AP Courses

The Advanced Placement (AP) Program is a cooperative educational endeavor between high schools and colleges, and is based on the principle that many students are capable of completing college level studies in secondary school. The majority of US high schools participate in the AP program, and more than a thousand colleges grant advanced standing and/or credits to students presenting satisfactory examination grades. The Advanced Placement Courses offered at Ashland High School and their course descriptions are listed below.  Feel free to speak to the AP teacher and/or your guidance counselor to help decide if a certain course is right for you.

How to Enroll

Students interested in AP classes should:

    1. Earn a minimum grade of 85 the year before in the same discipline as the desired AP class.

    2. Sign up for an AP class during course registration. 


Taking AP Exams

Students interested in taking the Advanced Placement Exam should:

    1. Pay for the exam on time, and take it on its scheduled date in May.

    2. Students will receive their test results in July. Scores will also be sent to Ashland High School and any colleges designated by the student.

See also Understanding Standardized Test Scores for additional information on the AP exams and how colleges grant credit.


Current AP Courses Offered at AHS: 

0334 AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION Advanced Placement 1 credit

Advanced Placement Language and Composition is a college-level course that will prepare students to take the Advanced Placement Language and Composition Test. Students will be asked to write in a variety of forms: narrative, expository, analytical, and argumentative. Because this course is designed for the junior year, the literary focus will be on American Literature. This course fulfills both the American Literature and half year writing requirement. AP 11 students are still required to earn an extra .5 credit in English. (Open to Grade 11)

0440 AP ENGLISH LITERATURE & COMPOSITION Advanced Placement 1 credit

This course is designed as the equivalent of a college level English 101 course. Literary genres included novels, poetry, and drama, and the selections span from contemporary to classic. Some of the titles include: Hamlet, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Wasteland, Lysistrata, and The Handmaid’s Tale. Emphasis on college writing is stressed. Students are expected to take the Advanced Placement Literature and Composition Examination in the spring, and depending on their score and the college chosen for the fall, students can receive college credit. (One year course, open to grade 12)

1440 WORLD HISTORY Advanced Placement 1 credit

This course is designed to prepare the student to take the World History AP Examination. It will analyze the factors and events that have shaped World History from roughly 8000 B.C.E. through the modern day. Reading, writing techniques, and testing will employ methods designed to prepare the student for post-secondary education. This course is taught at the college level and is intended to prepare the student for the intensive exam. Prerequisite: A grade of 84 or better in Modern American and Early American History and teacher recommendation. Full year course, open to grade 12

1441 U.S. HISTORY Advanced Placement 1 credit

This course is designed to prepare the student to take the American History AP Examination. It will analyze the factors and events that have shaped America from its origins to the present. Extensive readings and exceptional writing abilities are required for this course. This is a college level course and students are expected to work at a fast pace. This course satisfies the junior history requirement. It may also be taken as a senior elective. Prerequisites: A grade of 84 or better in American History and teacher recommendation. Full year course open to grades 10, 11, 12

1442 EUROPEAN HISTORY Advanced Placement 1 credit

This course is designed to prepare the student to take the European History AP Examination. It will analyze the factors and events that have shaped modern day Europe. Reading, writing techniques, and testing will employ methods designed to prepare the student for post-secondary education. This course is taught at the college level and is intended to prepare the student for the intensive exam. Prerequisite: A grade of 84 or better in World History or American History and teacher recommendation. Full year course, open to grades 10, 11, 12

1444 U.S. GOVERNMENT Advanced Placement 1 credit

This course is designed as a college level introductory course in United States Government. It is intended to explore the development, functions, processes and direction of American Government and Politics and provide substantive content, critical thinking skills, and writing practice. This course provides a framework for understanding the purposes, principles, and practices of American government as established by the United States Constitution. Students are expected to understand their rights and responsibilities as citizens and how to exercise these rights and responsibilities in local, state, and national government. Full year course open to grades 11,12

1345 PSYCHOLOGY Advanced Placement 1 credit

Designed for students who wish to study human behavior and mental processes at the level of a college introductory course, this course stresses the scientific approach to the study of psychology. Students who take this course will be prepared to take the AP examination, administered in May. Beginning in January, AP Psychology students will conduct their own original research and submit their findings in a formal paper upon completion of the course. The course will cover, but is not limited to: a history of psychology, fields and perspectives of psychology, noteworthy psychologists, research methods, the biological basis for behavior, sensation and perception, consciousness, learning, memory, intelligence, and the physical, social, and identity developments that take place during infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. (Full year course open to grades 11, 12)

2240 BIOLOGY Advanced Placement 1.25 credits

This course is taught at a college level and is equivalent to a first-year college course in biology. The course follows the National Advanced Placement Biology curriculum. Emphasis will be on biochemistry, genetics, and evolution during the first semester and anatomy, physiology, and environmental studies during the second semester. Students will be expected to do considerable independent work and take the AP exam in biology. Prerequisites: A grade of 84 or better in Chemistry Honors and Biology Honors and teacher recommendation. (Full year course, open to grades 11, 12)

2340 CHEMISTRY Advanced Placement 1.5 credits

The Advanced Placement Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course taken in the first year of college. The college course in general chemistry qualitatively examines concepts in greater depth and detail and quantitatively examines chemical problems in advanced mathematical concepts. The topics of the course include: Structure of matter: atomic; chemical bonding and nuclear chemistry; states of matter: gases, liquids, solids, solutions; Reactions: types, stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetics, thermodynamics; and Descriptive chemistry: chemical reactivity, relationships and organic chemistry. This course will allow the student to pursue college level chemistry while still in high school and receive credit from participating colleges. Prerequisites: A grade of 86 or better in Chemistry Honors and teacher recommendation (Full year course, open to grades 11, 12)

2440 PHYSICS Advanced Placement 1.5 credits

Advanced placement physics is an intense course preparing the student for the AP Physics exam. It allows the student to pursue college level physics while in high school. The course is equivalent to a first year calculus based college physics course. It covers Newtonian mechanics, wave motion, electricity and magnetism, light, and an overview of modern physics. Laboratory exercises are used throughout the course to reinforce the physical theories studied. The student is expected to write comprehensive laboratory reports using computers and appropriate application software. Additionally, the student must complete one comprehensive independent project. Prerequisites: A grade greater than 86 in Honors Physics and/or teacher recommendation. (Full year course, open to grades 11, 12)

2244 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE Advanced Placement 1.5 credit

This course is taught at a college level and is equivalent to a first-year college course in environmental science. The course follows the National Advanced Placement Environmental Science curriculum. Emphasis will be on ecological principles and their applications during the first semester and human influences on the environment, energy consumption, and environmental policy during the second semester. Students will be expected to do considerable independent work and take the AP exam in Environmental Science. Prerequisites: A grade of 84 or better in Chemistry Honors or Biology Honors and teacher recommendation. (Full year course, open to grades 10, 11, 12)

3440 CALCULUS Advanced Placement 1 credit

The AP course is a more intense study of calculus than Calculus Honors and will place more demands on the students. The content will conform to the guidelines established by the AP Commission. It is equivalent to a first year college level course. Students are expected to do a considerable amount of independent work. Students must take the AP exam in order to receive AP credit for the course. A TI-83 graphing calculator is recommended. Prerequisite: A grade of 85 or better in Precalculus Honors and teacher recommendation. (Full year course, open to grades 11, 12) • Students taking AP math courses are expected to take the AP exam in May.

3340 STATISTICS Advanced Placement 1 credit

The contents of this course will conform to the guidelines established by the AP Commission. It is equivalent to a first year college level course. Students are expected to do a considerable amount of independent work. Students must take the AP exam in order to receive AP credit for the course. A TI-83 graphing calculator is recommended. Prerequisite: A grade of 85 or better in Algebra II Honors or 85 or better in Precalculus CP2 and teacher recommendation. (Full year course, open to grades 11, 12) • Students taking AP math courses are expected to take the AP exam in May.

4144 AP FRENCH LANGUAGE Advanced Placement 1 credit

The French Advanced Placement course is a more intensive study of French than the French 4 Honors course and will put more demands on students. The content will conform to the content of the AP Commission Guidelines. This course will begin with a concentrated review of grammar and vocabulary. A portion of the year will be devoted to the reading of literature, essays, and newspaper articles at a level of difficulty comparable to that on the AP exam. There will be frequent writing assignments of various lengths, impromptu recordings, and listening comprehension at the AP level. Only students who are self-motivated should elect this course. Students are expected to speak French at all times. The class will be conducted in French. Prerequisite: A grade of 85% or better in French III Honors or equivalent and teacher recommendation.(Full year course, open to grade 11, 12)

4244 AP SPANISH LANGUAGE Advanced Placement 1 credit

The Spanish Language Advanced Placement course is a more intensive study of Spanish than the Spanish 4 Honors course and will put more demands on students. The content will conform to the content of the AP Commission Guidelines

This course will include the study of new grammar and vocabulary. Throughout the year assignments will be designed to practice reading, writing, speaking and listening through the review of literature, newspaper articles, and podcasts at a level of difficulty comparable to that on the AP exam, which is comparable to a third year college-level course. There will be frequent writing assignments of various lengths, recordings in the language laboratory, and listening comprehension at the AP level. Only students who are self-motivated should elect this course. This course will be conducted primarily in Spanish. Prerequisite: A grade of 85% or better in Spanish III Honors or equivalent and teacher recommendation. (Full year course, open to grades 11, 12)

8170 AP STUDIO ART: GENERAL PORTFOLIO AND DRAWING PORTFOLIO 1 credit (Full Year)

The AP Program in Studio Art is intended for highly motivated students who are seriously interested in the study of art. Most AP students will probably have had previous training in art, but such training is not a prerequisite for entering the program any more than it is for entering the introductory course in college. Students should, however, be made aware that AP work involves significantly more commitment and accomplishment than the typical high school course and that the program is not for the casually interested.

Advanced Placement Studio Art is not based on a written examination; instead, students submit portfolios for evaluation at the end of the school year. The Development Committee in Advanced Placement Studio Art has chosen to suggest guidelines for the submission of an AP portfolio rather than to delineate a specific course. The portfolios are designed to allow freedom in structuring AP Studio Art courses while keeping in mind that the quality and breadth of the work should reflect first-year college-level standards. Therefore, the major responsibility for creating an AP course in art and preparing work to submit for evaluation belongs to the participating teachers and students. Prerequisite: Instructor approval (Full year course, open to grade 12)

The course will address three major concerns that are constants in the teaching of art: 

1. A sense of quality in the student's work

2. The student's concentration on a particular visual interest or problem

3. The student's need for breadth of experience in the formal, technical, and expressive means of the artist.