AP Capstone vs doubling up in AP sciences Junior year?

I’m new here, but need help. My rising junior has a scheduling conflict and has to make an impossible decision. She has to choose between doing the AP Capstone program (AP Seminar jr year and AP Research sr year) and doubling up in AP Chem and AP Physics. Her school schedule will not allow her to do both. (And if she does double up in science she will have to do AP History as an online class, not in person.) She is passionate about science and believes she wants to major in bio or chem. But she is also a well rounded student – a strong English student and her teachers have told her not to miss Seminar. She doesn’t want to enter college without AP Chem under her belt, becuase it’s an interest. But she’s told AP Capstone will distinguish her and also prepare her in other important ways. We’re trying to gather all the pros and cons, but one thing we don’t know is what would colleges prefer for a student like this?

to be clear, she could still take AP physics and keep Capstone, but if she wants to add AP Chem she has to drop the Capstone (Seminar) class.
I’d also welcome any suggested resources to help figure this out!

Take AP Chem senior year.

1 Like

not possible. it will conflict with her senior year AP Cal. It’s this year, online, or nothing

Small school means scheduling challenges

Your school already has a class schedule set up for an academic year that starts 15 months from now? That’s pretty uncommon.

In the end, it comes down to her preference. As you said, she cannot do it all. Colleges will not care which she does, and the GC can always mention scheduling conflicts in the rec.

AP Chem never works with senior’s schedules – it is built as a junior course and no senior has ever been able to make it work with their senior schedule. I’m guessing hte problem is Calc but it could be somehting else. Either way, we cannot plan on it being available to her senior year.

Thank you. What I can’t really tell – and the guidance counselor is a leave replacement who has no idea – is how much colleges care about the Capstone diploma.

AP Seminar is also built as a junior course, so apparently no junior at kid’s HS can do both. It is what it is.

It will not be a make or break, IMO. And should not be the reason she chooses.


I will also add that the experience and the quality of AP Capstone is highly dependent on the HS)teachers - more so than any other AP IMO. And none of us here will know that.

Also, while not necessarily a reason to choose a class, she will be far more likely to earn credit for Chem than Capstone.

1 Like

What about pushing physics off to senior year?

It won’t matter. It just won’t. Take what you are interested in most. Be yourself and you will be fine. And if you are trying to get into some elite university just know one AP class over another is not going to be the deciding factor. Lastly most people don’t go elite and do fine.


Do the class that she wants to do and won’t have the chance to do again. One of our collegekids had waited 3 years to take a class with a ‘don’t miss’ teacher- and then it conflicted with AP Chem. She knew that she could take Chem in college-but she would never have a chance to have that ‘don’t miss’ teacher again. 100% did not affect her college acceptances and 100% no regrets. If that Seminar is famous in your school for the amazing teacher/experience and your daughter wants to do it- go for it.

You only get one HS.

1 Like

I’d say take AP Chem if she is planning to major in chemical engineering, materials science, and maybe even regular chemistry. For my kid not having a second year of chem in hs, made college chem more challenging.


My daughter says you will get more ‘credit’ for the sciences but AP Capstone was the most amazing thing she did in high school. Many of her supplemental essays included notes about her research and how impactful it was. I know it’s not great for college credit but it solidified her desire to major in the social sciences and lean into research. Also she developed strong bonds with the cohort she spent two years with.

For credit at the school she is attending…college of Charleston…it counts the same as her AP Lang. So no advantage there. She got into Washington & Lee, Miami, Florida, GA Honors, American, U of SC Honors and waitlisted at William & Mary and Emory.

So she did fine.

1 Like

So…she can take AP Chem as a Junior…right? Maybe that should be the choice.

Which AP Physics? If it’s algebra based I would take it off the list.

Unless her AP Capstone teachers are phenomenal I would just do a Capstone in college. Have her apply to Honors programs. Not sure how much AP Capstone moves the admissions needle. Doubt very much.

Can she do AP Chem and AP Capstone junior year and then AP Calc, AP Physics and capstone senior year?

I agree with the previous posters regarding the quality of instruction. Look into the teachers involved in the courses you are considering. If all else is equal I would opt for AP Chemistry. It’s a solid course with lots of rigor and could help guide your kid in their major selection.

Has she taken another physics? If so, I wouldn’t worry about taking AP physics. As a chemistry major, she should have both physics and chemistry under her belt.

Regardless, she should choose AP chem over AP seminar.