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The launch of AP Computer Science Principles was the largest course launch in AP’s 60-year history. Over 2,500 schools offered the course and over 50,000 students will take the AP CSP end-of-course exam in May 2017.

AP Computer Science Principles® (CSP) introduces students to the foundational concepts of the field and challenges them to explore how computing and technology impact the world. Big ideas include: Creativity, Abstraction, Data and Information, Algorithms, Programming, The Internet, and Global Impact.

Over 350 colleges and universities have already communicated their plans to offer credit and placement for AP CSP and hundreds more will be communicated over the next year.

In order to attract highly qualified students to your school, consider developing a strong credit and placement policy

Submit your college's policy for AP Computer Science Principles

About the Course

AP Computer Science Principles focuses on the innovative aspects of computing as well as the computational thinking practices that help students make connections to their everyday lives. It offers a multidisciplinary approach to teaching the underlying principles of computation, including:

  • Develop creative programming skills
  • Use abstractions and algorithms
  • Work with large data sets
  • Learn important features of the Internet and issues of cybersecurity
  • Understand the impacts of computing on different populations


The AP Computer Science Principles assessment consists of two parts:

  • The through-course assessment is a set of performance tasks that will require students to upload digital artifacts and written responses they have developed in the class via a Web-based platform.
  • The end of course AP Exam will be a 2 hour long paper and pencil exam which will include 74 multiple-choice questions presented as either discrete questions or in sets.

Higher Education Support

The flexible and rigorous Curriculum Framework found on the AP CSP Course and Exam Description (.pdf/3.61MB) was reviewed by academic leaders from over 100 colleges and universities who overwhelmingly stated that they

  • believed the course is a college-level computing course (88%).
  • would award college credit (86%).
  • would offer a comparable course (70%).

As further support, faculty from HE pilot institutions, including Duke University, Rutgers University, and the University of California at Berkeley, have created courses based in part on the learning principles outlined in AP Computer Science Principles curriculum framework.

AP CSP HE Pilot Institutions

  • Drexel University
  • Duke University
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Kent State University
  • Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Middlebury College
  • New Mexico State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Rutgers University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of California – Berkeley
  • University of California – San Diego
  • University of North Carolina – Charlotte
  • University of North Texas
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Virginia Tech