AP Capstone Diploma Program

The AP Capstone Diploma program focuses on college-level research, collaboration, and presentation skills crucial for college and career success.

Our school is now one of approximately 2,000 schools worldwide to implement the AP Capstone Diploma™ program―an innovative program that encourages students to develop skills for college and career success, including critical thinking, research, collaboration, and communication. The program consists of two yearlong courses taken in sequence: AP® Seminar and AP Research.

AP Capstone Logo

Students who score a 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on 4 additional AP Exams of their choosing earn the AP Capstone Diploma. This signifies outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and research skills. Students who score a 3 or higher in both AP Seminar and AP Research (and not on 4 additional AP Exams) earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.

We are thrilled to announce SPAS has been accepted into the very select community of schools worldwide and allowed to use College Board’s AP Capstone program to cultivate and demonstrate our students’ college readiness. Strategic use of the AP Capstone program helps us prepare SPAS students to become skilled collaborators, critical thinkers, and consumers of information. The Capstone courses will give students the flexibility to explore the complex topics affecting their lives, and we are excited to see their research.

Capstone research projects, completed and evaluated in accordance with College Board’s universally accepted standards provide another opportunity for SPAS students to develop research skills and explore an area of personal interest deeply and critically. In addition, successful completion of the AP Capstone program proves college readiness to university admissions officers. However, my greatest hope is that SPAS students will use the AP Capstone experience to prepare themselves to not only survive the intense demands of their higher education studies but to THRIVE in them.

-Dr. Roger L. Russell

In AP Seminar, typically taken in 10th or 11th grade, students choose real-world topics and evaluate them from multiple perspectives. Students identify credibility and bias in sources and develop arguments in support of a recommendation.

In the subsequent AP Research course, students design and execute a college-level research project on a topic of personal interest. Students receive firsthand experience in writing a research question, executing an appropriate method, analyzing data, presenting their results, and defending their findings.

Both AP Capstone™ courses are project-based, and students are required to deliver written arguments, collaborate in teams, and deliver professional multimedia presentations as part of their AP Exams.

“The AP Capstone courses enable students to explore real-world issues in great depth through research and collaboration,” said Rushi Sheth, executive director of the AP Capstone Diploma program. He adds, “This provides terrific opportunities for students to write and present their work effectively, both individually and in teams—the very skills professors and employers are demanding.”

In partnership with the higher education community, College Board developed AP Capstone so students can practice and master skills that serve them well in college and careers.

“We’re excited more schools are offering the AP Capstone Diploma program,” said Kedra Ishop, vice president for enrollment management at the University of Southern California. “We believe the research, collaboration, and presentation skills taught in the two courses will be valuable to students throughout their academic and professional careers.”