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AP Capstone

Also called a capstone experience, culminating project, or senior exhibition, among many other terms, a capstone project is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students, typically during their final year of high school or middle school, or at the end of an academic program or learning-pathway experience. While similar in some ways to a college thesis, capstone projects may take a wide variety of forms, but most are long-term investigative projects that culminate in a final product, presentation, or performance. For example, students may be asked to select a topic, profession, or social problem that interests them, conduct research on the subject, maintain a portfolio of findings or results, create a final product demonstrating their learning acquisition or conclusions (a paper, short film, or multimedia presentation, for example), and give an oral presentation on the project to a panel of teachers, experts, and community members who collectively evaluate its quality.

Capstone projects are generally designed to encourage students to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills such as oral communication, public speaking, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, or goal setting—i.e., skills that will help prepare them for college, modern careers, and adult life. In most cases, the projects are also interdisciplinary, in the sense that they require students to apply skills or investigate issues across many different subject areas or domains of knowledge. Capstone projects also tend to encourage students to connect their projects to community issues or problems, and to integrate outside-of-school learning experiences, including activities such as interviews, scientific observations, or internships.

The AP Capstone program was developed following feedback form higher education organizations requesting that high school students develop stronger backgrounds in independent research, collaborative teamwork, and 21st century knowledge and skills now essential for success on college campuses and in today’s global marketplace.  Earning the AP Capstone credential will give you a new way to stand out in your college applications, and you’ll move on to college with a stronger foundation in independent research, presentation, collaborate teamwork, and the knowledge and skills essential for success in college and beyond.

Students typically take AP Seminar in the 10th or 11th grade, followed by AP research. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP exams of their choosing will receive the AP Capstone Diploma™. This signifies their outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and research skills. Alternatively, students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research will receive the AP Seminar and AP Research certificate™ signifying their attainment of college-level academic and research skills.

AP Capstone Curriculum

AP Seminar students’ question, investigate, pose solutions, develop arguments, collaborate, and communicate on “real-world issues”. They develop and strengthen analytic inquiry skills and consider issues from multiple perspectives to evaluate the strength of an argument and make logical fact-based decisions.

AP Research students refine the skills developed in AP Seminar through the understanding of research methodology, ethical research practices, and the analysis and synthesis of information to build, present, and defend an argument. Students design, plan, and conduct a year-long, research-based investigation on a topic of their choice. Through inquiry and investigation, students demonstrate the ability to apply innovative understanding to “real-world issues”.

AP Capstone Exam

AP Capstone - Eligibility and Enrollment Requirements

  • A minimum of 2.5 Grade Point Average in each core academic subject area (e.g. language arts, mathematics, science, social studies) for the previous year and the first grading period of the current year combined.

  • A minimum of 2.0 Grade Point Average in conduct for the core academic subject areas (e.g. language arts, mathematics, science, social studies) for the previous year and the first grading period of the current year combined.

  • All effort grades in core academic classes must be a “2” or higher for the previous year and the first grading period of the current year combined.

  • No more than 10 unexcused absences for the previous year and 5 unexcused absences for the first semester of the current year.

  • May require that Physical Science Honors and Algebra I Honors be completed and received credit before the applying school year begins. Proof of course enrollment or completion must be submitted by January 15th.

  • No teacher recommendation will be required.

AP Capstone Curriculum

Need help with the capstone research paper?

It's great fun to "Surf the Web" but to seriously search the Web, you need certain skills. Imagine yourself in a gigantic library where there is no card catalog, the books have no covers nor tittle pages, and they aren't shelved in any particular order. You need to find one special bit of information. How could you hope to find it in such library? the internet is much like that. Its is a hodge-podge of information thrown together with very little planning or structure and no quality control.

Two basic ways to search the Web are with search engines and subject directories. When you are using one, you are not using the Internet "live," as it exists at this moment. You are searching a database that was compiled some time earlier--sometimes several weeks or months earlier--so don't assume you always will find up-to-date information. The search engine gets its information from a software robot (called a spider or crawler) that automatically visits, and revisits Websites and catalogues their contents. The Directory-based search engine gets its information from submissions. 

Listed bellow are some samples of the many search engines that are available on the World Wide Web.

Resources on APA Formatting


Please use APA formatting throughout the entire document.

Listed below are some resources on APA formatting:

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