All schools that want to label a course “AP” must get authorization 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.
Offering AP Seminar
AP Seminar can only be taught as part of the larger AP Capstone™ program. This course may only be offered to students at participating schools where teachers have completed the required professional development. High schools have already been selected for participation in the 2017-18 academic year. Schools interested in offering AP Capstone in the 2018-19 academic year will need to complete the application process. Visit AP Capstone 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 AP course and exam. Then see additional changes for 2016-17.
- AP Seminar Course and Exam Description (.pdf/9.73MB) - Describes in detail the AP Seminar course and exam. Includes the curriculum framework and a representative sample of exam questions.
Summary of the 2016-17 Changes
Performance Task 1
- The reflection part of the Individual Research and Reflection will no longer be required.
- Student teams will convey their arguments only through the Multimedia Presentation, rather than submit a Written Team Report.
- The directions for this task have been updated to reflect the above changes and to clarify the requirements of the task. See page 47 of the AP Seminar Course and Exam Description.
Performance Task 2
- The directions for this task have been updated to clarify the requirements of the task, including the use of stimulus materials. See page 52 of the AP Seminar Course and Exam Description.
- Section 1B has been removed, making the overall exam two hours in length.
Creating Your Syllabus
Use these resources to design your syllabus.
Download this document for more help creating your syllabus.
Syllabus Development Guide: AP Seminar (.pdf/394KB) - 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 five annotated sample AP Seminar 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 Seminar curricular requirements:
- Students explore complexities of one or more themes by making connections within, between, and/or among multiple cross-curricular areas and by exploring multiple perspectives and lenses (e.g., cultural and social, artistic and philosophical, political and historical, environmental, economic, scientific, futuristic, ethical) related to those themes.
- Students develop and apply discrete skills identified in the learning objectives of the enduring understandings within the following five big ideas: Question and Explore; Understand and Analyze; Evaluate Multiple Perspectives; Synthesize Ideas; and Team, Transform, and Transmit.
- Students gain a rich appreciation and understanding of the issues through the following activities: reading articles and research studies; reading foundational, literary, and philosophical texts; viewing and listening to speeches, broadcasts, and/or personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances.
- Students develop an understanding of ethical research practices and the AP Capstone™ Policy on Plagiarism and Falsification or Fabrication of Information.
- Students work collaboratively with a team to identify, investigate, analyze, and evaluate a real-world or academic problem or issue; consider and evaluate alternatives or options; propose one or more solutions or resolutions; and present and defend the argument for their solutions through a multimedia presentation.
- Students work independently to identify a research question based on provided stimulus material; research the issue; analyze, evaluate, and select evidence to develop an argument; present and defend a conclusion; and produce a multimedia presentation to be delivered to their peers.
AP Seminar resource requirements:
- The school ensures that each student and teacher has access to appropriate instructional resources (i.e., library and research databases, the internet, college-level texts, presentation software) and technology.
- The school ensures that each participating student is provided computer and internet access for completion of course requirements.
The list below shows examples of textbooks that meet the curricular requirements of AP Seminar. The lists below are 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. More textbooks than those listed below may be appropriate for the AP Seminar course. However, schools should make every effort to acquire textbooks no older than ten years old for use in this course. In addition, disciplinary style guidelines change frequently and teachers are advised to consult the most recent style guide for a particular discipline (e.g., Chicago, MLA, APA, etc.).
The College Board has partnered with Learning List to provide independent instructional materials review services for schools and districts for several redesigned and new subjects. The example textbook lists which were reviewed by Learning List are for Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Computer Science Principles, Physics 1 and 2, Research, Seminar, European History, U.S. History, and World History.
These materials have been reviewed by Learning List. Learning List’s detailed alignment reports and editorial reviews will help teachers use these materials more effectively. See the Learning List reviews of these materials or contact Learning List for more information.
- Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research. 3rd edition. University of Chicago Press.
- Burk, Jim. Uncharted Territory. 1st edition. W.W. Norton and Company.
- Turabian, Kate L., Gregory C. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, and the University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff. The Student’s Guide to Writing College Papers and Turabian Teacher Collaborative Topic Sheets. 4th edition. University of Chicago Press.
- Upson, Matt, C. Michael Hall, and Kevin Cannon. Information Now. 1st edition. University of Chicago Press.