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AP Capstone

AP Capstone class in session

WMA has been selected by the College Board to include the AP Capstone™ Program as part of its curriculum. The first year will offer AP Seminar, while AP Research in the second year will follow the students’ passion and could fall under any academic discipline. These courses count as English or History & Social Science electives, but do not meet diploma requirements for English or History & Social Science.


Program details

Credits: 6

AP CapstoneTM is an innovative diploma program from the College Board that equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork and communication skills that are increasingly valued by colleges. AP CapstoneTM is built on the foundation of two AP courses — AP Seminar and AP Research — and is designed to complement and enhance the in-depth, discipline-specific study experienced in other AP courses. In AP Seminar, students investigate real-world issues from multiple perspectives, gathering and analyzing information from various sources in order to develop credible and valid evidence-based arguments. In AP Research, students cultivate the skills and discipline necessary to conduct independent research in order to produce and defend a scholarly academic paper. The AP exam in May is mandatory and AP exam fees apply. 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. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research but not on four additional AP Exams will receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate. AP Seminar may also be taken as a stand-alone option. Department approval is required. These courses are taken as open electives and do not fill a graduation requirement.

AP Seminar - Year 1 of 2

Credits: 3

Level: Advanced Placement, Grades 10 and 11. Prerequisite: English or History & Social Sciences Department permission.

AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Students will explore issues of global diplomacy in the way it traditionally appears (government to government) as well as how it is evolving in the current age. Students will research, contemplate, discuss and write about such topics as individual and group self-determination, art as a tool of resistance, the development of the state of Israel and nuclear proliferation. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational literary and philosophical texts. They also listen to and view speeches, broadcasts and personal accounts; and they experience artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in research-based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations – both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments. AP Exam is mandatory.


AP Research - Year 2 of 2

Credits: 3

Level: Advanced Placement, Grade 11 or 12. Prerequisite: AP Seminar and permission of the instructor.

AP Research allows students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem or issue of individual interest. Through this exploration, students design, plan and conduct a yearlong research-based investigation to address a research question. In previous years, students have chosen to research a gamut of topics such as finance, economics, sociology, politics, and the arts. In the AP Research course, students further develop the skills acquired in the AP Seminar course by understanding research methodology; employing ethical research practices; and accessing, analyzing and synthesizing information as they address a research question. Students explore their skill development, document their processes and curate the artifacts of the development of their scholarly work in a portfolio. The course culminates in an academic paper of approximately 4,000–5,000 words (accompanied by a performance or exhibition of product where applicable) and a presentation with an oral defense. Students are encouraged to take this in conjunction with another AP course related to their topic. AP Exam is mandatory.