AP Computer Science Principles

Learn all about the course and exam.

AP Computer Science Principles: Opening Doors for All Students

Computer science is everywhere, from our smartphones and video games to music, medicine, and much more. AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) can help you understand how computing and technology shape the world around you.

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Learn to Build Real-World Solutions with AP CSP

You don’t need an advanced understanding of coding; AP CSP is an introductory-level course meant for all students. A school year studying computer science will help you learn and grow by applying your ideas to create real solutions.

Gain confidence in your problem-solving abilities

Learn skills you can apply to a wide range of fields and interests

Stretch your creativity as you bring your own ideas to life

Work with your classmates to build better programs

Have products you can share to show how much you’ve learned

Explore ways to help your community through technology

The Tools to Succeed

It’s about using the skills you’ll learn to solve real-world problems, often working as a team. A home computer is not needed, and schools are required to provide students with access to computing devices to complete the course.

  • Create apps to track health data and provide real-time suggestions for ways to live healthier

  • Program models and experiments that help answer biology, physics, and sociology questions

  • Design and build robots for use in fields like manufacturing, surgery, research, and transportation

  • Create tools that people can use to collect money for causes they care about

Comparing AP Computer Science Courses

AP Computer Science A isn’t going anywhere. You’ll have the option to take either one or both AP computer science courses. Check out the differences below.

Computer Science A

  • Learn the fundamentals of programming and problem solving using the JAVA language.

  • Develop skills for future study or a career in computer science or other STEM fields.

  • AP score comes from one end-of-year exam with two sections: multiple choice and free response.

Computer Science Principles

  • Learn the basics of computing, like problem solving, programming, cybersecurity, and working with data.

  • Broaden your understanding of computer science for use in a variety of majors and careers.

  • AP score comes from three components: two in-class projects and one end-of-year multiple-choice exam.

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Get Real-World Experience

As an AP CSP student, you will be eligible to apply for internships in the future to see where a career in computer science can take you.

Amazon Future Engineer Internship Program—Seattle, Wash.

College students who’ve taken AP CSP can gain experience working with cutting-edge technologies and tools unique to Amazon, while being partnered closely with a technical mentor and fellow interns to innovate on behalf of Amazon’s customers. Amazon reviews applications in the fall for summer participation.

Apply for summer 2019

Facebook University for Engineering Program—Menlo Park, Calif. or Seattle, Wash.

This paid eight-week training program is designed for rising college freshmen or sophomores to provide mobile development experience to students who are historically underrepresented in computer science, while being paired with a Facebook Engineer mentor. Facebook reviews applications in the fall for summer participation.

Apply for summer 2019

See Where AP Can Take You

AP Computer Science Principles can lead to a wide range of careers and college majors

Career Areas 130
Majors 48

Not a student?

Go to AP Central for resources for educators