Syllabus Self-Evaluation Checklist

The AP curriculum is designed at the local level; just as there is no single model for a good college course, there is no single model for a good AP course. However, while there is no official AP curriculum, all courses labeled "AP" should include or exceed the topics, skills, materials, and instructional practices colleges and universities have identified as essential to the corresponding college course. These essential elements provide consistency to AP courses and appear as the "Curricular Requirements" on each subject-specific AP Course Audit form. AP Course Audit forms are available only through the AP Course Audit Web site, however, the main content of those forms--the curricular and resource requirements--are available for your review at the link below. Each of the curricular requirements listed on the AP Course Audit form should be reflected in your syllabus.

Your syllabus can demonstrate the inclusion of the curricular requirements in a variety of ways: through the organization of course content, the course readings, the assignments and assessments, and/or the descriptions of what the major assignments and assessments are designed to measure. You may construct your course syllabus using narrative, tables, charts, or any combination of formats that meets your needs. If you do not already have a syllabus, or if you want help creating a syllabus, you are welcome to use our online syllabus "wizard" (available through the AP Course Audit Web site) designed to walk you through the syllabus creation process.

AP Course Audit Syllabus Self-Evaluation Checklist


In order to facilitate authorization of your AP course, carefully examine your syllabus against the following checklist. Click the "Print Page" button at the top right of this page for a printer-friendly version of this checklist.


You have read the curricular and resource requirements for your course.
You have examined the sample syllabi.
You have examined the multiple samples of evidence addressing each of the curricular requirements.


To ensure your anonymity when your syllabus is reviewed, neither your name nor your school's name appears on the syllabus (your syllabus will be automatically linked to your Course Audit form upon submission).


Your syllabus represents your course-long plan, structured according to an organizing principle of your choice (e.g. unit, month, week, etc.) and includes:

What will be taught in the course (include all that apply): topics, themes, conceptual approaches, and/or skills.

Where appropriate or necessary, you have described assignments, assessments, or class activities (e.g. required readings, essays, projects, exams, quizzes, activities, and/or problem sets) to provide evidence of a particular curricular requirement.

Instructional Materials

For courses that use a textbook, you have included complete bibliographic citation (author, title, publisher, year, and edition) for the primary textbook used.

As applicable to your course, and to best demonstrate how your course meets the curricular requirements, you have included a list or brief description of the types and quantity of instructional materials you use beyond the textbook (e.g., primary sources, newspapers, journals, audiovisual materials, software, model of graphing calculator, etc.).

For courses that use a teacher-created packet or several individual texts in place of a textbook, you have included a list or brief description of these items.

Providing Clear Evidence

You have provided clear and explicit evidence to fully satisfy each curricular requirement. This is especially important for requirements that include multiple items, and for those where finer degrees of judgment are required on the part of reviewers, i.e., requirements that go beyond the literal inclusion of a given topic, or that deal with such matters as inquiry, critical thinking skills, or science as a process. For example:

  • Art History: The course teaches students to understand works of art through both contextual and visual analysis.

  • Biology: The course provides students with an opportunity to develop a conceptual framework for modern biology emphasizing applications of biological knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns.

  • Chinese and Japanese: In addition to communication, the course also addresses the Standards' other four goals: cultural competence, connections to other school disciplines, comparisons between the target language and culture and those of the learners, and the use of the language within the broader communities beyond the traditional school environment.

  • Comparative Government and Politics: The course introduces students to the analysis and interpretation of data relevant to comparative government and politics.

  • English Language and Composition: The course requires expository, analytical, and argumentative writing assignments that are based on readings representing a wide variety of prose styles and genres.

  • Environmental Science: The course provides students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world.

  • French Language and German Language: The course provides students with regular opportunities, in class or in a language laboratory, to develop their speaking skills in a variety of settings, types of discourse, and topics.

  • European History, United States History, and World History: The course teaches students to analyze evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship.

  • Macroeconomics: The course promotes the understanding of aggregate economic activity; the utilization of resources within and across countries; and the critical evaluation of determinants of economic progress and economic decisions made by policymakers.

  • Physics B and C: The course utilizes guided inquiry and student-centered learning to foster the development of critical thinking skills.

  • Psychology: The course teaches ethics and research methods used in psychological science and practice.

  • Spanish Language: The course provides students with regular opportunities, in class or in a language laboratory, to develop their speaking skills in a variety of settings, types of discourse, topics, and registers.

  • Statistics: The course draws connections between all aspects of the statistical process, including design, analysis, and conclusions.

  • Studio Art: The course emphasizes making art as an ongoing process that involves the student in informed and critical decision making.

  • US History: The course uses themes and/or topics such as those listed in the Course Description, selected at the teacher's discretion, as broad parameters for structuring the course. The themes are designed to encourage students to think conceptually about the American past and to focus on historical change over time. The topic outline is suggested as a general guide for AP teachers in structuring their courses; it is not intended to be prescriptive of what teachers must teach.

For those courses in which the curricular requirements refer specifically to the topic outline or themes provided in the AP Course Description, you have clearly correlated the list of topics taught in your course with the Course Description"s topic outline or themes.

You have identified any curricular requirement for which you have substituted an "alternate approach" which provides an equivalent college-level experience for your students, and you have provided a complete explanation of that alternate approach within the syllabus. Alternate approaches must be clearly labeled as such on your syllabus. Please provide any information you feel would help the reviewer understand why your alternate approach merits the "AP" designation.

For any curricular requirements that refer to degrees of frequency or time allotments (e.g., frequent, almost exclusively, or 25% of instructional time), your syllabus indicates, either in a note or within the course outline or calendar, the time amount or frequency. NOTE: It is not necessary to continually restate practices that occur frequently or throughout the course; a few clear examples will suffice.

You have limited the scope of your syllabus to include only a description of the course and sufficiently detailed information to clearly satisfy the curricular requirements. While school profiles, personal philosophies, and reference lists have been included in syllabi previously posted on AP Central and published in AP Teachers Guides, these sections are not necessarily relevant to the purpose of the syllabus you submit for the AP Course Audit.

Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Physics Labs

You have included a listing of the laboratory and/or field work investigations and their goals along with the total amount of time devoted to lab experiences.

You have clearly identified the delivery mode for your lab component as hands-on (wet or dry lab), virtual*, or a combination of the two.

If you believe your lab component is not “hands-on,” but nonetheless provides a college-level experience for your students, you have selected "Alternate Approach" on the Course Audit Form for the lab curricular requirement.
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