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.
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
AP History Disciplinary Practices and Reasoning SkillsSee the disciplinary practices and reasoning skills that students need to develop in AP history courses.
Course Overview Modules for AP U.S. HistoryTake a guided tour of AP U.S. History with a series of video presentations that provide a detailed look at the course framework, the exam, the AP Course Audit process, helpful resources, and more. Some modules are being revised to align with the 2017-18 AP history course and exam updates.
AP U.S. History Course OverviewThe two-page Course Overview provides a succinct description of the course and exam.
AP U.S. History Course and Exam Frequently Asked QuestionsThe FAQ answers commonly asked questions about the course and exam.
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.
Ted Dickson, Providence Day School, NC
This course is taught at an independent college-preparatory school. The teacher encourages students to make connections between themes. The teacher emphasizes group discussion and peer modeling, as well as the use of document-based questions to develop argumentation skills.
Geri Hastings, Catonsville High School, MD
This course is taught in a comprehensive public high school. The teacher emphasizes student-centered activities and differentiated instruction. Students take ownership of the lessons by presenting, and actually doing, some of the teaching themselves.
Ian Lowell, South Florence High School, SC
This course is taught at a public suburban high school. The teacher creates a balance of in-depth case study analysis while fitting that learning into broader themes and contexts of an era.
Saul Straussman, Taylor Allderdice High School, PA
This course is taught at a comprehensive urban high school. The teacher includes materials that resonate with students' experiences and backgrounds whenever possible. Because this is a mixed-skill classroom, the teacher relies on differentiated instruction to ensure all students succeed.
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.