Advanced Placement (AP) Program

Advanced Placement Program

UC College Credit for taking AP Classes

Please note that some courses will give you more credit than others.  See below:



UC grants credit for College Board Advanced Placement examinations on which a student scores 3 or higher.

Elective units awarded may be applied to UC graduation requirements for specific subjects and/or for general education/breadth requirements, as determined by each campus.


For transfer students, AP exams can also be used to meet the minimum transfer admission subject requirements in English (UC-E), Math (UC-M) and 4 other courses chosen from the humanities (UC- H), behavioral/social sciences (UC-B) and biological/physical sciences (UC-S).


Although the College Board reports all AP tests results to us, students should be aware AP test scores lower than 3 will not adversely affect their chances for admission.


Units granted for AP tests are not counted toward the maximum number of credits required for formal declaration of a major or the maximum number of units a student may accumulate prior to graduation. Students who enter UC with AP credit do not have to declare a major earlier than other students, nor are they required to graduate earlier.

Credit granted for AP exams

(Credit is expressed in quarter units. For Berkeley and Merced, divide total quarter units by 1.5 to convert to semester units.)

Art, Studio

2-D Design: 8
3-D Design: 8
Drawing: 8 

(8-unit maximum for all three exams)

Art History (UC-H): 8

Biology (UC-S): 8

Chemistry (UC-S): 8

Computer Science

Computer Science A: 2

(4-unit maximum; Computer Science AB no longer offered)

Economics (UC-B)

Microeconomics: 4
Macroeconomics: 4


Language and Composition (UC-E): 8  
Literature and Composition (UC-E/H): 8  

(8-unit maximum for both exams)

Environmental Science (UC-S): 4 

Government and Politics (UC-B)

United States: 4  
Comparative: 4 

History (UC-B/H)

United States History: 8 
European History: 8 
World History: 8 

Human Geography (UC-B): 4 

Language Other than English (UC-H)

Chinese Language and Culture: 8
French Language and Culture: 8
German Language and Culture: 8
Italian Language and Culture: 8
Latin (offered May 2013 and beyond): 8
Japanese Language and Culture: 8
Spanish Language and Culture: 8
Spanish Literature and Culture: 8

(Spanish Language no longer offered)

Mathematics (UC-M)

Calculus AB: 4
Calculus BC: 8

(8-unit maximum for both exams)

Music Theory (UC-H): 8

(Listening and Literature no longer offered)

Physics (UC-S)

Physics B: 8
Physics 1*: 8
Physics 2*: 8
Physics C Mechanics: 4
Physics C Electricity and Magnetism: 4

(8-unit maximum for all tests)

*Physics B is being replaced by Physics 1 & 2 – 2014-15

Psychology (UC-B): 4

Statistics (UC-M): 4

ALHS Advanced Placement Vision and Philosophy

             The Advanced Placement (AP) program at Abraham Lincoln High School (ALHS) is one of many vibrant learning communities that ALHS offers its students.  From academies to pathways, from Step-to-College to AVID, students have many choices at Lincoln for an enriching educational experience; as such, the AP program should be seen in light of its place and part in the larger ALHS community.  


             Lincoln’s Advanced Placement program is an open application process.  Students are able to apply for whatever AP course they are interested in.  In the interest of equity and access for all, students will be encouraged to apply for up to three AP classes.  If the student wishes to take more than three AP courses, he or she will need to meet with his or her counselor to discuss alternative options and requirements.  The idea behind this is not to limit students, but to make sure students understand the expectations on them in taking multiple AP classes, as well as providing spaces for students who may benefit from first time access to the AP program.  


             As stated in the College Board’s statement on equity and access, we too strive to “eliminate barriers that restrict access to AP for students from ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic groups that have been traditionally underserved.” In order to accomplish this, we identify, outreach to, and recruit students who are traditionally underrepresented in our classes.  This takes the form of recruitment fairs and one on one encouragement of students.   


             Lincoln’s AP program is accessible to the extent that we strive to meet the demand of AP sections for willing and academically prepared students by opening up as many sections as makes sense in keeping the integrity of our comprehensive high school offerings. Because the opening of sections affects other classes and programs, the leadership team comprised of administration and department heads will determine how many sections are viable for a vibrant learning community within the school.

Specific AP courses may also use secondary criteria to evaluate entry:

  • portfolio work

  • teacher recommendation

  • standardized test scores

If secondary criteria is used for selection, AP course teachers are responsible for articulating the added criteria to applicants, parents, and counselors.   

Abraham Lincoln High School

Advanced Placement Course Descriptions and Prerequisites




Eleventh Grade Advanced Placement Language and Composition (11th Grade)

Course Description: The art of rhetoric and argument is our central focus. We read fiction and non-fiction through the lens of rhetorical analysis which means we learn to deconstruct how an author achieves their purpose and appeals to their audience through their rhetorical choices. In turn, we practice these skills in the texts we author. In semester one, we investigate topics and questions such as: foundational principles of argument, how is fear a crucible, what is natural or synthetic, what is progress, and what is the role of civil disobedience in society? Some of the authors we read are Ursula K. Le Guin, Arthur Miller, Margret Atwood, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and J.D. Salinger.  In semester two, American issues of modernity such as alienation versus connection, and the dark side of individualism are explored through authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Truman Capote, George Orwell, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Stephen King and Tim O’Brien. This course has a weighted GPA grade and students are expected to take the AP exam called “English Language and Composition.”

Prerequisites for applicants and successful students: 10th graders can apply to Advanced Placement Language and Composition. Applicants should be strong analytical readers, effective academic writers, inquisitive critical thinkers and have solid study skills such as time-management and organization. A variety of criteria are used to evaluate student readiness: English and Social Studies grades, GPA, teacher recommendations, attendance, PSAT and Reading Inventory scores.



Course Description: In this course, students will read a number of classic works reflective of the European and American Literature canon.  Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Austen, Ellison and other writers and poets offer striking insights into such universal themes as identity, alienation, power, and community.  We will explore the ways that the art and literature in Europe and the United States were both reflective and prophetic about the way people saw and understood the world in which they lived.  We will try to use these texts as lenses through which we can make sense of the United States at the beginning of a new millennium and in the middle of our postmodern age (the proliferation of technology, consumerism, psychoanalysis, 9/11, globalization).  Concurrently, students will learn to move beyond simple comprehension of a text to an understanding of writing as craft (analyzing structure, style and themes), and will incorporate these techniques into their own expository and interpretative essays.  This course meets all the curricular requirements as described in the AP English Course Description guide and has been approved by the Advanced Placement College Board.  

Prerequisites: proficiency in previous English class, teacher recommendation, proficient or above test scores (PSAT, SBAC, SRI), and completion of the summer reading assignment.

Course Expectations for a Successful Student: Students who are successful in this class read and enjoy reading.  To this end, students will be asked to read approximately 30 pages a night.  A student will then annotate and develop a deeper, more nuanced understanding of a text.  Lastly, to become a better writer, students will take the time to create multiple drafts of an essay, and fine tune their structure and style.  Students should expect to have at least 45 minutes to 1 hour of homework a night. 





Course Description: This course is based on the College Board Advanced Placement Statistics course.  This course is equivalent to a one-semester, introductory, non-calculus-based, college course in statistics.  An introductory statistics course, similar to the AP Statistics course, is typically required for college majors such as social sciences, health sciences, and business. 

Four broad themes are studied:  1) Exploring data: observing patterns and departures from patterns, 2) Planning a study:  Deciding what and how to measure, 3) Anticipating patterns: Producing models using probability and statistics, and 4) Statistical inference: Confirming models.

Prerequisites:  AP Statistics is an excellent option for a student who has successfully completed Algebra 2 and who possesses sufficient mathematical maturity, quantitative reasoning ability, and fairly high writing ability. Parent approval is required to be eligible to take this course.

Course Expectations for a Successful Student:  AP Statistics requires more than just mathematical ability for students to succeed.  A student must not only solve problems in statistics, but also explain the solution, defend the choices of models used, and translate the result of the problem into clear statements.  In other words, to succeed in statistics, a student must have strong skills in both mathematical problem solving and written expression.   The level of complexity of the problems in statistics requires strong organizational skills and attention to detail. Homework is assigned daily and requires 4 to 6 hours per week to complete.  Tests are given after each chapter (12 tests per year).  Tests comprise 50% of the course grade.  Students will complete a culminating group project each semester (10% of grade). These projects include a class presentation and a written report. 



Course Description: The course covers all of the topics in the College Board syllabus for this course as well as a few additional topics. Students taking this course must take the Advanced Placement exam in May of the year they take the course. Students who pass the Advanced Placement exam are then eligible for college credit at many universities.

Prerequisites: Students must complete Precalculus successfully to enroll in this course. Students must also pass a placement test and have teacher recommendation to enroll. This course is very similar to the UC Berkeley course and assumes students have had some background in Analytic Geometry in addition to Trigonometry before entering this course.

Course Expectations for a Successful Student:



Course Description:

Prerequisites:  Calculus AB

Course Expectations for a Successful Student:





Course Description: The Advanced Placement (AP) Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course taken by biology majors during their first year.  This course aims to provide students with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of biology. Primary emphasis of the course is on developing an understanding of the four Big Ideas and the enduring understandings as described in the AP Biology Curriculum Framework.

The Big ideas:

Big Idea 1: The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life

Big Idea 2: Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce and to maintain dynamic homeostasis.

Big Idea 3: Living systems store, retrieve, transmit and respond to information essential to life processes.

Big Idea 4: Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties.

At the end of the course, each student shall be able to:

1. Demonstrate skills in using various types of biological instrumentation and scientific methodologies.  

2. Practice finding and using patterns in collected data to solve scientific problems.

3. Exhibit mastery of the four big ideas in biology.

4. Apply biological knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns.

Prerequisites: AP Biology is designed for students who have successfully completed foundation courses in biology and chemistry.

Course Expectations for a Successful Student:  A typical, successful AP Biology student will spend about 5- 6 hours of homework each week. Students can expect a chapter test about 5 - 6 weeks. Tests make up about 40% of the final grade.



Course Description:

Prerequisites: Regular chemistry

Course Expectations for a Successful Student



Course Description:

Prerequisites: Precalculus or enrolled in Precalculus

Course Expectations for a Successful Student



Course Description: 
This course is based on the College Board Advanced Placement Physics C course.   This course is equivalent to the introductory physics courses required for college majors in physics and engineering.  The course prepares students for both the Physics C Mechanics and the Electricity&Magnetism exams.
First semester topic will be the mechanics of motion (including rotational and periodic motion).
Second semester topics will be electricity and magnetism.

Prerequisites: calculus (or concurrent enrollment in calculus); recommended: a grade of A in precalculus, or a grade of A or B in calculus; A in conceptual physics

Course Expectations for a Successful StudentPhysics C students must have strong mathematical skills and problem solving ability.   The level of complexity of the problems require strong reasoning ability in order to apply physics concepts and calculus to solve difficult, multi-step problems . Tests and quizzes comprise 70% of the course grade.



Course Description: AP Environmental Science (APES) is an UC-approved laboratory science course.  APES central focus is about how environment affects the human condition.  In other words, how the environment causes health and sickness, happiness and sadness, wealth and poverty, and even life and death.  A class like APES is called interdisciplinary, because it looks for connections between multiple academic disciplines, including biology, chemistry, physics, and social studies.

Prerequisites: Two years of science which include 1) Biology and 2) either Physics or Chemistry.

Course Expectations for a Successful Student:  Curiosity.  The interdisciplinary dimension of APES is perfect for the student who asks himself or herself: Why is this happening?  How can this be different? and What can I do?  Strong abilities in reading comprehension and problem-solving mathematics are important for achieving a high grade.





Course Description: This is a college level introductory course to world history. Over the course of the year, we will be studying the regions of Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, Oceania and Europe from 8,000 BCE to the present. The class focuses specifically on identifying changes and continuity within and among civilizations, and making comparisons between civilizations. In addition to content knowledge, students will read a college level textbook, read and analyze primary and secondary sources, and write analytical essays.

Prerequisites: Students must have strong academic reading skills for this course. Students must also be able to manage their time effectively and follow the recommended reading schedule. Parent approval is also required for this class.

Course Expectations for a Successful Student: AP World History requires students to learn both the factual knowledge of history as well as analytical skills. AP world history covers the story of humanity from the Neolithic Revolution, 10,000 years ago, until the present day. Therefore, the course moves at a brisk pace. Students will cover roughly one chapter per week, reading from a challenging textbook. While major themes from the reading are reviewed in class, students must be willing to dedicate adequate time to reading the textbook in order to learn factual material not covered in classroom activities. During classroom time, students practice historical thinking skills such as document analysis, comparative thinking, as well as other skills that historians use to recreate the past. Homework is assigned daily and requires 4 to 6 hours per week to complete.  Quizzes are given after each chapter (22 quizzes per year).  There will be six unit tests per year.



Course Description: Students in Advanced Placement United States History will learn about the developments that have shaped the nation’s history through the critical analysis of historical events and materials.  Students will learn to weigh evidence and interpretations as they build their factual knowledge of U.S. History and develop their ability to draw conclusions and use informed reasoning to present arguments clearly and persuasively in essay format.  The course will focus on the development of historical thinking and an understanding of content organized around seven themes: Work, Exchange, and Technology, Identity, Ideas, Beliefs, and Culture, America in the World, Environment and Geography, Politics and Power, and Peopling.  You will develop the following historical thinking skills: historical argumentation, appropriate use of relevant historical evidence, historical causation, patterns of continuity and change over time, periodization, comparison, contextualization, interpretation, and synthesis.  

Prerequisites:  There are no course prerequisites for AP U.S. History but the course is reserved for students in their junior year.  Students should be both academically prepared and motivated for the rigors of this college level course.  

Course Expectations for a Successful Student:  

1. Curiosity, creativity and commitment

2. Motivation to work at the college level

3. Reading and studying approximately 6-10 hours per week

4. Strong enough command of the English language to allow for the coherent arguing of a thesis



Course Description: This course allows students the opportunity to study their government and the role they play as citizens. This college level course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific examples.  A large percentage of time is spent focused on the three branches of government and their roles in our lives. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. politics. Students will study the Constitution to understand their civil liberties and rights. Students completing this course will be empowered to find an active role in politics.


Course Expectations for a Successful Student: Students can expect weekly formal assessments that include free response and multiple choice questions.  AP U.S. Politics is a college level course so students should expect to do college level work in the classroom and homework every night.  Homework assignments include but are not limited to: chapter outlines, creating flashcards, reading primary sources and answering questions.



Course Description: Human geography is much more than the study of maps. This class focuses on the study of human beings, and analyzing the patterns of how we live on this earth. Topics include the study of human populations, culture, race and ethnicity, religion, languages, politics, economics and development, human- environment interactions; (from Neolithic farmers to industrialization), the growth of cities (urbanization), and globalization. This course is a general survey or introductory course in the field of human geography; it is the equivalent of a one-semester entry- level college course. This counts as a G elective for UC/CSU. This course will open your eyes to the large and complex world that we live in. It will encourage you to see the world through different lenses, and hopefully will inspire you to travel and explore more for yourself after high school. We take 2-3 field trips a year exploring different areas of San Francisco.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites to take this course, but since it is an elective, students must be on track to graduate.

Course Expectations for a Successful Student: AP Human Geography requires nightly reading assignments and active class participation. We read and reference a college level text on a daily basis. We also read newspaper articles about current events and issues. We debate topics and write short essays. Class discussions happen frequently, and students are challenged to develop their questioning and critical thinking skills.



Course Description:  Students will continue to explore the systematic and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes as they continue to learn and think critically about psychological theories, research, and practices in our society. They will consider the applications, implications, and limitations of the practice of psychology as they explore the ethics and methods that psychologists use in the major subfields of psychology. The course is designed to prepare students to be successful on the Advanced Placement exam and in further academic studies. The course includes weekly visits to elementary schools, allowing students to observe principles of psychology in action.




ADVANCED PLACEMENT CHINESE (10th, 11th, 12th Grade)

Course Description: This is a College Board Advanced Placement class, so we will use Integrated Chinese, level 2, part 2 as the textbook. I also will provide lots of handouts for learning Chinese culture. I will give AP Chinese sample tests four times as practice for real test. I will bring students to the computer lab in April for the practice tests. In this class, we will watch movies—related to Chinese culture and what we learned. We will have lots of writing works—essays, making sentences, movie reflection, etc. This class will have a quiz or test every week to make sure students study and understand what they have learned. Every quarter, we will have at least two oral presentations (speaking/group project).

Prerequisites: Completion of Chinese 3 with at least a C grade. Students need to have basic writing skills. Students need to know pinyin, how to type Chinese, and how to speak Chinese with proficiency. 

Course Expectations for a Successful Student: Students are expected to finish assignments on time, and be well prepared before quizzes/tests. Students need to participate in class and in group projects. Students also need to bring their notebook, textbook, and organized handouts. 



Course Description: This course is the College Board Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture course. It is comparable to a third year (fifth or sixth semester) college and university Spanish course that focuses on speaking and writing in Spanish language at an advanced level. The course prepares the student to demonstrate proficiency in the three communication modes (Interpersonal, Presentational and Interpretive) as defined by the five goal areas of the California World Language Standards (Content, Communication, Cultures, Structures and Settings.) The course has three main components: Classwork (readings, multimedia, presentations) around the six AP Spanish Language and Culture themes, a weekly current events homework, and exam practices that are in context with the six themes. There is a short daily homework, comprised by an independent grammar review, of about 10-15 min per night.  The weekend current events homework requires 30 to 40 minutes to complete, and it must be completed according to specifications to get full credit. There are no tests in this course, instead every quarter students will be assessed with a group project, at least one persuasive essay and an oral cultural comparison. Additionally, students are expected to keep a multi tab binder in which they will keep their work and handouts organized according to given instructions. All late work achieves a maximum of 50% credit for an assignment.

Prerequisites: Students must have successfully completed Spanish 3 with a C.  Native speakers and graduates from immersion programs might take other pathways to the course, via placement test or interview with the teacher.

Course Expectations for a Successful Student: Students enrolling in this course must be committed to communicate in Spanish while in class and extend their use of the language outside the classroom. Extra credit will be given for participating in Spanish speaking activities. Students should have a fairly high reading, writing and speaking ability in Spanish.  Additionally, and given the complexity of the course and the amount of handouts, good organization skills are part of the class expectations and necessary to succeed in this class. Therefore, students are expected to keep a multiple tab binder in which they are expected to file and retrieve items when prompted.




ADVANCED PLACEMENT STUDIO ART 2D (10th, 11th, 12th Grade)

Course Description: This independent AP class is a studio-based visual arts class emphasizing design: the formal elements of design such as line, color, texture, space, value, shape and form, as well as the principles of design:  unity, balance, contrast, repetition and variety.  Students enrolled must show a high level of motivation, independence and the ability to work on their own inside and outside of class.  The advanced level of this class means students will be learning college foundation artwork while in this course.  The AP portfolio requirements expect the student to address the following three main concepts:  breadth, concentration and quality.  Students will be expected to develop mastery in concept, composition and execution of ideas.  A successful completion and submission of a portfolio is required, and if scored a 3 or higher, may earn college credit at participating universities.  Artworks created prior to and outside of the AP course will be identified and may be considered for inclusion in the AP Art portfolio.  A minimum of 24 works dealing with the formal aspects of design will be completed for final portfolio submission to the College Board.   There are a variety of means for this expression including, but not limited to drawing, painting, photography, graphic design, mixed media, and collage.  Any 2-D process is acceptable to explore except for 3-D, video and photocopies of work.

Prerequisites: Students must have successfully completed at least one introductory visual art class at Lincoln (Art 1&2, Drawing 1&2, Photo 1&2, Art & Architecture 1&2) or show equivalent work. A portfolio review of past work is required to be admitted into the class. Having taken AP Art History is also very helpful.

Course Expectations for a Successful Student: Students must have strong drawing skills and a working knowledge of design.  In addition to regular attendance, students must be willing to work independently on their artwork 3 to 4 hours a week outside of class.  Most important: students should have a love for art! If you have drawn a little and are thinking of taking this class to boost your GPA, take something else.


ADVANCED PLACEMENT STUDIO ART 3D (10th, 11th, 12th Grade)

Course Description: This course is the College Board Advanced Placement 3D Studio Art course and includes all of the topics listed on the College Board website. Students taking Ceramics for a second year will be considered Independent Study students and will be working on an AP 3D Portfolio. In this college level course, you will pursue the investigation of three-dimensional ceramic forms. It is important to learn to express yourself in your own personal style, using the elements and principles of art. Students will develop mastery in concept, composition and execution. Critiques with peers and teacher will be an ongoing process and will be part of the assessment for the course grade.  Other assessments will be formative (critiques, brainstorming, individual teacher feedback to your progress) and summative (tests) as projects are completed.

AP Studio Art is a program administrated by College Board to provide highly motivated students with an opportunity to earn college credit. Students will create a portfolio of artwork exploring three-dimensional art and documentation of that work with digital photography. In May, students will submit their completed portfolio of digital images to the College Board for scoring. If students receive a passing score of 3, 4, or 5, they may receive college credit for the class. AP studio Art meets the University of California A - G Visual and Performing Arts & elective requirements.

Prerequisites: Students must have successfully completed at least one year of ceramics or architecture, preferably 2, in order to develop work for a successful portfolio. Parent approval is a requirement to take this course. Students must be able to commit time and creativity in order to produce a successful portfolio. Students must also be able to stick to time-tables and be willing to produce at least four successful 3D works a quarter.

Course Expectations for a Successful Student: Successful students must be willing to dedicate 10 extra out of class hours a week to this class. This time can be divided between project work at home or extra studio hours provided during lunch, after school or on designated weekends.



Course Description: A.P. Art History not only seeks to understand history through studying its works of art, but also to understand art by studying the context in which it was created.  Works of art document history. How does art change through time, as the society and culture change?  What can art tell us about the people who lived and worked during the time period?  Students will learn to recognize art and architecture, its creator, time period, and meaning.  Students will write about art using the vocabulary necessary, compare and contrast different works, learn how artists borrow from one another and discuss how the art relates to the time and place of creation.  Students will learn how to collect and organize pertinent information, cross-reference it and write coherently about it using the proper vocabulary.

Information will be communicated either via lecture, discussion, group activities, reading, research, slide viewing and identification and/or exams.  Your energy, presence, and daily preparation will contribute critically to the quality of our experience this year together.

Prerequisites: Students should read at or above grade level and/or be motivated to read a long text.

Course Expectations for a Successful Student: Students must be organized, motivated and willing to learn. This class moves at a fast pace as students are required to be familiar with many of the major works of art created between 25,000 BC and the present day.  Expect at least 5-7 hours of homework per week.  Students are expected to complete homework on time; late work may not be accepted. In addition to our regular class time, you must be present each Tuesday at lunch (11:30) for an extended art history class. Visiting local museums are an important part of learning about art. You may be required to visit museums on your own and complete assignments in addition to field trips.

Nightly homework consists of about 10 pages of reading and study guide completion and the formatting of art images to take notes in class the following day. Essays are assigned at the rate of about one every 30 days (1 ½– 2 pages typed). Emphasis will be on writing clearly, coherently and succinctly using the appropriate vocabulary.  Correct essay format is reviewed.  Art cards are completed during lecture in class and due about every 1-2 weeks. Students are required to come to class prepared to discuss the questions or materials for that day.

This page was last updated on May 12, 2021