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AP Courses at SCPA

Environmental Science, Studio Art: 2D, 3D, and Drawing, English Language, Biology, Art History, Music Theory, United States History, World History, Calculus AB, Psychology, and Government.

Online Offerings

English Literature, English Language, Spanish Language, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics


Music Theory

The AP Music Theory course provides students with a thorough knowledge of theory and composition.  Course topics include scales, modes, chords, key signatures, dictation, transposition, modulation, harmonic progressions, figured bass, musical score analysis, and composition. Students study and practice the course content through written and aural exercises, singing and keyboarding.

Studio Art 3D Design

The AP Studio Art 3D Design course focuses on creative and systematic investigation of formal and conceptual issues in 3D design. The class emphasizes the making of art as an ongoing process that involves the student making informed and critical decisions about their work. Through brainstorming, research, and planning in sketchbooks and visual journals students will be able to work toward that goal. Through individual critiques with the teacher as well as class critiques and written reflections about their artistic process, students will able to speak about art with critical eyes.
This portfolio is intended to address sculptural issues. Design involves purposeful decision- making about using the elements and principles of art in an integrative way. In the 3-D Design Portfolio, students are asked to demonstrate their understanding of design principles as they relate to the integration of depth and space, volume and surface. The principles of design (unity/variety, balance, emphasis, contrast, rhythm, repetition, proportion/scale, figure/ground relationship) can be articulated through the visual elements (mass, volume, color/light, form, plane, line, texture).
For this portfolio, students are asked to demonstrate mastery of 3-D design through any three-dimensional approach, including, but not limited to, figurative or nonfigurative sculpture, architectural models, metal work, ceramics, glasswork, installation, assemblage, and 3-D fabric/fiber arts.
Students will develop a portfolio that is composed of three components—Quality, Concentration, and Breadth as outlined in the AP Studio Art course description and the Studio Art poster. Students will be expected to develop mastery in concept, composition and execution of ideas.
In constructing the portfolio, students will explore critical characteristics of creative thinking. Students will learn how to seek out creative problems that are interesting and challenging and use goal setting, informed decision making and problem solving skills to pursue their own artistic interest in an informed way. Students are responsible for demonstrating mastery at using the elements of art to organize the principles of design in their work. 


English Literature

This Advanced Placement English course involves students in both the study and practice of advanced writing and the study of literature. Students are encouraged to read analytically and sensitively to a few carefully chosen high-quality selections, to develop persona/communicative styles, and to write engagingly and intellectually and with honesty and precision. The course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Examination in Literature and Composition.

English Language

The course is designed to help students become more skilled readers of prose from a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts and to become skilled writers who can compose for both analysis and argumentation. Overall, students read complex texts with deep and critical understanding and write analysis and arguments that are rich and versatile for mature readers. This course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Examination in Language and Composition.



World History

AP World History deals with the broad outlines of complex human societies from approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present - a vast amount of time and material compared to most history courses - but it focuses on specific themes, key concepts, and historical thinking skills to help students understand, organize, and prioritize historical developments within six units of study. Emphasis is given to the critical evaluation of primary and secondary sources, cross-period questions, comparisons and change over time essays, and the development of document-based questions (DBQs).

The course is aimed at developing foundational knowledge for future college-level coursework in history. Students enrolled in the course are recommended to take the AP World History exam in May. The fundamental purpose of the exam is NOT to test students' encyclopedic knowledge of world history, but rather to assess their ability to analyze and evaluate large scale global processes over time, and to test their analytical skills as historians. By the end of the course, students are expected to have sufficient knowledge of detailed and specific historical developments and processes, be able to recognize broad trends, and make global connections and comparisons. The following regions are covered throughout the course: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, Oceania/Australia.

AP US History

TheAP U.S. History course focuses on the development of historical thinking skills(chronological reasoning, comparing and contextualizing, crafting historicalarguments using historical evidence, and interpreting and synthesizinghistorical narrative) and an understanding of content learning objectivesorganized around seven themes, such as identity, peopling, and America in theworld. In line with college and university U.S. history survey courses’increased focus on early and recent American history and decreased emphasis onother areas, the AP U.S. History course expands on the history of the Americas from 1491 to 1607 and from 1980 to the present. It also allows teachersflexibility across nine different periods of U.S. history to teach topics oftheir choice in depth.


The purpose of the course is to provide students with a learning experience equivalent to that obtained in most college introductory U.S. Government and Politics courses and to prepare students to take and pass the AP exam in May. This year the course will be taught as a year-long course, intertwining macro and micro economics throughout the year to complete 12th grade graduation requirements. Students will only receive AP credit for the fall semester. This course is traditionally a semester course and is offered in the fall.

The goal of the course is to introduce students to fundamental concepts used by political scientists to study the processes and outcomes of politics and to give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. AP US Government and Politics includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and an in-depth study of the nature of the American political system, its development over time, and how it works today. The course requires that students become acquainted with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. politics as well as theoretical perspectives and explanations for various behaviors and outcomes.



AP Calculus is designed to prepare students for the AP Calculus AB exam in May. For this reason we cover all the topics listed in the College Board AP Calculus AB Course Outline, including limits, derivatives and their applications, and integrals and their applications. We will also be covering several additional topics to ensure that students passing the AP Calculus AB exam are sufficiently prepared for second-semester college calculus. The course prerequisites are as follows: passing grade in Pre-Calculus or Honors Pre-Calculus AND the SCPA Calculus Qualifying Exam; or passing grade in college Pre-Calculus or Trigonometry.



In this coursestudents engage in learning activities equivalent to those of a freshmanbiology course at the university level. Students successful in this courseattain a depth of understanding of fundamental biological concepts and are ableto demonstrate that understanding, orally and in writing, with clarity andlogic. The students’ learning activities are intended to prepare them tosucceed in the Advanced Placement Examination in Biology, and all enrolledstudents are expected to take this AP test.This course is designed for studentsthat are interested in pursuing a college-level study in biology while still inhigh school. This is a rigorous course and should only be taken by seriousstudents that have the time, energy, and desire that this class requires.

Environmental Science

AP Environmental Science is a two-semester course that is equivalent to one semester of college-level environmental science.  By nature, it is an interdisciplinary course which draws on the subjects of biology, chemistry, and physics as they apply to the study of the environment.  The course culminates with the AP Examination in Environmental Science in May.  The general topics covered by APES include: Earth Systems and Resources, The Living World, Population, Land and Water Use, Energy Resources and Consumption, Pollution, Global Change.

Physics 1

This course is the equivalent of a general physics course usually taken in the first year of college. It provides a foundation for college students in the life sciences, premedicine, and some applied sciences, as well as in other fields not directly related to science. Students successful in this course gain in-depth understanding of physics concepts, significant laboratory experiences, and knowledge of current research directions, all of which prepare them for the Advanced Placement Examination in Physics, Level B. Students receive a weighted grade point average. Those scoring 3, 4, or 5 on the examination may earn college credit. It is recommended that all enrolled students take the AP exam.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of or concurrent enrollment in Precalculus 1-2, Precalculus 1-2 Honors, or a higher-level mathematics course; background in chemistry, Physics 1,2, or recommendation of the teacher.