Qualifying for an AP Capstone™ Award

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If your school offers the AP Capstone program, you can earn either the AP Capstone Diploma™ or the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.

AP Capstone Awards are listed on AP score reports, and students who earn the diploma or certificate can view and print it from their online account. Awards are also included on any AP score report sent to colleges. Here are the requirements to earn an AP Capstone award:

  • The AP Capstone Diploma is granted to students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on 4 additional AP Exams of their choosing.
  • The AP Seminar and Research Certificate is granted to students who earn scores of 3 or higher in both AP Seminar and AP Research.

This diagram illustrates the requirements of each award.

Diagram illustrating requirements to earn the AP Capstone Diploma and the AP Seminar and Research Certificate


Just send colleges your official AP score report. Awards are listed on any AP score report that is sent to colleges after the award has been granted.

If you’ve earned one or more AP Scholar award or AP Capstone award this year, they will be listed on your score report starting in late July. You will receive an awards notification by email. AP with WE Service Recognitions will be awarded later this summer. The AP + PLTW Achievement was awarded to students for the last time in February 2021, recognizing students who earned qualifying scores as of June 30, 2020.

AP Capstone™ is a College Board program that equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork, and communication skills that are increasingly valued by colleges. AP Capstone comprises two AP courses—AP Seminar and AP Research—and is designed to complement and enhance the discipline-specific study in other AP courses.

Learn more about the AP Capstone Diploma Program.

AP Seminar and AP Research are both yearlong courses that employ assessments throughout the course. For AP Seminar, you’ll complete a team project and presentation and an individual research-based essay and presentation with an oral defense, as well as taking a written end-of-course exam. These components contribute to the overall AP Seminar score.

For AP Research, you’ll complete a 4,000- to 5,000-word academic paper and a presentation with an oral defense. There is no end-of-course exam. For details on assessment, go to the AP Seminar course page and the AP Research course page.

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