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Program Overview

AP Capstone™ is an innovative college-level program based on two courses—AP Seminar and AP Research—that complement and enhance discipline-specific AP courses.

  • In AP Seminar, students are assessed on two performance tasks completed during the school year and a two-hour end-of-course written exam administered in May. Check the AP Exam schedule.
  • In AP Research, students are assessed on a 4,000-5,000 word academic paper and presentation and oral defense of their research. There is no exam administered in May.

Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing earn the AP Capstone Diploma™. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research but not on four additional AP Exams earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.

Schools must apply to participate in the program. To learn more, go to collegeboard.org/apcapstone.

Role of the AP Coordinator

If you are an AP coordinator in a school that is participating in the AP Capstone diploma program, you must take the following steps to ensure students are set up to submit performance tasks for AP Seminar or AP Research and/or take the AP Seminar End-of-Course Exam. 

Order Exams

  • In addition to ordering AP Seminar and Research exams, all schools must also order preadministration materials. This is to ensure that students have sufficient time to enter the AP number found in their Student Packs (received in the preadministration materials shipment) into their digital portfolio account before the submission deadline for their performance tasks.
    • The College Board suggests that AP coordinators place orders on the AP Exam Ordering website by March 14. 
    • The College Board recommends that schools outside the U.S., U.S. territories, and Canada place their exam orders online by the March 30 priority deadline.
  • AP Seminar End-of-Course Exams can be ordered for regular testing or late testing. AP Research Exams can only be ordered for regular testing.
  • AP Research does not have an end-of-course exam, but an exam must be ordered for each student enrolled in the course so their performance task can be scored by the College Board. You will receive answer sheets to be completed by your school’s AP Research students.

Validate Online Submission

Students taking AP Seminar and AP Research will use the AP Digital Portfolio to submit final individual and team performance tasks for scoring. In the spring, the AP coordinator will use the digital portfolio to validate that uploaded student work is ready to be submitted to the College Board for scoring by the April 30 submission deadline and that all presentations have been scored by AP Seminar and AP Research teachers. In addition, the AP coordinator should validate that a unique AP number is associated with each student in the digital portfolio. Students’ work won’t be submitted to the College Board—and as a result, not scored—if an AP number isn’t entered.

  • Additional instructions about using the AP Digital Portfolio are available in the Help section of the application.

AP Capstone Timeline for AP Coordinators

March-April 2018

  • Work with your school’s AP Seminar and AP Research teacher(s) to make sure the correct number of exams and preadministration materials are ordered by the April 4 final preadministration ordering deadline.

April 2018

  • We suggest that you designate a time for students to add their AP numbers into the digital portfolio. Work cannot be submitted to the College Board until an AP number has been entered.

April 30, 2018

  • All student presentations must be scored by AP Seminar and AP Research teachers by this date. All performance tasks that have been submitted as final by a student, and any teacher scores associated with those performance tasks, will automatically be sent to the College Board as long as that student has entered an AP number into the digital portfolio.

April-May, 2018

  • Assemble AP Research students to complete their answer sheets by filling out identifying information and applying AP number and AP Research Exam labels.

May 8, 2018 (morning)

  • Administer the AP Seminar End-of-Course Exam. Exam instructions will be included in the 2017-18 AP Exam Instructions.