AP Human Geography

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About the Course

Explore how humans have understood, used, and changed the surface of Earth. You’ll use the tools and thinking processes of geographers to examine patterns of human population, migration, and land use.

Skills You'll Learn

  • Connecting geographic concepts and processes to real-life scenarios

  • Understanding information shown in maps, tables, charts, graphs, infographics, images, and landscapes

  • Seeing patterns and trends in data and in visual sources such as maps and drawing conclusions from them

  • Understanding spatial relationships using geographic scales

Equivalency and Prerequisites

College Course Equivalent

An introductory college-level course in human geography

Recommended Prerequisites


Exam Date

Tue, May 6, 2025

8 AM Local

AP Human Geography Exam

This is the regularly scheduled date for the AP Human Geography Exam.

About the Units

The course content outlined below is organized into commonly taught units of study that provide one possible sequence for the course. Your teacher may choose to organize the course content differently based on local priorities and preferences.

Course Content

Unit 1: Thinking Geographically

You’ll learn about the tools and methods geographers use in their study of places.

Topics may include:

  • Different types of maps and what they tell you
  • How geographers collect and use data
  • Spatial relationships and patterns
  • Data analysis at different scales (for example, global, national, local)
  • How geographers define regions

On The Exam

8%–10% of multiple-choice score

Unit 2: Population and Migration Patterns and Processes

You’ll explore the patterns associated with human populations.

Topics may include:

  • Population density and how it affects society and the environment
  • Theories of population growth and decline
  • Population and immigration policies and their effects
  • The causes and effects of migration

On The Exam

12%–17% of multiple-choice score

Unit 3: Cultural Patterns and Processes

You’ll focus on how and why language, religion, and other cultural practices spread over space and time.

Topics may include:

  • The different ways that cultural practices spread
  • Historical forces, such as colonialism and trade, that affect cultural patterns
  • Modern forces, such as globalization, that affect cultural patterns
  • Why different religions spread in different ways

On The Exam

12%–17% of multiple-choice score

Unit 4: Political Patterns and Processes

You’ll build on your knowledge of populations and cultural patterns as you learn about the political organization of the world.

Topics may include:

  • Types of political entities such as nations and nation-states
  • The ideas and forces that shaped the political boundaries of the modern world
  • Forms of government such as unitary states and federal states
  • The factors that lead to states breaking apart

On The Exam

12%–17% of multiple-choice score

Unit 5: Agriculture and Rural Land-Use Patterns and Processes

You’ll learn where humans first developed agriculture and how farming practices spread throughout the world.

Topics may include:

  • How physical geography influences farming practices
  • The origins and spread of agriculture
  • The Green Revolution
  • How farming practices affect the environment and society

On The Exam

12%–17% of multiple-choice score

Unit 6: Cities and Urban Land-Use Patterns and Processes

You’ll explore the origins and influences of urbanization, examining cities across the world and the role of those cities in globalization.

Topics may include:

  • The factors that drive the growth of cities and suburbs
  • Globalization and cities
  • City infrastructure
  • Urban design initiatives and practices

On The Exam

12%–17% of multiple-choice score

Unit 7: Industrial and Economic Development Patterns and Processes

You’ll study the origins and influences of industrialization, along with the role industrialization plays in economic development.

Topics may include:

  • The Industrial Revolution
  • Economic sectors and patterns
  • How economic development affects the roles of women
  • Trade and the world economy

On The Exam

12%–17% of multiple-choice score

Credit and Placement

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Course Resources

See Where AP Can Take You

AP Human Geography can lead to a wide range of careers and college majors

Career Areas 71
Majors 20