AP Capstone

Today’s college and university students are faced with higher standards for research, teamwork, and communications skills. To help prepare students for the rigors of university education, the AP Capstone program was developed.

AP Capstone is built on the foundations of two existing AP courses—AP Seminar and AP Research—and is designed to allow students to choose how to explore their academic interests as they work in four other AP courses.

In AP Seminar, students investigate both scholarly and contemporary issues from multiple perspectives while learning how to gather and evaluate sources in order to develop and enhance their persuasive techniques.

In AP Research, students cultivate the skills and discipline necessary to conduct independent research in order to produce and defend a scholarly academic thesis.

The AP Capstone program aims to empower students by:

  • Engaging them with rigorous college-level curricula focused on the skills necessary for successful college engagement and success;
  • Enhancing their abilities to synthesize information from multiple perspectives and across academic disciplines;
  • Enabling students to collect and verify sources with accuracy and precision;
  • Cultivating their abilities to craft, communicate, and defend evidence-based arguments; and
  • Providing opportunities for them to practice disciplined and scholarly research skills while exploring relevant topics that appeal to their interests and curiosity.

The illustration below provides an overview of the program structure, including thorough course performance assessments and written exams.

  • Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research, and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing will receive the AP Capstone Diploma.
  • Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP® Research but not on four additional AP Exams will receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.
  • Juan Diego students (including freshmen) qualify to enroll in AP courses based on their College Board ACCUPLACER Diagnostic scores in Reading Comprehension and Sentence Skills, and an advanced Lexile (reading level) score. Juan Diego administers the ACCUPLACER Diagnostic exams and Lexile exam to all incoming students as their Educational Assessment Exam. Students take these exams each succeeding year they continue to attend Juan Diego Catholic schools.
  • Students pursuing the Capstone course track typically take AP Art History their freshman year. Sophomore year they take AP World History and AP Seminar, two separate courses joined by a theme of in-depth writing, research, and oral presentations that examine specific issues. They will make two oral presentations—one group and one individual. They also take an essay exam in May. Sophomores frequently take additional AP Courses, such as Biology, Environmental Science, or Psychology. In their junior year, students continue to hone their analytical reading, writing, and presentation skills in Capstone Theology while pursuing additional AP courses. Students round out their Capstone experience with an independent research project culminating in a research paper and an oral defense.

AP courses offered at Juan Diego Catholic High School include:

  • AP Art History
  • AP Biology
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Comparative Government/Politics
  • AP Computer Science A
  • AP English Language and Composition
  • AP English Literature
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP European History
  • AP French
  • AP Government/Politics: U.S.
  • AP Music Theory
  • AP Physics 1
  • AP Physics 2
  • AP Physics C
  • AP Psychology
  • AP Research
  • AP Seminar
  • AP Spanish
  • AP Statistics
  • AP Studio Art: 2-D Design
  • AP U.S. History
  • AP World History