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