Coming Fall 2014

Beginning in fall 2014, AP United States History will feature a redesigned curriculum. The redesigned course is structured around seven themes:

  1. Work, Exchange, and Technology
  2. Identity
  3. Ideas, Beliefs, and Culture
  4. America in the World
  5. Environment and Geography
  6. Politics and Power
  7. Peopling


The course is divided into the following nine chronological periods (some units overlap chronologically due to the different concepts covered in each unit):

  1. 1491-1607
  2. 1607-1754
  3. 1754-1800
  4. 1800-1848
  5. 1844-1877
  6. 1865-1914
  7. 1890-1945
  8. 1945-1989
  9. 1980-present


In the redesigned course, you’ll develop the following historical thinking skills:

  1. Historical argumentation
  2. Appropriate use of relevant historical evidence
  3. Historical causation
  4. Patterns of continuity and change over time
  5. Periodization
  6. Comparison
  7. Contextualization
  8. Interpretation
  9. Synthesis


AP United States History will continue to:

  • Provide you with the thinking skills and enduring understandings necessary to deal critically with the main issues and documents of U.S. history
  • Prepare you for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon you equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses
  • Enable you to assess historical sources — their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their reliability, and their importance — and to weigh the evidence and interpretations of the past presented in historical scholarship
  • Develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in an essay format
  • Train you to analyze and interpret primary sources, including documentary materials, maps, statistical tables, and pictorial and graphic evidence of historical events
  • Teach you to take notes from both printed materials and lectures or discussions, to write essay examinations, and to write analytical and research papers
  • Enable you to express yourself with clarity and precision and know how to cite sources and credit the phrases and ideas of others

For more detail on the themes, learning objectives, units, key concepts, and skills that will be covered in the redesigned AP U.S. History course and exam, download the AP U.S. History Course and Exam Description (beginning with the 2014-15 course).