Course Audit

AP Physics C: Mechanics

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March 2024–January 2025

2024-25 AP Physics Course Authorization

New and returning AP Physics teachers submit for 2024-25 authorization. Details are available on this page.

2024-25 AP Physics Course Authorization

To confirm awareness of the course and exam revisions, all new and returning AP Physics teachers need to submit an AP Course Audit form and choose one of these three options for authorization:

  • Adopt a sample syllabus or unit guide 

  • Claim an identical syllabus to a colleague who has been authorized for the 2024-25 school year 

  • Submit a new or revised course document

Updated sample syllabi and syllabus development guide are available below. 

AP Course Audit

Find resources below to help you complete the AP Course Audit. For more information on the authorization process, please see About AP Course Audit.

AP Physics C: Mechanics Course and Exam Description

The core 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.

Download the AP Physics C: Mechanics Course and Exam Description (.pdf).

Curricular and Resource Requirements

Your course must fulfill these requirements.

AP Physics C: Mechanics curricular requirements:

  • Students and teachers have access to college-level resources including a college-level textbook and reference materials in print or electronic format.    
  • The course provides opportunities to develop student understanding of the required content outlined in each of the units described in the AP Physics C: Mechanics Course and Exam Description (CED).      
  • The course provides opportunities for students to develop the skills related to the science practices: 
    • Science Practice 1: Creating Representations  
    • Science Practice 2: Mathematical Routines  
    • Science Practice 3: Scientific Questioning and& Argumentation  
  • Students spend a minimum of 25 percent of instructional time engaged in hands-on laboratory investigations.    
  • Students engage in hands-on laboratory investigations representative of the topics outlined in the AP Physics C: Mechanics Course and Exam Description.         
  • The course provides opportunities for students to record evidence of their scientific investigations in a portfolio of lab reports or a lab notebook (print or digital format).

AP Physics C: Mechanics resource requirements:

  • The school ensures that each student has a calculus-based college-level physics textbook (in print or electronic format) for individual use inside and outside 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 physics textbook or other appropriate materials to support instruction.
  • The school ensures that students have access to scientific equipment/materials, all necessary resources, and adequate time to conduct hands-on, college-level physics laboratory investigations as outlined in the teacher’s course syllabus.

Example Textbook List

Current textbooks adequately address the material needed for the revised AP Physics courses launching in 2024-25. Textbook requirements have not changed: students and teachers should have access to a college-level textbook.

We’ve informed publishers of the changes. They’re working to update their materials to align with the revised course so that schools wishing to purchase textbooks aligned to the changes can do so.

The list below represents examples of textbooks that meet the curricular requirements of AP Physics C: Mechanics. 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 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 Physics C classroom, please consult the AP Physics C Teacher Community

  • Bauer, Wolfgang, and Gary Westfall. University Physics, McGraw Hill. 
  • Chabay, Ruth W., and Bruce A. Sherwood. Matter and Interactions. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 
  • Fishbane, Paul M., Stephen Gasiorowicz, and Stephen M. Thornton. Physics for Scientists and Engineers. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 
  • Giancoli, Douglas C. Physics for Scientists and Engineers. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 
  • Halliday, David, Robert Resnick, and Jearl Walker. Fundamentals of Physics. New York: John Wiley & Sons. (or any variation on the Halliday text) 
  • Hecht, Eugene. Physics: Calculus. New York: Brooks/Cole. 
  • Knight, Randall D. Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach with Modern Physics. Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley. 
  • Knight, Randall D. Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach with Modern Physics, AP Edition. Pearson. 
  • Moebs, William, Samuel Ling, and Jeff Sanny. University Physics Volume 1. OpenStax. 
  • Sanny, Jeff, and William Moebs. University Physics. Fort Worth, TX: Saunders. 
  • Serway, Raymond A. Principles of Physics. 1st Edition. Fort Worth, TX: Saunders, 2012. 
  • Serway, Raymond A. and John W. Jewett, Physics for Scientists and Engineers with PhysicsNow and InfoTrac. 5th edition. National Geographic Learning/Cengage Learning. 
  • Tipler, Paul A. Physics for Scientists and Engineers. New York, NY: W. H. Freeman. 
  • Wolfson, Richard, and Jay M. Pasachoff. Physics for Scientists and Engineers. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley Longman. 
  • Young, Hugh D., and Roger A. Freedman. University Physics. 14th Edition. Addison Wesley. 
  • Young, Hugh D., Roger A. Freedman, T.R. Sandin, and A. Lewis Ford. Sears and Semansky’s University Physics. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. 

Sample Syllabi

These annotated sample AP Physics C: Mechanics syllabi show how the curricular requirements can be demonstrated and what level of detail you’ll need to include.

AP Physics C: Mechanics Sample Syllabus 1 (.pdf)

AP Physics C: Mechanics Sample Syllabus 2 (.pdf)

Guide to Developing Your Syllabus

Review this document for help creating your syllabus.

Syllabus Development Guide: AP Physics C: Mechanics (.pdf)

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.


Hands-On Labs

Laboratory work, data collection, and analysis are integral to the process of science and the training of students in the acquisition and limitations of scientific knowledge. If circumstances prevent your school from providing onsite access to a laboratory environment, instruments, and materials, the 25% instructional time spent on the hands-on lab requirement can be met in the following ways:

  • Virtual labs
  • Simulations accompanied by student work (data collection, data analysis, etc.)
  • Labs that can be safely conducted at home

Regardless of the way the hands-on laboratory requirement is met, all student laboratory experiences must continue to be supervised by a science educator. As outlined in the curricular requirements, these experiences must be recorded and maintained by the student.