Advanced Placement

Get a head start on college with AP courses

Developed by the College Board, the Advanced Placement (AP) program offers high school students college-level courses and exams, which result in students having the opportunity to get a head start on earning college credits. Students who take AP courses and achieve a qualifying score open the door to several benefits on their postsecondary success journey. By earning college credit while in high school, students save significantly on college tuition, avoid required introductory courses and advance to upper-level courses, which places them on a faster track toward degree completion.

Two students write on the board during class.

According to College Board, 85% of selective colleges and universities report that a student’s AP experience favorably impacts admission decisions.

AP is a global credential that is recognized in Universities Worldwide.

What are the benefits of AP courses?

There are many reasons why you should consider AP. With AP, you get to:

  • Explore your interests: AP courses provide an immersive experience for DPS students, as they’re able to dive into their favorite subjects with relevant, hands-on coursework.
  • Challenge yourself: Students learn what the increased rigor of college will be like in the challenging environment of an AP class — giving them the opportunity to push themselves while learning study skills and building confidence.
  • Save time and money: With AP, you can skip introductory classes in college, which not only saves you on tuition but puts you on a faster track toward degree completion.
  • Stand out in college admissions: Students who have AP courses on their transcripts stand out to college admissions offices, as it is indicates an ability to handle the rigors of a postsecondary curriculum with experience learning time management habits, study skills and how to handle challenging issues.

In alignment with College Board and DPS Equitable Grading Practices, students who pass an AP class receive weighted transcript credit regardless of their participation in AP testing.

What subject areas are offered?

In DPS, AP courses are offered across several subject areas to appeal to students’ interests, including Human Geography, History, Biology, Environmental Science, Studio Art, World Languages, U.S. Government, Government Politics and most recently, Computer Science Principles. For more information on course availability at your school, talk to your school counselor.

How do you earn college credit for AP courses?

Students may receive college credit by taking the AP exam in May and getting a qualifying score of 3, 4 or 5. Use this link to see what exam scores the college you are interested in will accept. Upon graduation, all DPS students will receive a college credit report card that can be used to support their transfer of credits to higher education institutions.

Does it cost anything?

There are fees associated with taking an AP exam and submitting an AP portfolio; however, fees may be waived for students who demonstrate financial need.

3,162 DPS students are on a faster track toward college degree completion through free AP classes.

DPS listed on National AP Honor Roll through College Board

District Noted For Gains in Access and Performance Levels, Particularly for Students of Color

Learn more about this exciting National AP Honor Roll recognition. »

Follow these links to learn more.

Advanced Placement Program® (AP): STUDENTS  |  PARENTS 

AP Capstone Diploma Program: STUDENTS  |  PARENTS

Pre-AP Program: STUDENTS