You are here

Graduation Guidelines - Advanced Placement

The following information comes from the AP website and from the Colorado Department of Education website.

book Advanced Placement (AP)

The AP, or Advanced Placement, Program currently offers 38 courses across multiple subject areas. Each course is developed by a committee composed of college faculty and AP teachers, and covers the breadth of information, skills, and assignments found in the corresponding college course. AP courses are taught by highly qualified high school teachers.

The AP Examinations are administered each year in May and represent the culmination of college-level work in a given discipline in a secondary school setting. Rigorously developed by committees of college and AP high school faculty, the AP Exams test students' ability to perform at a college level. Students have the choice of taking the AP Exam or opting out. 

Colorado districts choose which AP exams will fulfill the graduation guidelines option.

AP currently offers courses in multiple subject areas that include Capstone Research and Seminar, English, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, economics, psychology, U.S. and world history, government and politics, world languages, studio art, and music.


magnifying glass Why This Option

In Colorado students took more than 81,000 AP exams in May 2020, and 85% scored a 2 or higher. The program is accessible to many students, and the number of students taking AP exams is growing.

Some colleges, including all state institutions in Colorado pursuant to Colorado Commission on Higher Education policy, offer credit based on a student's Advanced Placement exam score.  

lightbulb Implementation Strategies

Districts and LEPs choose which AP exams fulfill the Graduation Guidelines competencies

Districts also have the authority to accommodate for English Learners - based on district policy - by accepting AP exam scores in World Languages for competency in Reading, Writing, and Communicating.

Research best practices and resources:

If your district or high school does not offer AP classes,


ruler Cost

There is a cost for each AP exam.  Districts can apply for all or a portion of the exam fees for eligible students through the Accelerated College Opportunity Exam Fee Grant Program.

checklist More Information