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Important Updates

2020-21 AP Course Audit: What You’ll Need to Do

If you’re teaching an AP World History: Modern course for the first time in 2020-21, you’ll need to submit two items:

  • A subject-specific AP Course Audit form
  • Documentation showing your understanding of course scope—choose 1 of 4 options:
    • adopt a sample syllabus
    • adopt the AP unit guides
    • claim identical to a colleague’s approved syllabus
    • submit your own course syllabus for review (For help creating your syllabus, sign in to your AP Course Audit account and click on the Resource section.)

If you’re teaching a previously authorized AP World History: Modern course, you won’t need to submit anything. Your school administrator can simply renew your course for 2020-21.

Once authorized, you’ll receive:

  • Access to AP Classroom (practice exams, formative assessments, etc.) in July 2020
  • Inclusion in the AP Course Ledger published in November 2020
  • Access to online score reports in July 2021

Getting to Know the AP World History: Modern

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 course and exam.

AP World History: Modern Course and Exam Description


Your course must fulfill these requirements.

AP World History: Modern curricular requirements:

  • The teacher and students have access to a college-level world history textbook, diverse primary sources, and multiple secondary sources written by historians or scholars interpreting the past.
  • The course provides opportunities to develop student understanding of the required content outlined in each of the units described in the course and exam description.
  • The course provides opportunities to develop student understanding of the course themes.
  • The course provides opportunities for students to develop the historical thinking skills:
    • Skill 1: Developments and Processes
    • Skill 2: Sourcing and Situation
    • Skill 3: Claims and Evidence in Sources
    • Skill 4: Contextualization
    • Skill 5: Making Connections through the application of the 3 historical reasoning processes (comparison, causation, continuity and change)
    • Skill 6: Argumentation

AP World History: Modern resource requirements:

  • The school ensures that each student has a college-level world history textbook (in print or electronic format) published within the last 10 years for individual use inside and outside of the classroom. The textbook is supplemented when necessary to meet the curricular requirements.
  • The school ensures that the teacher has a copy of a recent edition of a world history textbook and other appropriate materials to support instruction.
  • The school ensures that each student has copies of primary sources and other instructional materials used in the course for individual use inside and outside of the classroom.
  • The school ensures that each student has access to support materials for the world history course, including scholarly, college-level works that correspond with course topics; writings by major history authors; as well as standard reference works such as encyclopedias, atlases, collections of historical documents, and statistical compendiums, either in a school or public library or via the internet.

The list below represents examples of textbooks that meet the curricular requirements of AP World History: Modern. The list below is not exhaustive and the texts listed should not be regarded as endorsed, authorized, recommended, or approved by 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 resources to confirm that the course as a whole provides students with the content delineated in the curricular requirements of the AP Course Audit.

The current editions of the following textbooks meet the AP Course Audit curricular requirements. Earlier editions of these texts or other textbooks not listed here may meet the AP Course Audit curricular requirements if supplemented with appropriate college-level instructional resources. For discussions regarding the usefulness of these texts and other teaching materials in the AP World History: Modern classroom, please consult the AP World History: Modern Teacher Community.

  • Adler, Philip J. and Randall Pouwels. World Civilizations. 8th Edition. Cengage Learning, 2018.
  • Beck, Roger, B., Black, Linda, Krieger, Larry, S.,  Naylor, Phillip, C., and Dahia Ibo Shabaka. World History: Patterns of Interaction. McDougal Littell, 2005.      
  • Bentley, Jerry, Herbert Ziegler, and Heather Streets Salter. Traditions & Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past, AP® UPDATED Edition. 6th edition. McGraw-Hill Education, 2016.
  • Bulliet, Richard W., Pamela Kyle Crossley, Daniel R. Headrick, Steven W. Hirsch, Lyman L. Johnson, and David Northup. The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History. 6th edition. National Geographic/Cengage Learning, 2018.
  • Duiker, William J., Jackson J. Spielvogel. World History. 9th edition. Cengage Learning, 2019.
  • Dunn, Ross and Laura Mitchell. Panorama: A World History Volume 2. McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.
  • Ellis, Elizabeth Gaynor and Anthony Esler. World History: The Modern Era. Prentice Hall, 2009.
  • Fasulo, David, Brent Goff, and David Holford. History Alive! World Connections. TCI, 2020.
  • Hansen, Valerie and Kenneth R. Curtis. Voyages in World History. 3rdedition. National Geographic/Cengage Learning, 2016.
  • Pollard, Elizabeth, Clifford Rosenberg, and Robert Tignor. Worlds Together, Worlds Apart. 1st edition. W.W. Norton, 2015.
  • Stearns, Peter N., Marc Jason Gilbert, Michael B. Adas, and Stuart B. Schwartz. World Civilizations: The Global Experience, Revised AP edition. 8th edition. Pearson, 2021.
  • Strayer, Robert W. and Eric W. Nelson. Ways of the World with Sources, for the AP® Course. 4th edition. BFW Publishers/Bedford/St. Martin's, 2019.
  • Von Sivers, Peter, Charles A. Desnoyers, and George B. Stow. Patterns of World History: Combined Volume. 2nd edition. Perfection Learning, 2014.
  • Wiesner-Hanks, Merry E., Patricia Buckley Ebrey, Roger B. Beck, Jerry Davila, Clare Haru Crowston, and John P. McKay. A History of World Societies, Combined Volume. 11th edition. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2017.

This annotated sample AP World History: Modern syllabus shows how the curricular requirements can be demonstrated in a syllabus and what level of detail you’ll need to include.

AP World History: Modern Sample Syllabus 1 (.pdf/934KB)

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