• AP Capstone Diploma

    What is the AP Capstone program?

    Created in response to the request of higher education officials, AP Capstone teaches students the vital research and presentation skills needed for postsecondary success. A diploma program, Capstone consists of two year-long classes: AP Seminar and AP Research. AP Seminar prepares students to work collaboratively and independently to research college-level topics and present their findings. Students who complete an AP Seminar course are eligible to take AP Research. In AP Research, students choose an area of focus, conduct a college-level research study, and communicate their results via an academic paper and formal presentation (“How Capstone Works”). 

    Kempner began offering Capstone classes in the 2022-23 school year.  

    Who can participate in the Capstone program?
    AP Seminar is open to sophomore, junior, and senior students. AP Research is open to any student who has completed AP Seminar.

    How can you earn AP Scholar awards?
    Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on both AP Seminar and AP Research receive the AP Seminar and Research certificate. Students who receive the certificate and score a 3 or higher on four or more additional AP exams earn the AP Capstone diploma. Both the certificate and diploma are reported to colleges and universities as AP Scholar awards and appear on the AP Roster Report (“How Capstone Works”).

    Kempner had its first group of AP Scholars in 2024. To learn more about these talented students, please visit the 2024 AP Scholars page.

    What are the benefits of taking Capstone classes?
    Both classes benefit students already taking AP classes while still in high school and later in college. According to a 2020 study, Capstone students earn higher scores on their concurrent and subsequent AP exams, particularly in English, history, and politics (Jagesic, et al). In college, Jagesic and her team also found that Capstone students were more likely to conduct academic research, obtain internships, and participate in honors programs than comparable AP students who did not take the courses.  

    Sources: “How AP Capstone Works,” AP Central, College Board; Jagesic, et al. “AP Capstone Participation, High School Learning, and College Outcomes: Early Evidence.” 2020, College Board publication.