As a high school student, deciding which Advanced Placement (AP) history course to take can be a difficult decision. Two popular options are AP World History and AP US History.
Both courses offer valuable insights into the development of human civilization and the United States’ role in shaping it. Here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision.
- AP World History covers world history from prehistoric times to the present day.
- AP US History covers American history from pre-Columbian times to the present day.
- AP World History covers six historical periods, each with a different theme, spanning from prehistory to modern times.
- AP US History covers nine historical periods, each with a different theme, spanning from pre-Columbian America to modern times.
- In AP World History, you’ll explore the development of human civilization on a global scale. You’ll cover topics such as early humans, ancient civilizations (Greece, Rome, China, etc.
), medieval Europe, colonialism and imperialism, the industrial revolution, World War I and II, decolonization movements, and globalization.
- In AP US History, you’ll explore the development of the United States as a nation. You’ll cover topics such as Native American societies before European contact; colonization and settlement; slavery and abolition; westward expansion; Reconstruction; Industrialization; The Great Depression; Civil Rights movement; Cold War; and contemporary issues like globalization.
- In both courses, you’ll develop valuable skills such as critical thinking and analysis. However:
- In AP World History, you’ll develop skills in comparing and contrasting civilizations across time and geography.
- In AP US History, you’ll develop skills in analyzing the development of American society and politics over time.
- The AP World History exam is divided into two sections: multiple choice/short answer and free-response.
- The AP US History exam is divided into two sections: multiple choice/short answer and free-response.
Which Course Should You Take?
Ultimately, the decision to take AP World History or AP US History depends on your interests and career goals. If you’re interested in understanding the development of human civilization as a whole, or plan to pursue a career in international relations or global studies, then AP World History may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you’re interested in understanding American history specifically, or plan to pursue a career in law or politics within the United States, then AP US History may be the better choice.
Both AP World History and AP US History are valuable courses that offer insights into the development of human civilization and American society. By considering your interests and career goals, you can make an informed decision about which course is right for you. Regardless of which course you choose, both will help you develop critical thinking skills that will serve you well throughout your academic and professional life.