AP Capstone™ at WMA

In 2015, WMA was selected by the College Board to include the AP Capstone™ Program as part of its curriculum. The first year will offer AP Seminar, which is part of the English Department, while AP Research in the second year will follow the students’ passion and could fall under any academic discipline.


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. AP exam fees apply to these courses.

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.

AP Seminar - Year 1 of 2

Credits: 3

Level: Advanced Placement, grades 10, 11, 12, may be taken for English credit or CEGS credit

Overview: 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 and contemplate such topics as public diplomacy (the way governments influence populations of other countries), digital diplomacy, and the role of NGOs (e.g. Red Cross, Doctors without Borders) and private and supranational diplomatic organizations (e.g. the United Nations, the European Union) through the lens of existing hotspots around the world today. 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.

Prerequisite: departmental permission

AP Research - Year 2 of 2

Credits: 3

Level: Advanced Placement, grade 11 or 12. Course may be taken for English credit or department credit can be assigned to align with research subject area, pending permission from department chair and Dean of Studies. Students are encouraged to take this in conjunction with another AP course related to their topic.

Overview: 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 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 4000–5000 words (accompanied by a performance or exhibition of product where applicable) and a presentation with an oral defense.

Prerequisite: AP Seminar and permission