Advanced Placement (AP) Courses

Approved Courses

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) offers a number of online Advanced Placement (AP) courses to students in the state of Maryland through its Maryland Virtual School (MVS) initiative. MCPS has approved the courses listed below for credit within MCPS.

pdf Download handout of the course descriptions on this page.

Google form Pre-registration approval form for online AP courses.

This Google form sends you an e-mail with PDF form attached. Print PDF form; obtain signatures; and then fax, mail, or hand-deliver to Student eLearning office.

FAQs About AP Courses

What do I need to know before I sign up for an online AP course?

  • Students, parents, or school counselors interested in online AP courses should first contact the Student eLearning office for important information specific to each course.
  • Parents should work closely with their students' local schools to determine eligibility.
  • Students are only able to take and earn AP credit from MCPS-approved AP courses and vendors.

Who can take online AP courses?

  • Many AP courses have prerequisites and/or eligibility requirements. Students and parents need to work closely with their local schools to determine eligibility for the AP course.
  • Students take these courses outside of the school day if the course is not available at the local school or the student cannot schedule the school-based course within the school day schedule.

How do I enroll in an online AP course?

  • Course registrations must be completed through the MCPS Student eLearning online AP course enrollment procedure. This procedure includes:
    1. discussing AP eligibility with a guidance counselor,
    2. contacting (phone or e-mail) the Student eLearning office about AP course interest,
    3. obtaining required signatures on provided forms,
    4. submitting completed forms with signatures to the Student eLearning office,
    5. subsequently receiving information (e-mail) on how to enroll in the AP course offered through a particular vendor, and then
    6. enrolling in the course(s) through the vendor and paying the vendor directly.
  • Students may not enroll in an AP course directly through the MVS. Any enrollment directly into an AP course through the MVS's system, even into an MCPS-approved course from an MCPS-approved vendor, without following the MCPS enrollment procedure may result in no credit awarding.

When are online AP courses offered?

  • Online AP courses start and run at various times throughout the year.
  • The amount of time spent on an AP course will vary by student.

What is the cost for an online AP course?

  • AP course tuition varies, but it is generally between $400.00 and $450.00 per half (0.5) credit course, and between $800.00 and $900.00 per full (1.0) credit course.
  • Cost does not include required and optional course materials.

Can I retake an online AP course to replace a grade on my transcript?

  • Students only may replace a course with a course of the same or comparable course code, as authorized by the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs. See MCPS regulation IKC-RA for more details.
    • For example: Online AP Chemistry (3741/3742) will not serve as a replacement for AP (Double Period) Chemistry (3751/3752).

List of AP Courses

MCPS-approved Online AP Courses Available Now

Select the course name for additional details.

Course

AP Art History (MCPS course is 6456/6457 Art History, Advanced Placement, A/B)

Number of credits and course duration: 1 credit (2 semesters)

Grade level: 9–12

Course description: Through studying the evolution of Western and non-European art in contemporary society by examining the major forms of visual expression in world cultures, students prepare for the AP Art History exam. Students analyze architecture, sculpture, painting, and the decorative arts within a historical and cultural context, from ancient art to the present.

AP Biology (MCPS course is 3641/3642 Biology, Advanced Placement, A/B)

Number of credits and course duration: 1 credit (2 semesters)

Grade level: 9–12

Prerequisites: Biology A/B

Corequisite: Chemistry A/B

Course description: Biology AP is for highly motivated students with interest in biology. The course emphasizes laboratory investigations and builds on the concepts covered in Biology. Students prepare to take the AP Biology examination at the end of the course. Topics in Biology AP include chemistry of life, cytology, cellular energetics, genetics, diversity of life, evolution, ecology, and behavior. Dissections may occur in this course. See Alternatives to Dissection at the end of the Science section. This course is NGSS aligned.

AP Calculus AB (MCPS course is 3452/3453 Calculus AB, Advanced Placement, A/B)

Number of credits and course duration: 1 credit (2 semesters)

Grade level: 9–12

Prerequisites: Precalculus A/B

Course description: Calculus AB topics are those traditionally offered in the first year of calculus in college, and are designed for students who wish to obtain a semester of AP in college. The topics studied include limits, continuity, derivatives and integrals of algebraic and transcendental functions and their applications, and elementary differential equations.

AP Calculus BC (MCPS course is 3491/3492 Calculus BC, Advanced Placement, A/B)

Number of credits and course duration: 1 credit (2 semesters)

Grade level: 9–12

Prerequisites: Honors Precalculus A/B

Course description: Calculus BC includes all of the topics in Calculus AB, as well as convergence tests for series, Taylor or Maclaurin series, vector, polar, and parametric functions. Students in BC Calculus may receive two semesters of AP in mathematics.

AP Chemistry (MCPS course is 3741/3742 Chemistry, Advanced Placement, A/B)

Number of credits and course duration: 1 credit (2 semesters)

Grade level: 9–12

Prerequisites: Chemistry A/B and Algebra 2 A/B

Course description: AP Chemistry is for highly motivated students with interests in science, technology, and engineering. This course promotes enduring, conceptual understandings through inquiry-based learning, scientific reasoning, and engaging in science practices. Students are prepared to take the AP Chemistry examination at the end of the course. Topics of study will include properties and changes of matter, reaction kinetics, thermodynamics, and intermolecular interactions. This course is NGSS aligned.

AP Computer Science Java (MCPS course is 2901/2902 Computer Science Java, Advanced Placement, A/B)

Number of credits and course duration: 1 credit (2 semesters)

Grade level: 9–12

Course description: Using the Java language, students explore in-depth work with text files and arrays, abstract data types, recursion, searching and sorting algorithms, and program efficiency. Examination of specified class behaviors, interrelated objects, and object hierarchies are studied. Students may elect to take the A version of the AP computer Science exam upon completion of this course.

AP English Language and Composition (MCPS course is 1015/1016 English Language and Composition, Advanced Placement, A/B)

Number of credits and course duration: 1 credit (2 semesters)

Grade level: 9–12

Prerequisites: English 10 A/B

Course description: This course is designed for motivated students with a command of standard English and a lively interest in the power and versatility of language. Students read complex prose written in a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts and write for a range of purposes to express ideas with clarity and precision. Students are strongly encouraged to take the AP examination at the end of the course.

AP English Literature and Composition (MCPS course is 1017/1018 English Literature and Composition, Advanced Placement, A/B)

Number of credits and course duration: 1 credit (2 semesters)

Grade level: 9–12

Prerequisites: English 11 A/B

Course description: This course is designed for motivated students with a command of standard English and an interest in reading challenging literature, both classical and contemporary and representative of dominant literary genres and themes. Students apply methods of literary analysis and write for a variety of purposes to increase their precision in expression. Students are strongly encouraged to take the AP examination at the end of the course.

AP Environmental Science (MCPS course is 3659/3660 Environmental Science, Advanced Placement A/B (SC))

Number of credits and course duration: 1 credit (2 semesters)

Grade level: 9–12

Prerequisites: Biology A/B

Corequisite: Chemistry A/B

Course description: AP Environmental Science is for highly motivated students with interest in interdisciplinary science. It builds on concepts covered in Environmental Science, with greater detail in content and laboratory investigations. Students are prepared to take the AP Environmental Science examination. Topics include the interrelationships of the natural world and environmental problems, issues, and solutions. This course is NGSS aligned.

AP French Language and Culture (MCPS course is 1635/1636 French Language and Culture, Advanced Placement, A/B)

Number of credits and course duration: 1 credit (2 semesters)

Grade level: 9–12

Course description: These courses are for world languages students interested in college-level work. The courses link language and culture while developing students' proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students read, discuss, and react to a variety of texts orally and in writing in preparation for the AP Examination.

AP Human Geography (MCPS course is 2332/2333 Human Geography, Advanced Placement A/B)

Number of credits and course duration: 1 credit (2 semesters)

Grade level: 9–12

Course description: This college-level course introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth's surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to analyze human social organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice.

AP Macroeconomics (MCPS course is 2315 Economics, Macroeconomics, Advanced Placement)

Number of credits and course duration: 0.5 credit (1 semester)

Grade level: 9–12

Course description: This course is for students interested in college-level work in economics. Study begins with fundamental economic concepts such as scarcity, opportunity costs, production possibilities, specialization, comparative advantage, demand, supply, and price determination. Major topics include measurement of economic performance, national income and price determination, and international economics and growth.

AP Microeconomics (MCPS course is 2316 Economics, Microeconomics, Advanced Placement)

Number of credits and course duration: 0.5 credit (1 semester)

Grade level: 9–12

Course description: This course is for advanced students interested in college-level work in economics and/or gaining advanced standing in college. The course begins with a study of fundamental economic concepts such as scarcity, opportunity costs, production possibilities, specialization, and comparative advantage. Major topics include the nature of functions of product markets; factor markets; and efficiency, equity, and the role of government.

AP Psychology (MCPS course is 2330/2331 Psychology, Advanced Placement A/B )

Number of credits and course duration: 0.5 (1 semester)

Grade level: 9–12

Course description: This college-level course prepares students for the AP exam. Students scientifically study behavior and investigate the psychological domains-methods of research, biopsychology, cognitive processes, lifespan development, and sociocultural dimensions of behavior, thinking and language, states of consciousness, individual differences, personality and assessment, and psychological disorders and their treatment.

AP Spanish Language and Culture (MCPS course is 1759/1760 Spanish Language, Advanced Placement, A/B)

Number of credits and course duration: 1 credit (2 semesters)

Grade level: 9–12

Course description: These courses are for world languages students interested in college-level work. The courses link language and culture while developing student's proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students read, discuss, and react to a variety of texts orally and in writing in preparation for the AP Examination.

AP Statistics (MCPS course is 3320/3321 Statistics, Advanced Placement, A/B)

Number of credits and course duration: 1 credit (2 semesters)

Grade level: 9–12

Prerequisites: Algebra 2 A/B

Course description: AP Statistics students engage in the exploratory analysis of data, using graphical and numerical techniques. Data sets are collected using statistical design methods. Students produce appropriate models using probability, simulation, and statistical inference. Models are used to draw conclusions from data and analyzed by inferential methods to determine whether the data support or discredit the model. This course is equivalent to a non-calculus-based introductory college statistics course.

AP U.S. Government and Politics (MCPS course is 2131 Government, United States Government and Politics, Advanced Placement)

Number of credits and course duration: 0.5 credit (1 semester)

Grade level: 9–12

Course description: This college-level course is a survey of the structure and function of American government and politics that begins with an analysis of the Constitution, the foundation of the American political system. Students study the three branches of government, administrative agencies that support each branch, the role of political behavior in the democratic process, and the workings of political parties and interest groups.

AP U.S. History (MCPS course is 2114/2124 History, United States, Advanced Placement, A/B)

Number of credits and course duration: 1 credit (2 semesters)

Grade level: 9–12

Course description: This course is for students desiring a freshman college-level course in United States history. The course is a survey of this nation's history from 1607 to the present, using a college-level text and requiring college-level writing and discussion. AP U.S. History A/B satisfies the graduation requirement of a year in U.S. History.

AP World History (MCPS course is 2240/2241 History, World, Advanced Placement, A/B)

Number of credits and course duration: 1 credit (2 semesters)

Grade level: 9–12

Course description: This college-level course helps students develop greater understanding of world history and human societies. This understanding is advanced through a combination of selective factual knowledge and appropriate analytical skills. The chronological time frame is from 8000 BCE to the present. AP World History A/B satisfies the graduation requirement of a year in Modern World History.

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