AP Computer Science Principles

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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 of the AP computer science courses or both. 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-course exam with two sections: multiple choice and free response.

Computer Science Principles

  • Learn how computing impacts their world and computing basics 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 two components: one in-class Create performance task and one end-of-course multiple-choice exam.

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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

Inspiration and Opportunities

Explore organizations and programs designed to help all students in their computer science journey.

Not a student?

Go to AP Central for resources for educators