Advanced Placement (AP)


The term advanced placement refers to college-level coursework that students may take while in secondary school.  If the student scores well on their Advanced Placement (AP) examination, they may receive college credits.


Created and administered by College Board, high school students may take college level courses which can eventually lead to college credits.  To have the AP designation, the high school's course must be audited, and approved, by College Board to ensure it meets their curriculum standards.  Once approved, the course is publically listed on what is called the AP Course Ledger.  Listed below are examples of AP coursework:

  • Arts:   includes art history, music theory, studio art, and drawing.
  • English:  includes language, literature, and composition.
  • History and Social Studies:  includes government and politics, European history, geography, micro and macroeconomics, psychology, United States history, and world history.
  • Language and Culture:  includes Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish.
  • Mathematics and Computer Science:  includes calculus, computer science, and statistics.
  • Science:  includes biology, chemistry, environmental science, electricity and magnetism, physics, and mechanics.

Students wishing to obtain college credits need to take an Advanced Placement Examination.  If the student's examination score is sufficiently high, they may be granted college credits.

Note:  All high school students are permitted to take the Advanced Placement Examination, even if their coursework did not include courses with the AP designation.

Related Terms

entrance counseling, adult education program, apprenticeship, Career and Technical Education, College-Level Examination Program, concurrent enrollment, deferred admission