Understanding AP Seminar College Credit Policies

AP Seminar was created in response to college admissions leaders’ request for an AP course that would help students develop skills of collaboration, research, writing, and presentation. Because there are many other AP courses widely used for college credit—from Biology to U.S. History—admissions leaders wanted AP Seminar to focus purely on skills needed in every college major, not the content of one specific college class.

Accordingly, colleges do not typically award college credit for AP Seminar scores, and when they do, it is most often general elective credit.

Instead, AP Seminar is the ideal booster of subsequent AP scores and a powerful indicator of college readiness on a student’s transcript. Research has found that students who take AP Seminar in 10th grade achieve higher scores on AP English, history, and government exams taken in grades 11 and 12. They’re also more likely to persist in college and earn higher first year college GPAs.

Educators should view AP Seminar in 10th grade as a way to prepare many more students for success in a wide variety of 11th- and 12th-grade classes, and to stand out in college admissions.