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According to the College Board, AP Capstone™ ​is built on the foundation of AP Seminar and AP Research, taken in sequence over a two-year period, which offer students the chance to build critical-thinking, collaboration, and independent research skills that are valued by colleges and employers. AP Capstone is designed to complement and enhance the in-depth, discipline-specific study and rigor of AP courses.

Students being taking AP Seminar where they undertake a team project and presentation and then complete an individual research-based essay and presentation. The exam for AP Seminar is based on these components.​ AP Seminar Course and Exam Description.

When students take AP Research, they undertake year-long research into a topic of their choosing. They submit an academic paper (5,000 words) and presentation and later participate in an oral defense of their findings. Through this investigation, students demonstrate the ability to apply scholarly understanding to real-world problems and issues. All of those three components are used as assessments. AP Research Course and Exam Description.

According to the College Board, the two prerequisite AP Capstone courses complement the rigor of AP courses. They challenge students to:  

  • Think critically and creatively to construct meaning or gain understanding
  • Plan and conduct a study or investigation
  • Propose solutions to real-world problems
  • Plan and produce communication in various forms
  • Collaborate to solve a problem
  • Integrate, synthesize, and make cross-curricular connections
  • Master the argument-based writing skills



The AP Capstone Diploma or AP Capstone Certificate    

Students successfully completing the AP Seminar, AP Research, and four or more AP classes and exams (with scores of 3 or higher) will receive the AP Capstone Diploma. Those students who earn scores of 3 or higher in both of the AP Capstone courses but not on the four additional AP Exams will receive the AP Capstone Certificate.

Colegio Maya Capstone

Students who do not take AP Research and Seminar will follow the Colegio Maya Capstone which follows a similar structure to the AP seminar course with a group investigation, project, and presentation followed by an individual area of research based on their interests, a local or global real-world issue or concepts from other AP courses.  

Sample Topics or Themes:

  • Education
  • Innovation
  • Sustainability
  • Technology
  • Revolution