AP Courses

AP Contacts, Kristina Morgan - AP for Curriculum

Advanced Placement

The college application process is more competitive than ever before. Therefore, colleges and universities have prioritized the importance of student course load above standardized test scores and extracurricular activities. Advanced Placement (AP) courses are among the most challenging in the country, with a standardized curriculum and exit examination. If you intend to go to a four year college or university, you need to be prepared to take several AP courses throughout your high school career.

Advanced Placement courses are challenging and time consuming. There is an emphasis on reading for comprehension, writing, and critical thinking. Before enrolling in an AP course, understand it is a substantial commitment you must make. Throughout the curriculum guide, we have set minimum prerequisites for all of our courses, including AP. Even if you meet these prerequisites, you still need to understand that AP courses are challenging in both content and time commitment. With that said, no other courses will prepare you for the rigor of college like AP. Research shows that students who take AP courses in high school are more successful at the college and university level.


Advanced Placement Test (AP)

This test is given at the completion of an advanced placement course in May of each year. Scores range from 1 to 5 and are mailed to the student, high school, and specified colleges. A score of 3 or higher may result in the award of college credit hours by most colleges and universities. Students should inquire at the college they wish to attend about acceptance of Advanced Placement credit.

Taking an AP course not only prepares you for college but depending on your AP score, it can earn you college credits. Students can earn between 3 to 9 college credits depending on the AP exam taken and the number of AP exams taken here at Ida Baker High. Check with the college or university you plan to attend for exact awards.

Students are required to take the AP exam at no cost. Failure to take the scheduled AP exam, however, will result in a
student reimbursing $65 to Ida Baker High School.

Freshmen Courses

Human Geography


1 Credit

Students will develop critical thinking skills through the understanding, application, and analysis of geography, including nature & space, population & migration, culture, political space, economic development, urbanization, agriculture, and industrialization. Students will be introduced to the patterns and processes that shape human understanding, use, and alteration of the Earth’s surface. Students will employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to analyze human social organization and its environmental consequences.

Sophomore Courses

World History


1 Credit

A course designed to develop greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts in interaction with different types of human societies.  This understanding is deepened through a combination of selective factual knowledge and appropriate analytical skills. The course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons of major societies. Students will take an AP test at the end of the year.

Junior Courses

English Language


1 Credit

Written assignments totaling at least 12,000 words are required for successful completion of this college-level course. This course emphasizes use of levels of diction, variety of sentence structure, logical and functional relationships, modes and aims of discourse, various rhetorical strategies in writing, and awareness of audience. The course is fast-paced and requires constant reading and writing.  Students should be consistently good writers and should have mastered the basics of English grammar and composition.

United States History


1 Credit

This is a college-level course designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in United States history. This course is a two-semester survey of U.S. History from the Age of Exploration to our present time that can earn a student up to six college credits. Through in-depth study, students will learn to assess historical materials, their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their reliability and their importance, and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. The course will involve challenging reading and writing assignments and heavy emphasis will be placed on the use of outside primary and secondary sources. The pace of the course is fast and students are expected to have strong reading and writing skills.

Senior Courses

English Literature


1 Credit

Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition is a seminar course designed to develop the student’s abilities as an independent reader and writer.  The course is a college-level class; upon successful completion of course work and a passing score on the AP exam in May, the student may qualify for up to one year’s credit at his/her college. AP English Lit is both demanding and intellectually stimulating. Reading and writing assignments are important features of this course.  Classroom discussion and active participation are vital and serve as a means of testing ideas.  Through various class activities, especially student-conducted seminars, the teacher acts as facilitator, allowing the student to assume responsibility for learning.



0.5 Credit

Prerequisites: Algebra 2

An AP course in Macroeconomics is designed to give you a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. Such a course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price determination, and also develops your familiarity with economic performance measures, economic growth, and international economics. Students will take an AP test at the end of the year.

U.S. Government & Politics


1 Credit

AP U.S. Government & Politics is a college-level course designed to provide students with an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This rigorous course will focus on general concepts and theories pertaining to U.S. government, typical patterns of political processes and behavior, the institutions, groups and beliefs that comprise the American political system, and citizen’s rights and responsibilities in a democratic society.  One of the aspects that separates this AP course from other American government courses is the focus on politics. Students are expected to have strong reading, critical thinking, and writing skills. Students who take AP U.S. Government & Politics will also take Economics (Honors) from the same instructor.  Both Economics and Government are one-semester classes. Economics (Honors) will be completed before the end of the first semester and the study of AP U.S. Government & Politics will begin then and carry on for the remainder of the school year. This will provide students with additional time for study of the government curriculum and a better opportunity to be successful on the AP U.S. Government & Politics exam in May.

Courses that can be taken if prerequisites are met Sophomore/Junior/Senior year:

Art History


1 Credit

Prerequisites: None

This course covers the history of art from prehistoric man to modern art. College credit (humanities) can be earned for those students who earn passing marks on the national AP test. This is not a course to create art, but rather to study the history of art, artistic movements and great works.



1 Credit

Prerequisites: Chemistry Honors

This course is designed to be the equivalent of the biology majors course usually taken during the first year in college.  In depth laboratory work is an important component for successful completion of the course. Students take the AP test in the spring.

Calculus AB/BC


1 Credit

Prerequisites: Pre-Calculus with an A/B

These courses are equivalent to college level courses. Topics include elementary functions, limits, differential calculus, related rates, and integral calculus, all coupled with applications. Graphing calculators are required. Students take the AP test in the spring.

Capstone Research


1 Credit

Prerequisites: Capstone Seminar

AP Research allows students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, or issue of individual interest. Through this exploration, students design, plan, and conduct a year-long research based investigation to address a research question. In the AP Research course, students further their skills acquired in the AP Seminar course by understanding research methodology; employing ethical research practices; and accessing, analyzing, and synthesizing information as they address a research question. Students explore their skill development, document their processes, and curate the artifacts of the development of their scholarly work in a portfolio. The course culminates in an academic paper of 4000–5000 words (accompanied by a performance or exhibition of product where applicable) and a presentation with an oral defense.

Capstone Seminar


1 Credit

Prerequisites: None

Students investigate real-world issues from multiple perspectives. Students learn to synthesize information from different sources, develop their own lines of reasoning in research-based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team.



1 Credit

Prerequisites:  Chemistry Honors

Topics include, but are not limited to, atomic theory, chemical bonding, molecular geometry, gas laws, solutions, stoichiometry, equilibrium, chemical kinetics, and thermodynamics.

Computer Science Principles

0200224 1 Credits

Prerequisites: None

AP Computer Science Principles offers a multidisciplinary approach to teaching the underlying principles of computation. The course will introduce students to the creative aspects of programming, abstractions, algorithms, large data sets, the Internet, cybersecurity concerns, and computing impacts.

Environmental Science


1 Credits

Prerequisites: Chemistry Honors can be taken concurrently

AP Environmental Science combines knowledge of a variety of sciences to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, analyze environmental problems, and examine solutions for resolving them. By the very nature of the topics and their relevance to current events, this course appeals to students who have interest in the environment and nature, science, engineering, social sciences, law, economics, computers, and literature.

European History


1 Credit

Prerequisites: AP World History recommended

This college level survey course focuses on analytical skills and factual knowledge to deal critically with problems, content and materials of European historic development.  Students will take an AP test at the end of the year.

Physics 1


1 Credit

Prerequisites: Physics Honors is recommended but not required. Math Analysis, Pre-Calc, AP Calc, and AP Statistics can be taken concurrently.

The course is designed to provide a systematic introduction to the main principles of classical and modern physics and emphasizes the development of problem-solving ability. The content will include, but not be limited to, Newtonian mechanics, thermal physics, fluid dynamics, electro magnetism, wave and optics, and modern physics. Students take the AP test in the spring.



1 Credit

Prerequisites: None

The purpose of the AP course in psychology is to introduce the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and the mental process of human beings and other animals.  Included is a consideration of the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. Students also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.  Students will take an AP test at the end of the year.



1 Credit

Prerequisites: Algebra 2

This course is designed for motivated, college bound student. The course is equivalent to an introductory college course in statistics. Topics covered involve the study of descriptive and inferential statistics and probability. The course follows the College Board Advanced Placement outline to prepare for the A.P. Statistics exam given near the end of the course. Graphing calculators are used.

Courses Requiring Instructor Approval

Computer Science A


1 Credit

Prerequisites:  Basic Algebra Skills & Instructor Approval 

The course introduces students to computer science with fundamental topics that include problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, organization of data, approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing. The course emphasizes object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design using the Java language. These techniques represent proven approaches for developing solutions that can scale up from small, simple problems to large, complex problems.

Music Theory


1 Credit

Prerequisites:  Instructor Approval

AP Music Theory is an intensive study of the melodic and harmonic structure of music from the 1500’s through the present day including notation, ear training, and sight singing. All students are required to have previous experience in instrumental or vocal music. A background in private piano is also acceptable. At a minimum, students must demonstrate the ability to read music and are expected to sit for the AP Music Theory exam administered in May by the College Board.



1 Credit

Prerequisites:  Instructor approval & completion of Spanish 3 and/or Spanish 4

AP Spanish is a diverse, cultural, and immersive class that teaches students to further their Spanish knowledge and communication abilities. In today’s global community, competence in more than one language is an essential part of communication and cultural understanding.

Studio 2D


1 Credit

Prerequisites:  Drawing I and teacher approval

Students may focus on drawing, painting, and photography skills while focusing on the design aspects of 2D art. AP Art is a studio art class that stresses the creation of different mediums of art with a concentration on individual style and subjects (summer work required).

Studio 3D


1 Credit

Prerequisites: Ceramics I/Ceramics 2 and teacher approval

Students will focus on three dimensional mediums to create a college level portfolio utilizing central design concepts. AP Art is a studio art class that stresses the creation of art with a concentration on individual style and subjects (summer work required).


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