Course Summary
Credit Type:
Pilot schools (2022- 2024); Nationally/Internationally thererafter
2 hrs. 50 min.
Dates Offered:
Credit Recommendation & Competencies
Level Credits (SH) Subject
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 African American Studies
Examinees must score a 3 or higher.


The non-profit Advanced Placement (AP) Program is funding the convening of college faculty and experienced high school educators to develop a new, year-long AP course in African American Studies. The course focuses on four thematic units that move across the instructional year chronologically, providing students opportunities to delve into key topics that extend from the medieval kingdoms of West Africa to the ongoing challenges and achievements of the contemporary moment. Given the multidisciplinary character of African American Studies, students in the course will develop skills across multiple disciplines, with an emphasis on developing historical, literary, visual, and data analysis skills. The new course will also foreground a study of the diversity of Black communities in the United States within the broader context of Africa and the African Diaspora. Students will receive an AP score for college credit, following their completion of an externally-scored project and an end-of-year exam, both of which will be developed and scored by college faculty. If colleges confirm their credit policies for the students who will be succeeding on this AP exam, the AP African American Studies course will be offered in high schools from fall 2024.

Skills Measured:

As a result of this course, students will be able to:
1. Apply lenses from multiple disciplines to evaluate key concepts, historical developments, and processes that have shaped Black experiences and debates within the field of African American Studies.
2. Identify the intersections of race, gender, and class, as well as connections between Black communities in the United States and the broader African Diaspora in the past and present.
3. Analyze perspectives in text-based, data, and visual sources to develop well-supported arguments applied to real-world problems.
4. Demonstrate the understanding of the diversity, strength, and complexity of medieval African societies and their global connections before emergence of transatlantic slavery.
5. Evaluate the political, historical, aesthetic, and transnational contexts of major social movements, including their past, present, and future implications.
6. Develop a capacious understanding of the many strategies African American communities have employed to represent themselves authentically, promote advancement, and combat the effects of inequality and systemic marginalization locally and abroad.
7. Identify major themes that inform literary and artistic traditions of the African Diaspora.
8. Describe the formalization of African American Studies and new directions in the field as part of ongoing efforts to articulate Black experiences and perspectives and create a more just and inclusive future.
Instruction & Assessment
Supplemental Materials

Other offerings from College Board Advanced Placement® (AP®) Examinations