College Board’s Advanced Placement® Program (AP®) enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies—with the opportunity to earn college credit, Advanced Placement®, or both—while still in high school. Through AP® courses that culminate in a challenging exam, students learn to think critically, construct solid arguments, and see many sides of an issue—skills that prepare them for college and beyond.
About AP® US History
Why should I study history? History’s in the past, so it doesn’t change, right? What does history have to do with us today? If you find yourself asking these questions, you are not alone! In this course, we will journey together to (re)discover American history and how studying history is more than memorizing dates and events—but an exploration of people, ideas, innovations, social movements, and so much more. Through history, we learn more about what it means to be human in all its triumphs and shortcomings. Through history, we learn about how ideas take root and grow into movements. Through history, we uncover principles of the past that guide us in the present and propel us into the future.
Dr. Justine S. Morrison notes that “European colonists did not consider themselves “Americans” until the late eighteenth century,” so what makes “American history” uniquely “American”? What even is an “American”? Arguably, the history of the United States began prior to Columbus sailing the ocean blue, but for the nature of this class, AP® U.S. History will investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes from approximately 1491 to the present. We will develop and use the same skills and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources; developing historical arguments; making historical connections; and utilizing reasoning about comparison, causation, and continuity and change. The course also provides eight connecting themes to explore among historical developments in different times and places: American and national identity; work, exchange, and technology; geography and the environment; migration and settlement; politics and power; America in the world; American and regional culture; and social structures.
College Course Equivalent: AP® U.S. History is equivalent to a two-semester introductory college course in U.S. history.
Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for AP® U.S. History. Students should be able to read a college-level textbook and write grammatically correct, complete sentences.
*This Course Description comes from the work of College Board, including its “AP® U.S. History Course and Exam Description” resources. For more information on AP® U.S. History historical themes and thinking skills, please visit: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/courses/ap-united-states-history/course