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2021-22 AP Updates
AP Capstone presentations can be delivered in a remote, hybrid, or in-person setting. Learn more.

AP Course Audit

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

  • A subject-specific AP Course Audit form
  • A course syllabus, created by the course teacher

The syllabus is reviewed by college faculty to ensure that the course fulfills the AP Program’s course-specific curricular and resource requirements.

The resources below will help teachers understand course requirements and create a syllabus that fulfills these. Sign in to your AP Course Audit account for more resources to help you create your syllabus.

Designing Your AP Research Course


AP Research can only be taught as part of the larger AP Capstone™ program. This course may only be offered to students at schools where teachers have completed the required professional development. Visit the AP Capstone website to learn more about how to participate in this program.

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 course and exam.

AP Research Course and Exam Description

Creating Your Syllabus

Use these resources to design your AP Research syllabus.


Download this document for more help creating your syllabus.

Syllabus Development Guide: AP Research

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.

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

AP Research curricular requirements:

  • Students develop and apply discrete skills identified in the learning objectives of the enduring understandings within the following 5 big ideas: Question and Explore; Understand and Analyze; Evaluate Multiple Perspectives; Synthesize Ideas; and Team, Transform, and Transmit.
  • Students develop an understanding of ethical research practices and the AP Capstone™ Policy on Plagiarism and Falsification or Fabrication of Information.
  • In the classroom and independently (while possibly consulting expert advisors), students learn and employ research and inquiry methods to develop, manage, and conduct an in-depth investigation of an area of personal interest, culminating in an academic paper of 4,000–5,000 words that includes the following elements:
    • Introduction
    • Method, Process, or Approach
    • Results, Product, or Findings
    • Discussion, Analysis, and/or Evaluation
    • Conclusion and Future Directions
    • Bibliography
  • Using a process and reflection portfolio (PREP), students document their inquiry processes, communication with their teachers and any expert advisors, and reflections on their thought processes. Students have regular work-in-progress interviews with their teachers to review their progress and to receive feedback on their scholarly work.
  • Students develop and deliver a presentation (using an appropriate medium) and an oral defense to a panel on their research processes, methods, and findings.

AP Research resource requirements:

  • The school ensures that each student and teacher has access to appropriate instructional resources and technology (i.e., library and research databases, the internet, college-level texts, presentation software).
  • The school ensures that each participating student is provided computer and internet access for completion of course requirements.

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