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Important Updates

Updated AP History Rubrics
The updated rubrics for the AP history free-response questions are now available (.pdf/340.46KB). Annotated sample essays scored with these rubrics will be available in late August.

2017-18 AP History Updates
Updates to the AP history courses and exams will take effect in the 2017-18 school year and are reflected in the updated course and exam description available below. These changes do not require teachers to resubmit their syllabi to the AP Course Audit or attend professional development.

Enroll in 2017-18 AP Mentoring
AP U.S. History teachers of all experience levels can participate in an online teacher-to-teacher support program.

Course Overview

AP U.S. History is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester introductory college or university U.S. history course. In AP U.S. History students investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in nine historical periods from approximately 1491 to the present. Students develop and use the same skills, practices, and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources; making historical comparisons; utilizing reasoning about contextualization, causation, and continuity and change over time; and developing historical arguments. The course also provides seven themes that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places: American and national identity; migration and settlement; politics and power; work, exchange, and technology; America in the world; geography and the environment; and culture and society.

School and district administrators: Considering AP U.S. History for your school or district? Download the course framework (pdf/1.12MB) for an overview of the course and exam. You can also download a practice exam (pdf/1.4MB).

Essential Course Resources

Course Planning and Pacing Guides

Written by AP teachers, these versatile guides demonstrate a variety of ways to plan and pace the AP U.S. History curriculum across one academic year. Each author presents a host of ideas for activities, resources, and assessments.

These guides do not yet reflect the 2017-18 AP history changes, but updated versions will be available soon.

College Board Store

Find AP U.S. History publications, released exams, and more in the College Board Store.


AP and Higher Education

Higher Education professionals play a key role developing AP courses and exams, setting credit and placement policies, and scoring student work. The AP Higher Ed page features information on recruitment and admission, financial aid, advising and placement, and more.

This chart shows recommended scores for granting credit, and how much credit should be awarded, for each AP course. Your students can look up credit and placement policies for colleges and universities on the AP Credit Policy search.

Meet the current Development Committee for AP U.S. History.