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AP World History (NCAA Approved)

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Open to: Grades 9 - 12

Eligibility: CTY-level or Advanced CTY-level math or verbal score required

Course Format: Session Based. See calendar for session dates and application deadlines.

Course Length: 30 weeks (Academic Year)

Student Expectations: Students are strongly encouraged to work an average of 3-5 hours per week for the 30-week session with breaks for holidays.

Recommended School Credit: One academic year

Course Code: APWH

Course Description


This course is designed to provide a college-level experience and preparation for the Advanced Placement (AP) examination in World History. Students investigate noteworthy events, individuals, developments, and processes in six historical periods, from approximately 8000 BCE to the present. Students act as historians by analyzing sources, comparing historical events/people/places, using reasoning about contextualization, causation, continuity, and change over time, and developing historical arguments. 

Historical Thinking Skills 

The AP World History course cultivates skills in four categories: Analyzing Sources and Evidence, Making Historical Connections, Chronological Reasoning, and Creating and Supporting a Historical Argument.

Themes in AP World History

Historical inquiry often focuses on the study of change and continuity over time and geography. Historical themes help students discern patterns in human society, and advance skills in periodization, comparison, and critical analysis. Throughout the year, students will participate in activities that draw upon primary and secondary sources, and further elucidate themes that span the course. To help remember these themes, we will use the acronym SPICE.

  • Social Structures: Development and Transformation 
  • Politics and State Building: Expansion and Conflict
  • Interaction between Humans and the Environment
  • Cultures: Development and Interaction
  • Economic Systems: Creation, Expansion, and Interaction

Materials Needed

Core Textbook: 

Bentley, Jerry H., and Herbert F. Ziegler. Traditions and Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past. 5th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
ISBN: 978-0073385648

Other Textbooks (selected chapters):

Mitchell, Joseph R. and Helen Buss Mitchell. Taking Sides: Clashing Views in World History, Volume 1: The Ancient World to the Pre-Modern Era. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.  
ISBN: 978-0073514994

Mitchell, Joseph R. and Helen Buss Mitchell. Taking Sides: Clashing Views in World History, Volume 2: The Modern Era to the Present. 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
ISBN: 978-0078133251

Primary Source Collection:  

Andrea, Alfred J., and James H. Overfield. The Human Record: Sources of Global History, Volume I: To 1500. 8 ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2015.
ISBN: 978-1285870236

Wiesner-Hanks, Merry. Discovering the Global Past, Volume II: Since 1400. 4th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2011.
ISBN: 978-1111341435

Detailed Course Information

Course Details

  • Technological and Environmental Transformations: Up to 600 BCE
  • Organization and Reorganization of Human Societies: 600 BCE to 600 CE
  • Regional and Transregional Interactions: 600 CE to 1450 CE
  • Global Interactions: 1450 CE to 1750 CE
  • Industrialization and Global Integration: 1750 CE to 1900 CE
  • Accelerating Global Change and Realignments: 1900 CE to Present

Technical Requirements

This course requires a properly maintained computer with high-speed internet access and an up-to-date web browser (such as Chrome or Firefox). The student must be able to communicate with the instructor via email. Visit the Technical Requirements and Support page for more details.

Zoom online virtual classroom
This course uses an online virtual classroom for discussions with the instructor. The classroom works on standard computers with the Zoom desktop client and also tablets or handhelds that support the Zoom Mobile app. Students who are unable to attend live sessions will need a computer with the Zoom desktop client installed to watch recorded meetings. The Zoom desktop client and Zoom Mobile App are both available for free download.