, Roger LeRoy. Economics Today. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
  • O’Sullivan, Arthur, Steven Sheffrin, and Stephen Perez. Economics: Principles, Applications, and Tools. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson
  • Parkin, Michael. Economics. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
  • Rittenberg, Libby, and Timothy Tregarthen. Principles of Economics. Washington, DC: Flat World Knowledge.
  • Samuelson, Paul A., and William B. Nordhaus. Economics. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Schiller, Bradley R., Cynthia D. Hill, and Sherri L. Wall. The Economy Today. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Sexton, Robert L. Exploring Economics. Mason OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
  • Slavin, Stephen L. Economics. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Taylor, John, and Akila Weerapana. Principles of Economics. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
  • Tucker, Irvin B. Economics for Today. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
  • OpenStax, ed. Principles of Economics. Rice University, 2014.

Before you submit your syllabus, use this checklist to make sure it has all the elements required.