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Advanced Placement

AP Capstone

Written by Apoorvaa Agarwal

Updated on: 04 Jun 2024


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What is AP Capstone?

AP Capstone is a rigorous two-year program for high school students that equips students with the essential skills and knowledge for success in college and beyond. The program emphasizes the development of transferable critical thinking, research, collaboration, time management, and presentation skills.

Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on both the AP Seminar and AP Research exams, as well as scores of 3 or higher on four additional AP exams, are awarded the AP Capstone Diploma. 

Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on both the AP Seminar and AP Research exams, but not on four additional AP exams, are awarded the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

Who is AP Capstone for?

AP Capstone is ideal for motivated and academically inclined students who are seeking a challenging and rewarding academic experience. The program is particularly well-suited for high school students who are planning to attend college and who want to develop the skills they need to succeed in a rigorous academic environment.

What is the structure of the AP Capstone Diploma Program?

AP Capstone allows students to develop their critical thinking, research, collaboration, time management, and presentation skills over two years. 

Why does the AP Capstone take two years to complete?

The program is structured over two years with the first year being the AP Seminar and the second year being the AP research.

AP Seminar is a prerequisite for AP Research. Students learn the fundamentals of critical thinking, research, and argumentation. They also gain experience in working collaboratively on projects. With AP Research students apply the skills they learned in the AP Seminar to conduct in-depth research projects on topics of their choosing.

The two-year duration allows students to develop their skills over an extended period and engage in more in-depth research projects.

Benefits of AP Capstone

There are many benefits of AP course but let’s see what are the benefits of AP Capstone

  • Gain a competitive edge in college admissions. AP Capstone demonstrates to colleges that you are a motivated and capable student who is ready for the rigors of college-level work.
  • Develop essential academic skills that will last a lifetime. AP Capstone helps you hone your critical thinking, research, collaboration, time management, and communication skills. 
  • Become a more confident and independent learner. AP Capstone encourages you to take ownership of your learning.

How is AP Capstone different from other AP classes?

The key differences between AP Capstone and other AP courses are as below:

AP CapstoneOther AP courses
FocusResearch, critical thinking, and communication skillsSubject matter such as Chemistry, Biology, and Calculus
StructureTwo-year programOne semester course
RequirementsYou need to complete AP Seminar, AP Research, and four other AP classesYou only need to clear the AP exam in the subject area of choice
Differences between AP Capstone and other AP courses


AP Capstone is a valuable program that can help students develop the skills they need to succeed in college and beyond. 

Reviewed by

Priyanshi Agrawal

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