Choosing Your AP Courses

There are 38 AP courses in disciplines such as the arts, English, history and social science, math and computer science, the sciences, and world languages and culture. You should choose an AP course based on what subjects you’re passionate about as well as what classes you do well in.

Keep in Mind

AP is for all students–but you should be ready.

You don’t need to be top of your class to be an AP student, but you’ll want to be prepared for the AP course you choose. Some AP classes have recommended courses you should take first, and all AP courses ask that you come willing to do your best work.

Check which courses could earn you college credit.

You can use our tool to find colleges' AP credit policies. Search by course or by institution to see the college credit or advanced placement you could earn with qualifying AP Exam scores.

Explore all AP courses by discipline.

Go to the course index to explore all 38 AP courses at a glance and in depth.

FAQs

Some AP classes have recommended courses you should take first—check the specific course page for that information. Your high school may also have requirements for specific AP courses. Talk to your school counselor or a teacher to find out more.

AP classes can be challenging, but that doesn’t mean you’re not up to the task. If you’re willing to work hard and if you’re prepared academically, you should be able to succeed in an AP course. 

And remember, students benefit from taking AP courses and exams, no matter their score.

The AP Program believes that all motivated and academically prepared students should be able to enroll in AP courses. We strongly encourage all high schools to follow this principle.

Some high schools let any student enroll in an AP course as long as the student has taken the recommended prerequisite courses. Other high schools have additional rules—for example, you might have to pass a placement test to enroll in an AP course. Ask your counselor what the process is at your school.

Any course that a school labels “AP” must receive authorization through a process called the AP Course Audit, which confirms teacher and school awareness of course scope through the curricular and resource requirements. 

All authorized courses are included in the AP Course Ledger—the official list of all AP courses—so colleges and universities can verify what they see on student transcripts. 

In cases where AP Course Audit curricular and/or resource requirements of authorized courses are not fulfilled by a school, parents, students, and educators can report such omissions by completing the AP Course Investigation form. 

There's no specific number of AP courses that's right for all students. Every student is unique. Talk to your teachers and school counselor to help decide if you are ready to take AP courses and how many to take.  

No. Any student who is academically ready for a challenge and is willing to put in the work should consider taking AP. Your teachers or school counselor can help you decide if AP is right for you.

Yes, as long as you are prepared to complete college-level work. Read more about prerequisites and other rules. AP Human Geography is a popular AP course for 9th grade, and AP Seminar, AP Computer Science Principles, AP European History, and AP World History are popular for 10th.

There's no specific number of AP courses that's right for all students. Every student is unique. Talk to your teachers and school counselor to help decide if you are ready to take AP courses and find the right balance of courses.

AP courses are reviewed and approved by college faculty to make sure that every student who takes AP is being asked to do college-level work, no matter where they take it. AP Exams are a standard way to measure how well students have mastered the subject matter. Honors classes don’t necessarily prepare students for AP Exams, and there is no way to earn college credit simply by taking an honors class. 

AP courses are reviewed and approved by college faculty to make sure that every student who takes AP is being asked to do college-level work, no matter where they take it. AP Exams are a standard way to measure how well students have mastered the subject matter. Dual enrollment programs don't offer a standard way to measure whether students have mastered college-level work. Because of this, it's difficult for college admission officers to know the quality or difficulty level of any dual enrollment course. 

Not a student?

Go to AP Central for resources for educators