AP Capstone Diploma

Boy makes a point in an AP class at SMUS
SMUS was one of the first schools in Canada to offer AP Capstone

The AP Capstone Diploma is a two-year program that you take alongside the BC curriculum.

Why take AP Capstone?

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers university-level courses you take while you’re still at high school. Participation in Advanced Placement is a strong signal to top universities of your ability as a student and many universities and colleges will give you first-year course credit for your AP courses.

The AP Capstone Diploma takes university preparation to the next level. In the Capstone program, you’re not just learning content but developing university-level skills. If you take AP Capstone, you’ll be better prepared for university and you’ll be distinguishing yourself on your university application. Watch the video to find out what top US universities think of AP Capstone (spoiler: they like it a lot!)

But it's not all about university prep. AP Capstone is your chance to challenge yourself by researching a topic of your own choice. AP Capstone gives you the time, resources and support from your teachers to dig into subjects you're passionate about.

Download the AP Capstone Program Brochure

My experience with AP Capstone has given me a broad set of skills that are very applicable to other courses and life. I have found that my essay skills have really benefited from the analysis we do in AP Seminar on arguments and comparing articles. It’s also improved my general understanding of the world. I am now more critical of media, especially advertisements.
Ben, Saanich BC
AP Capstone has changed the way in which I approach a topic. Looking through multiple perspectives and lenses has helped me become a more aware, conscientious thinker. My favourite part of the course is the class discussion, which never fails to amaze and inspire me through the interesting and relevant topics we study. I highly recommend it to any students considering it for next year.
Sara, Victoria BC

Structure

The AP Capstone program is typically taken during your last two years of high school.

You'll take two new AP courses: AP Seminar in Grade 11 and AP Research in Grade 12. You'll also need to take four other AP courses to be awarded the full diploma.

  • AP Seminar

    An important skill is the ability to examine different sides of a complex topic. At university much of this process happens in a seminar format where groups of students, led by a professor, discuss the topic at hand. The AP Seminar introduces this to you.

    The type of topics you will discuss may be academic but they may also relate to current affairs like safety and privacy, genetic engineering and the influence of video games.

    AP Seminar will train you to consider other points of view and use solid research to back-up your argument. You'll work in teams and individually, and present your thoughts to the group.

    Download the AP Seminar Course Overview

  • AP Research

    Have you ever come across a topic in your studies that really captured your interest? AP Research is your chance to study that topic in greater depth, just like you were writing a thesis at university.

    With the guidance of your teacher, you'll select a topic, conduct your own research and submit a final paper. You'll also be asked to orally defend your paper. Again this mirrors the type of learning you'll do at university.

    Download the AP Research Course Overview

  • Four Other AP Courses

    To be eligible for the full diploma, you'll need to study four other AP courses during your time at SMUS. We offer 27 AP courses, so you'll have plenty of choice and opportunity.

Awards

AP courses are assessed on a scale of 1-5. You'll need to score 3 or more on AP Seminar and AP Research to be awarded the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

If you also score 3 or more on four other AP courses (a total of 6 AP courses), you'll receive the AP Capstone Diploma.