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Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone Diploma

Trinity College School is proud to have been one of the first 10 schools in Canada selected by the College Board to offer the innovative Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone Diploma™, a two-year program of study for Grade 11 and 12 students that focuses on critical thinking, collaborative problem solving, and research skills in a cross-curricular context. The AP Capstone Diploma further enriches Ontario Secondary School Diploma coursework.

Benefits of the AP Capstone Diploma for students
  • Excellent enrichment and preparation for university
  • Provides a setting to build on the knowledge and rigorous course work of AP in an interdisciplinary format
  • Offers a unique opportunity to distinguish oneself to universities, particularly on U.S. and U.K. applications
Earning the AP Capstone Diploma

To be eligible for this prestigious diploma, students must earn scores of 3 or higher on the Grade 11 AP Seminar course, the Grade 12 AP Research course, and four additional AP courses/exams (see graphic below). The exams are graded externally on a scale of 1 (not qualified) to 5 (extremely well qualified). Students will earn one Ontario Ministry of Education credit for each full-year AP course successfully taken at TCS.

AP Capstone Diploma overview
Eligibility and Cost for the AP Capstone Diploma

There is no additional cost for the program beyond the standard exam fee levied by the College Board ($100 per AP exam, $150 each for the AP Seminar and AP Research exams).

The AP Capstone Diploma is an especially rigorous course of study that may not be suitable for all students. Grade 10 students interested in pursuing the AP Capstone Diploma must speak with a TCS guidance counsellor in order to assess preparedness for the program. See "Planning for the AP Capstone Diploma", below.

The AP Capstone Course Sequence

Grade 11 – AP Seminar
(related Ontario credit: HSB4U)
Over the Grade 11 year, AP Seminar students will focus on research, communication and collaboration skills. Students will explore two to four relevant issues from multiple perspectives, evaluate the strength of an argument, and make logical, fact-based decisions. Sample topics may include democracy, technology, revolution, and sustainability.

The AP Seminar Exam score will be based on:

  • Team project and presentation (25%)
  • Individual essay, presentation, oral defense (35%)
  • Written exam, evaluated externally (40%)

Grade 12 –AP Research
(related Ontario credit: IDC4U)
Over the Grade 12 year, AP Research students will design, plan, and conduct a year-long mentored, research-based investigation. Students will work across academic areas on an interdisciplinary topic, developing research methods along with written and oral communication skills. Students will address real-world issues, ideally addressing a topic the student is considering studying at university.

The AP Research Exam score will be based on:

  • Research process (15%)
  • 5,000 word academic thesis paper (70%)
  • Public presentation, or exhibition with oral defense (15%)
Planning for the AP Capstone Diploma

Individual plans may differ depending on a student’s current course load. Consult a TCS guidance counsellor to assist with planning.

Course Requirements in Grade 11:

  1. AP Seminar (HSB4U)
  2. Grade 11 English (ENG3U)
  3. Grade 11 Math (MCF3M or MCR3U)
  4. Senior Science or Technology
    1. AP Course:
    2. Elective:
    3. Elective:
    4. Elective:

Course Requirements in Grade 12:

  1. AP Research (IDC4U)
  2. Grade 12 English (ENG4U)
  3. AP Course:
  4. AP Course:
  5. AP Course:
  6. Elective:

Click here to view the AP Courses Offered at TCS.

Selection for the AP Capstone Diploma

Students interested in the program must have the support of the following:

  • Parent(s) or guardian(s)
  • Advisor (if a current Grade 10 TCS student)
  • TCS admissions department (if a new student)
  • TCS guidance department

Selection for the program will be based on: a) student’s commitment to the full two-year program; b) confirmation of the above permissions; c) an analysis of the academic standing and learning skills as reported on the student’s most recent report card; and d) an interview, if required. The final decision for enrollment will be made by the TCS Academic Office.