San Francisco High School of the Arts

AP Courses

Students looking to further their academic horizon have the opportunity to explore a wide range of Advanced Placement (AP) courses approved by the College Board. The AP program allows students to take courses in high school that can earn them college credit and/or qualify them for more advanced courses in college, provided students earn passing scores on their respective AP exams in May.

Course Description

  • AP Biology
  • AP Chinese Language and Culture
  • AP World History

Grades Offered: 11, 12

Prerequisites: One year of high school biology; Algebra 1 or equivalent

UC Approved: Yes

In AP Biology, interdisciplinary thinking is strongly encouraged, with students expected to learn to relate the theories of molecular biology to chemical principles and to apply these theories in broader ecological contexts. Students will follow the AP curriculum and will be required to take the AP Biology exam in May for possible college credit.

Grades Offered: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisites: Chinese III or equivalent

UC Approved: Yes

AP Chinese Language and Culture is the equivalent of a one-semester college Chinese course and is designed for students who have mastered the concepts covered in a third-year high school Chinese class. Students taking the AP exam in May will prepare for their examination through extensive activities in speaking and writing and mock AP Chinese exams.

Grades Offered: 10, 11

Prerequisites: One year of high school world history

UC Approved: Yes

Students in the AP course will follow the AP curriculum and will be required to take the AP exam in May for possible college credit.

  • AP Chemistry
  • AP U.S. Government & Politics
  • AP English Language & Composition

Grades Offered: 11, 12

Prerequisites: One year of high school chemistry; Algebra 2 or equivalent

UC Approved: Yes

AP Chemistry is strongly recommended for qualifying prospective science, engineering, and medical students. In this class, students will be exposed to a much more immersive and in-depth study of chemical principles and their applications, including thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and equilibrium. Students will be expected to provide detailed, in-depth, insightful analyses of the subject material through problem sets, professional-quality laboratory reports, and examinations. Students will follow the AP curriculum and will be required to take the AP Chemistry exam in May for possible college credit.

Grades Offered: 12

Prerequisites: None

UC Approved: Yes

Students will examine the history of the American federal government and the meaning of democracy with focus on the three branches of government, civil rights and liberties, and modern-day issues. Students will study and analyze increasingly challenging primary texts, including excerpts from the Federalist papers, court cases, and original legislative documents; debate, challenge, and evaluate public policy, demonstrating comprehensive understanding of the complex and unique issues that pervade today’s society; and demonstrate active citizenship by writing a proposal addressed to a member or entity of the U.S. government.

Grades Offered: 11, 12

Prerequisites: English II or equivalent

UC Approved: Yes

AP English Language​​ is designed to help students become both skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts and skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Students will also prepare for the AP test in May.

  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP English Literature and Composition
  • AP Macroeconomics

Grades Offered: 11, 12

Prerequisites: Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus or equivalent

UC Approved: Yes

In this course, students will focus on the following topics: economic policy, money movements, banks and other financial institutions operating, economic growth, trade and exchange, consumer behavior, and modern-day issues. Students should be prepared for quantitative work (graphing, algebraic problems) as well as challenging reading assignments. Students in the AP course will follow the AP curriculum and will be required to take the AP exam in May for possible college credit.

Grades Offered: 12

Prerequisites: English III or equivalent

UC Approved: Yes

AP English Literature​​ will look at great works of literature from the 1600’s until the present and analyze not only their timeless themes, but also their authors’ craft and use of literary elements. Students will also prepare for the AP test in May.

Grades Offered: 12

Prerequisites: None

UC Approved: Yes

The course will focus on the following topics: economic policy, money movements, banks and other financial institutions operating, economic growth, trade and exchange, consumer behavior, and modern-day issues. Students should be prepared for quantitative work (graphing, algebraic problems) as well as challenging reading assignments.

  • AP U.S. History
  • AP Psychology
  • AP Art History

Grades Offered: 11

Prerequisites: None

UC Approved: Yes

Students will be expected to analyze and interpret history through the following lenses: American diversity, American identity, culture, demographic changes, economic transformations, environment, globalization, politics and citizenship, reform, religion, war and diplomacy, and slavery and its legacies.

Grades Offered: 11, 12

Prerequisites: None

UC Approved: Yes

AP Psychology provides an overview of the field of psychology comparable to a college level intro to psychology course. The course will explore (a) both historical and contemporary psychological thought; (b) how psychologists evaluate human behavior and mental processes; (c) the methods and procedures psychologists use to describe, explain, predict, and change behaviors and mental processes; (d) the controversies that exist within the field of psychology; (e) how psychologists contribute to analyzing and solving some of the contemporary problems that face humanity; and (f) the role of psychologists in society today. Throughout all these discussions and topics the perspective of psychology as a science and how scientific methods are used in psychology will be stressed. Students must complete reading assignments, projects, essays, presentations, and practice AP test questions for every unit.

Grades Offered: 11, 12

Prerequisites: None

UC Approved: Yes

It has always been humankind’s nature to create art. Throughout history art and architecture have served many purposes from glorifying deities, expressing our sense of beauty, to even making statements about society. Students in AP Arts History will analyze art from the Paleolithic age to today. They will discover key factors from the civilizations and time periods from which art works were created. They will evaluate and compare works of art from different regions and/or time periods as well as works of art created by the same artist. Over 20% of the course will be devoted to artistic works and traditions created outside of Europe.

High School Academic Departments

Ready to join our community?

Questions?