AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Students learn to investigate a problem or issue, analyze arguments, compare different perspectives, synthesize information from multiple sources, and work alone and in a group to communicate their ideas.
Note: The following information and resources are for AP Seminar teachers at participating AP Capstone™ schools. In order to offer AP Seminar, schools must apply through the AP Program to participate in AP Capstone. In addition, teachers attend mandatory training. For more information, visit the AP Capstone Diploma program page.
AP Seminar Course and Exam Description
Based on the Understanding by Design (Wiggins and McTighe) model, this curriculum framework is intended to provide a clear and detailed description of the course requirements necessary for student success. This conceptualization will guide the development and organization of learning outcomes from general to specific, resulting in focused statements about content knowledge and skills needed for success in the course. As always, you have the flexibility to organize the course content as you like.
The AP Seminar curriculum is made up of five big ideas:
- Big Idea 1: Question and Explore
- Big Idea 2: Understand and Analyze
- Big Idea 3: Evaluate Multiple Perspectives
- Big Idea 4: Synthesize Ideas
- Big Idea 5: Team, Transform, and Transmit
The AP Seminar framework included in the course and exam description outlines distinct skills, called transferable skills and proficiencies, that students should practice throughout the year.
Analyze Sources and Evidence
Understand and Analyze Argument
Identifying the main idea in arguments, analyzing the reasoning, and evaluating the validity of the conclusions
Evaluate Sources and Evidence
Evaluating the credibility and relevance of sources and the evidence they present
Construct an Evidence-Based Argument
Developing a well-reasoned argument clearly connecting the thesis, claims, and evidence
Select and Use Evidence
Strategically choosing evidence to effectively support claims
Understand Context and Perspective
Understand and Analyze Context
Understanding the complexity of a problem or issue and connecting arguments to the broader context in which they are situated
Understand and Analyze Perspective
Comparing and interpreting multiple diverse perspectives on an issue to understand its complexity
Communicate (Interpersonal and Intrapersonal)
Choosing and employing effective written and oral communication techniques, considering audience, context, and purpose
Choosing and consistently applying an appropriate citation style and effective conventions of writing
Working constructively with others to accomplish a team goal or task
Articulating challenges, successes, and moments of insight that occur throughout the inquiry process
AP and Higher Education
Meet the AP Seminar Development Committee
The AP Program is unique in its reliance on Development Committees. These committees, made up of an equal number of college faculty and experienced secondary AP teachers from across the country, are essential to the preparation of AP course curricula and exams.