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Getting to Know the AP Psychology 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 Psychology Course and Exam Description

 

Your course must fulfill these requirements.

AP Psychology curricular requirements:

  • The teacher and students have access to college-level resources including a recently published (within the last 10 years) college-level textbook 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 course and exam description (CED).
  • The course provides opportunities for students to develop understanding of the learning targets related to the skill categories:
    • Skill Category 1: Define, explain, and apply concepts, behavior, theories, and perspectives
    • Skill Category 2: Analyze and interpret quantitative data
    • Skill Category 3: Analyze psychological research studies

AP Psychology resource requirements:

  • The school ensures that each student has a college-level psychology textbook (in print or electronic format) published within the last 10 years 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 psychology textbook or other appropriate materials to support instruction.

The list below represents examples of textbooks that meet the curricular requirements of AP Psychology. 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 in the AP Psychology classroom, please consult the AP Psychology Teacher Community.

  • Bernstein, Douglas A., Louis A. Penner, Alison Clarke-Stewart, and Edward J. Roy. Psychology. 9th edition. 2012. Boston: Cengage Learning.
  • Bernstein, Douglas A. Essentials of Psychology. 10th edition. 2016. Boston: Cengage Learning.
  • Cacioppo, John T. and Laura A. Freberg. Discovering Psychology: The Science of Mind. 3rd edition. 2019. Boston: Cengage Learning.
  • Ciccarelli, Saundra K., and J. Noland White. Psychology, AP Edition. 6th edition. 2021. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
  • Coon, Dennis, and John O. Mitterer. Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior. 15th edition. 2019. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning
  • Coon, Dennis, and John O. Mitterer. Psychology: A Journey. 5th edition. 2014. Boston: Cengage Learning.
  • Davis, Stephen. F., Joseph J. Palladino, and Kimberly M. Christopherson. Psychology. 7th edition. 2013. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
  • Feldman, Robert S. Understanding Psychology. 14th edition. 2019. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Feldman, Robert S. Essentials of Understanding Psychology. 13th edition. 2019. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Fiest, Gregory, and Erika Rosenberg. Psychology: Perspectives and Connections. 4th edition. 2019. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Fiest, Gregory, and Erika Rosenberg. Fundamentals of Psychology: Perspectives and Connections. 1st edition. 2020. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Gazzaniga, Michael S.,. Psychological Science. 6th edition. 2018. New York: W. W. Norton.
  • Gerrig, Richard J. Psychology and Life. 20th edition. 2013. Pearson.
  • Gray, Peter, and David F. Bjorklund. Psychology. 8th edition. 2018. New York: Worth.
  • Griggs, Richard A and Sherri L. Jackson. Psychology: A Concise Introduction. 6th edition. 2020. New York: Worth.
  • Grison, Sarah, and Michael S. Gazzaniga. Psychology in Your Life. 3rd edition. 2018. New York: W.W. Norton.
  • Hockenbury, Sandra and Susan Nolan. Discovering Psychology. New York: Worth.
  • Hockenbury, Sandra and Susan Nolan. Psychology. 8th edition. 2019. New York: Worth.
  • Huffman, Karen, Katherine Dowdell, and Catherine Sanderson. Psychology in Action. 12th edition. 2017. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Kalat, James W. Introduction to Psychology. 11th edition. 2017. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
  • King, Laura. The Science of Psychology: An Appreciative View. 4th edition. 2017. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Kowalski, Robin M., and Drew Westen. Psychology. 6th edition. 2010. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Krause, Mark, and Daniel Corts. Psychological Science: Modeling Scientific Literacy. 2nd edition. 2016. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
  • Lilienfeld, Scott O., Steven Jay Lynn, and Laura L. Namy. Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding. 4th edition. 2018. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
  • Morris, Charles G., and Albert A. Maisto. Understanding Psychology. 11th edition. 2016. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
  • Myers, David G. and Nathan DeWall. Exploring Psychology. 11th edition. 2019. New York: Worth.
  • Myers, David G. and Nathan DeWall. Psychology. 12th edition. 2018. New York: Worth.
  • Myers, David G. and Nathan DeWall. Myers’ Psychology for AP Course. 3rd edition. 2018. New York: Worth.
  • Myers, David G. and Nathan DeWall. Psychology in Modules. 12th edition. 2018. New York: Worth.
  • Myers, David G. and Nathan DeWall. Exploring Psychology in Modules. 11th edition. 2019. New York: Worth.
  • Nairne, James S. Psychology. 6th edition. 2014. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
  • Nevid, Jeffrey S. Essentials of Psychology: Concepts and Applications. 5th edition. 2018. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
  • Pastorino, Ellen and Susann Doyle-Portillo. What is Psychology?: Foundations, Applications, and Integration. 4th edition. 2019. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
  • Plotnik, Rod, and Haig Kouyoumadjian. Introduction to Psychology. 10th edition. 2014. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
  • Pomerantz, Andrew. My Psychology. 2nd edition. 2020. New York: Worth.
  • Schacter, Daniel, Daniel Gilbert, Daniel Wegner, and Matthew K. Nock. Introducing Psychology. 4th edition. 2018. New York: Worth.
  • Schacter, Daniel, Daniel Gilbert, Daniel Wegner, and Matthew K. Nock. Psychology. 5th edition. 2020. New York: Worth.
  • Spielman, Rose M., Kathryn Dumper, William Jenkins, Arlene Lacombe, Marilyn Lovett, Marion Perlmutter, University of Michigan. Psychology. 2014. Open Stax.
  • Wade, Carole, Carol Tavris, Samuel Sommers, and Lisa Shin. Invitation to Psychology. 7th edition. 2018. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
  • Weiten, Wayne. Psychology: Themes and Variations. 10th edition. 2017. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
  • Zimbardo, Philip G., Robert L. Johnson, and Vivian McCann Hamilton. Psychology: Core Concepts. 7th edition. 2011. Pearson.

This annotated sample AP Psychology syllabus shows how the curricular requirements can be demonstrated in a syllabus and what level of detail you’ll need to include.

AP Psychology Sample Syllabus 1 (.pdf/180KB)

Review this document for help creating your syllabus.

Syllabus Development Guide: AP Psychology (.pdf/140.51 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.

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