What is AP Capstone?

AP CapstoneTM is a College Board program that equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork, and communication skills that are increasingly valued by colleges.  It cultivates curious, independent, and collaborative scholars and prepares them to make logical, evidence-based decisions.

AP Capstone is comprised of two AP courses – AP Seminar and AP Research – and is designed to complement and enhance the discipline-specific study in other AP courses.  Participating schools can use the AP Capstone program to provide unique research opportunities for current AP students, or to expand access to AP by encouraging students to master the argument-based writing skills that the AP Capstone program develops.

AP Seminar includes

  • Team Project & Presentation
  • Individual Essay & Presentation
  • End-of-Course Exam

AP Research includes

  • Academic Paper
  • Presentation & Oral Defense

In order to receive an AP Capstone Diploma, students must take both AP Seminar and AP Research, and also four additional AP courses. They must score 3 or higher on the AP test for ALL of the classes.

AP courses available at for each grade level at Palo Alto High School:

9th grade

  • AP Computer Science Principles

10th grade

  • AP Art History
  • AP Chinese Language & Culture
  • AP Computer Science
  • AP Computer Science Principles
  • AP French Language & Culture
  • AP Japanese Language & Culture
  • AP Seminar
  • AP Spanish Language & Culture
  • AP Spanish Literature

11th grade

  • AP Art History
  • AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Chinese Language & Culture
  • AP Computer Science
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP French Language & Culture
  • AP Japanese Language & Culture
  • AP Music Theory
  • AP Physics C
  • AP Research
  • AP Seminar
  • AP Spanish Language & Culture
  • AP Spanish Literature
  • AP Statistics
  • AP Studio Art: 2D Drawing
  • AP Studio Art: 2D Design
  • AP Studio Art: 3D Design
  • AP United States History​​​​​​​

12th grade

  • AP Art History
  • AP Biology
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Chinese Language & Culture
  • AP Computer Science
  • AP English Literature & Composition
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP French Language & Culture
  • AP Japanese Language & Culture
  • AP Macro Economics
  • AP Music Theory
  • AP Physics C
  • AP Psychology
  • AP Research
  • AP Spanish Language & Culture
  • AP Spanish Literature
  • AP Statistics
  • AP Studio Art: 2D Drawing
  • AP Studio Art: 2D Design
  • AP Studio Art: 3D Design

If you have questions or need information: Deanna Chute, Innovative Programming TOSA and Paly AAR Liaison
dchute@pausd.org​​​​​​​