The AP Environmental Science course is designed to engage students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships within the natural world. The course requires that students identify and analyze natural and human-made environmental problems, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Environmental science is interdisciplinary, embracing topics from geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography.
College Course Equivalent
The AP Environmental Science course is designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science.
Students should have completed two years of high school laboratory science—one year of life science and one year of physical science (e.g., a year of biology and a year of chemistry). Due to the quantitative analysis required in the course, students should also have taken at least one year of algebra. Also desirable (but not necessary) is a course in earth science.
Although there are no specific AP Environmental Science labs or field investigations required for the course, it is required that students have the opportunity to spend a minimum of 25% of instructional time engaged in hands-on, inquiry-based laboratory and/or fieldwork investigations.