- The course includes a college-level U.S. history textbook, diverse primary sources, and multiple secondary sources written by historians or scholars interpreting the past.
- Each of the course historical periods receives explicit attention.
- Students are provided opportunities to investigate key concepts through the in-depth study and application of specific historical evidence or examples.
- Students are provided opportunities to apply learning objectives in each of the seven themes throughout the course.
- Students are provided opportunities to evaluate the reliability of primary sources by analyzing the author’s point of view, author's purpose, audience, and historical context. — Analyzing evidence (Proficiency Skills A1, A2)
- Students are provided opportunities to analyze and compare diverse historical interpretations. — Interpretation & Comparison (Proficiency Skills B1, B2, C1)
- Students are provided opportunities to compare historical developments across or within societies in various chronological and geographical contexts. — Comparison & Synthesis (Proficiency Skills C2, C4)
- Students are provided opportunities to situate historical events, developments, or processes within the broader regional, national, or global context in which they occurred. — Contextualization (Proficiency Skill C3)
- Students are provided opportunities to make connections between different course themes and/or approaches to history (such as political, economic, social, cultural, or intellectual) for a given historical issue. — Synthesis (Proficiency Skill C5)
- Students are provided opportunities to explain different causes and effects of historical events or processes, and to evaluate their relative significance. — Causation (Proficiency Skills D1, D2)
- Students are provided opportunities to identify and explain patterns of continuity and change over time, relating these patterns to a larger historical process. — Patterns of continuity and change over time (Proficiency Skills D3, D4)
- Students are provided opportunities to explain and analyze different models of periodization. — Periodization (Proficiency Skills D5, D6, D7)
- Students are provided opportunities to articulate a defensible claim about the past in the form of a clear thesis. — Argumentation (Proficiency Skill E1)
- Students are provided opportunities to develop written arguments that have a thesis supported by relevant historical evidence that is organized in a cohesive way. — Argumentation (Proficiency Skills E2, E3, E4)
- The school ensures that each student has copies of primary sources and other instructional materials used in the course for individual use inside and outside of the classroom.
- The school ensures that each student has access to support materials for the AP U.S. History course, including scholarly, college-level works that correspond with course topics; writings by major U.S. history authors; and standard reference works such as encyclopedias, atlases, collections of historical documents, and statistical compendiums, either in a school or public library or via the Internet.