AP Capstone Program

NEWS FLASH: Effective 2019-2020, Springstead High School will be offering the AP Capstone Diploma Program!

This is non-magnet program that will offer students the opportunity to work towards earning a Capstone Certificate or Diploma, with an emphasis on college readiness. The core feature of the Capstone Program is the Seminar and Research classes- 2 classes that will provide students with strong foundations in problem solving, collaborative learning, analytical thinking, oral presentation, and academic based research and writing. Students in grades 9-12 are eligible, however, students who are grade 12 as of 2019-2020 will only be eligible for the Capstone Certificate. Interested students should see Mr. Imhof in room 117 to begin the application/tracking process. Links to the SHS AP Capstone student application and the AP Capstone student brochure are below.

AP Capstone Student Application

AP Capstone Student Brochure

The following information is from the College Board's AP Capstone Diploma Program website:  AP Capstone Program link

AP Capstone™ is a diploma program from the College Board. It’s based on two yearlong AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research.

Rather than teaching subject-specific content, these courses develop students’ skills in research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, writing, and presenting. Students who complete the two-year program can earn one of two different AP Capstone awards, which are valued by colleges across the United States and around the world.

Students can earn the AP Capstone Diploma™ or the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.

Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing 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 receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.

Capstone diploma to Certificate graphic

Program Details

Students typically take AP Seminar in grade 10 or 11, followed by AP Research. Each course is yearlong, and AP Seminar is a prerequisite for AP Research.

In both courses, students investigate a variety of topics in multiple disciplines. Students may choose to explore topics related to other AP courses they’re taking.

Both courses guide students through completing a research project, writing an academic paper, and making a presentation on their project.

Over the course of the two-year program, students are required to:

  • Analyze topics through multiple lenses 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.


AP Capstone gives students the following pedagogical foundation, called the QUEST framework, to develop, practice, and hone their critical and creative thinking skills as they make connections between various issues and their own lives:

  • Question and Explore
    Questioning begins with an initial exploration of complex topics or issues. Perspectives and questions emerge that spark one’s curiosity, leading to an investigation that challenges and expands the boundaries of one's current knowledge.
  • Understand and Analyze Arguments
    Understanding various perspectives requires contextualizing arguments and evaluating the authors’ claims and lines of reasoning.
  • Evaluate Multiple Perspectives
    Evaluating an issue involves considering and evaluating multiple perspectives, both individually and in comparison to one another.
  • Synthesize Ideas 
    Synthesizing others’ ideas with one’s own may lead to new understandings and is the foundation of a well-reasoned argument that conveys one’s perspective.
  • Team, Transform, and Transmit
    Teaming allows one to combine personal strengths and talents with those of others to reach a common goal. Transformation and growth occur upon thoughtful reflection. Transmitting requires the adaptation of one’s message based on audience and context.
Capstone Quest flyer

The Benefits of AP Capstone

Participating in AP Capstone can help students:

  • Stand out to colleges in the application process.
  • Develop key academic skills they’ll use in college and beyond.
  • Become self-confident, independent thinkers and problem solvers.
  • Earn college credit: Many colleges offer credit for qualifying scores.

Offering the AP Capstone program gives school leaders and teachers:

  • Academic distinction, as the program is widely recognized for its skills focus and innovation.
  • Flexible student-centered curricula with room for creativity and student input.
  • Access to a weeklong, collaborative training event.