What is AP Capstone?

AP Capstone, created by the College Board, is a research-based program representing the pinnacle of the AP discipline. Comprising two one-year components, AP Seminar and AP Research, students undertake AP Seminar in the initial year and AP Research in the subsequent one.

Why AP Capstone?


Work alone, in a group and with expert advisers to communicate your ideas.

Critical Thinking

View issues from multiple perspectives and create arguments based on evidence.


Explore vrious research methods and complete research projects on topics of you own choosing. 

Public speaking

Present and defend your work as a group and idividually.

What College Faculty and Admission Officers Are Saying

"The ability to guide the student toward understanding where a research method is valid needs to be explicitly taught."
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— Ellen Woods, Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Director of Thinking Matters, Stanford University
"[Through this program] you get students turned on to higher education in a way they are not currently and they enter university with a different kind of attitude."
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— Susan Roth, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, Duke University

We can help

Novel Prep partner school takes pride in presenting the innovative AP Capstone Diploma™ program, a diploma initiative offered by the College Board, the organization responsible for overseeing Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams.

AP Capstone students make an impression.

TheAP Capstone Diploma is available at just around 2,000 out of over 42,000 highschools across the United States.
Withover 100,000 students from 2,500+ schools worldwide participating in 2022-23.About 15,800 students earned the AP Capstone Diploma, and 9,600 students earnedthe AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

How Does It Work?

You must take AP Seminar before AP Research. Each is a yearlong course.

Structure of the AP Capstone Program

First Year Take AP Seminar

In AP Seminar, you’ll investigate topics in a variety of subject areas, write research-based essays, and design and give both individual and team presentations.

Second Year Take AP Research

In AP Research, you’ll build on what you learned in AP Seminar to design, plan, and conduct a yearlong research-based investigation on a topic of your choice.

Earn Awards

You can earn 1 of 2 AP Capstone awards if you take both courses and fulfill other requirements. And you’ll receive an AP score for each separate course.


Yes. Students will be able to earn a US High School transcript after passing AP Seminar and AP Research.

A grade of 3 or higher in both AP Seminar and AP Research earns an AP Capstone Certificate; a grade of 3 or higher in both AP Seminar and AP Research plus a grade of 3 or higher in four other AP classes earns an AP Capstone Diploma.

Upon completion of the AP Capstone program, students will be able to earn a U.S. High School transcript, receive credit and GPA for AP Seminar and AP Research, which will enhance their acceptance rate during the college application process, making it easier for them to stand out, and allowing them to adapt to college coursework more quickly once they enter college. Students who need to take the exams can travel to the U.S. to take the exams on their own. At that time, students will be able to view and download the certificates/diplomas they have earned from AP Capstone online, and these awards will be included in the AP Scholars Awards, which will be listed on the Scholars Roster; at the same time, students will have the opportunity to earn college credits for skipping the introductory courses and going directly to the higher level courses.

No. If a student wishes to earn a certificate or diploma from AP Capstone, the student must take the AP exam and meet the required grades.

AP Seminar, the first course in AP Capstone, is for 10th and 11th graders. It’s recommended to take AP Seminar in 10th grade and AP Research in 11th grade for the full benefits before applying to college.

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