Which Is Better AP World History or AP European History?

Are you considering taking an Advanced Placement (AP) history course but unsure which one to choose? Two popular options are AP World History and AP European History. While both courses cover significant periods of history, there are some key differences to consider before making your decision.

Course Content

AP World History: This course covers the entirety of world history from prehistory through the present day. You’ll study major historical events, movements, and figures from around the globe. The course aims to develop your understanding of how different societies interacted and influenced each other throughout history.

AP European History: This course focuses specifically on European history from the Renaissance through the present day. You’ll explore topics such as art, politics, religion, and economics within Europe and its interactions with other regions. The course aims to develop your understanding of how Europe shaped and was shaped by the rest of the world.

Course Difficulty

Both AP World History and AP European History are challenging courses that require a significant amount of time and effort outside of class. However, some students may find one course more difficult than the other depending on their interests and strengths.

For example, if you have a strong interest in non-European cultures or struggle with memorization-heavy courses, you may find AP World History more challenging. On the other hand, if you have a particular interest in European culture or enjoy analyzing primary sources in-depth, you may find AP European History more challenging.

College Credit

One potential advantage of taking either AP World History or AP European History is that it can earn you college credit if you do well on the corresponding AP exam. However, it’s important to note that not all colleges accept all types of AP credit or may require a certain score on the exam for credit to be awarded.

It’s also worth considering whether your intended college major or career path may be better served by one course over the other. For example, if you plan to major in international relations or work in a global industry, AP World History may be more applicable. If you plan to study European history or culture in-depth, AP European History may be more beneficial.


Ultimately, the choice between AP World History and AP European History depends on your interests, strengths, and goals. Both courses offer valuable insights into different aspects of world history and can help prepare you for college-level coursework. Consider talking to your school counselor or current history teacher for advice on which course may be the best fit for you.