Is AP European History Better Than AP World History?

Are you trying to decide between taking AP European History or AP World History? Both courses offer a rigorous and challenging curriculum that can prepare you for college-level history classes. However, there are some key differences between the two courses that you should consider before making a decision.


AP European History focuses solely on the history of Europe from the Renaissance to modern times. This includes the political, social, economic, and cultural developments of Europe during this period.

On the other hand, AP World History covers the entire world from prehistory to present-day. The course looks at major developments in all regions of the world, including Europe.


Both courses are challenging and require a lot of work outside of class. However, some students find AP European History slightly easier because it focuses on one region rather than trying to cover the entire world. Additionally, if you have a particular interest in European history, then you may find AP European History more engaging and enjoyable.

Skills Developed

AP European History is great for developing critical thinking skills as students analyze primary and secondary sources to draw historical conclusions. The course also emphasizes essay writing skills as students must write several essays throughout the year. On the other hand, AP World History also develops critical thinking skills but focuses more on comparing and contrasting different regions of the world throughout history.

College Credit

Both courses offer potential college credit if you score well on the corresponding AP exam. However, some colleges may give more credit for one course over another depending on their own requirements.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, whether AP European History or AP World History is better for you depends on your interests and goals. If you have a passion for European history or plan to study it in college, then AP European History may be a better fit for you.

However, if you are interested in world history and want to develop a broader understanding of different regions and cultures, then AP World History may be the way to go. Regardless of which course you choose, both offer great opportunities for learning and growth.