AP Courses

Waukegan High School offers an extensive Advanced Placement program offering courses in English, Mathematics, History, Science, World Language and Fine Arts. Advanced Placement course descriptions are listed below by Department. Visit the College Board AP Course page for more information about each Advanced Placement course.

Links to AP course descriptions offered at WHS:

AP English

AP Math

AP Fine Arts

AP Science

AP Social Studies

AP World Languages

AP English

English Language and Composition 11

The AP course in English Language and Composition engages students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts, and in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer's purposes, audience expectations, and subjects, as well as the way genre conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing. Students enrolling in English Language and Composition can expect significant reading and writing assignments, most of which will be completed outside of class. This course prepares students for the AP English Language exam.

English Literature and Composition 12

An AP course in English Literature and Composition engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students consider a work's structure, style and themes, as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism and tone. Students enrolling in English Literature and Composition can expect significant reading and writing assignments, most of which will be completed outside of class. This course prepares students for the AP English Literature exam.

AP Math

Calculus A/B

The class is a one-year Advanced Placement course. This class introduces students to the first two semesters of calculus, including independent limits, continuity, parametric equations, differential and integral calculus. Students that successfully complete this class are expected to take the Advanced Placement exam and can possibly earn college credit. A graphing calculator is strongly encouraged (TI-84 Plus or TI-Inspire).

Calculus B/C

This is a one-year Advanced Placement course in differential and integral calculus with a faster pace than Calculus A/B. Students that successfully complete this class are expected to take the Advanced Placement test and can possibly earn college credit. A graphing calculator is strongly encouraged (TI-84 Plus or TI-Inspire).

Statistics

This class is a one-year Advanced Placement course. Statistics is the study of how to collect, organize, analyze and interpret numerical information from data. This course will teach students how to make decisions while using statistical techniques. Students that successfully complete this class are expected to take the Advanced Placement exam and can possibly earn college credit. A graphing calculator is strongly encouraged (TI-84 Plus or TI-Inspire).

Computer Science Principles

The course introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world. The AP Program designed AP Computer Science Principles with the goal of creating leaders in computer science fields and attracting and engaging those who are traditionally underrepresented with essential computing tools and multidisciplinary opportunities. The course is housed entirely on the Chromebook platform. Students are not required to have a calculator.

AP Fine Arts

Music Theory

The AP Music Theory course is a year-long course designed to develop a student's ability to recognize, understand and describe the basic materials and processes of music that are heard or presented in a score. The achievement of this goal is achieved through integrated approaches to the student's development of aural, sight-singing, writing, compositional and analytical skills through a variety of listening, performance, written, creative and analytical exercises. This course is aligned with the College Board and Advanced Placement Program and its assessment program. At the completion of the course students will be well-prepared to take College Board's Advanced Placement Music Theory Exam. This course is recommended for students planning to attend college and pursue studies in the fields of music education and music performance.

Studio Art

AP Studio Art is designed for students who are interested in the practical experience of art. AP Studio Art is not based on written exams, instead, students submit portfolios for evaluation at the end of the school year. AP Studio Art is for highly motivated students who are seriously interested in the study of art; the program demands significantly committed students. Students will need to work outside the classroom, as well as in it, and beyond scheduled periods. Students should be considered responsible enough to leave the art room or school if an assignment requires them to do so, and homework, such as maintaining a sketchbook or journal, is a necessary component of instruction. Critiques, a common structure in the college classroom, are important in AP as well. Group and individual critiques enable students to learn to analyze their own work and their peers' work. Ongoing critical analysis, through individual critiques, enables both the students and the teacher to assess the strengths and weaknesses in the work. Completion of assigned summer work is required.


AP Science

Biology

Advanced Placement (AP) Biology is a year long elective course designed to provide students with a solid foundation equivalent to a first year college level biology course. Major themes explored in this course are: evolution drives the diversity and unity of life; biological systems utilizing energy and molecular building blocks to grow, reproduce and maintain homeostasis; living systems store, retrieve, transmit and respond to information essential to life processes; and biological systems interact, and these systems and interactions possess complex properties. Extensive inquiry-based laboratory work is a major component of this course and will help students develop the reasoning skills necessary to engage in the science practices used throughout their study of AP Biology. This course is aligned with the College Board and Advanced Placement Program. At the completion of the course students will be expected to take the AP Biology Exam. This course is recommended for students who plan to attend college and/or pursue studies in the fields of science or medicine.

Chemistry

Advanced Placement (AP) Chemistry is a year long, elective course designed to provide students with a solid foundation equivalent to a first year college level chemistry course. This course covers a broad range of chemistry topics with emphasis on chemical calculations, mathematical formulation of principles and extensive laboratory work. This course is aligned with the College Board and Advanced Placement Program. At the completion of the course students will be expected to take the AP Chemistry Exam. This course is recommended for students who plan to attend college and pursue studies in the fields of science or engineering.

Environmental Science

Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Science is a year long course designed to provide students with a solid foundation equivalent to a first year college level environmental science course. Students will explore the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. This course is aligned with the College Board and Advanced Placement Program. At the completion of the course students will be expected to take the AP Environmental Science Exam. This course is recommended for students who plan to attend college and pursue studies in the fields of science.

Physics 1

Advanced Placement (AP) Physics with Algebra is a year long, elective course designed to provide students with a college-level, algebra-based, introduction to the study of physics equivilant to a first-semester college physics course. Students will explore principles of Newtonian mechanics, work, energy, mechanical waves and sound, and simple circuits. The course encompasses core scientific principles, theories, and processes that cut across traditional boundaries and provide a broad way of thinking about the physical world. This course is aligned with the College Board and Advanced Placement Program. At the completion of the course students will be expected to take the AP Physics 1 Exam. Students are strongly encouraged to have their own scientific calculator for use throughout the course. AP Physics with Algebra is recommended for students who plan to attend college and pursue studies in the fields of science or engineering.

Physics C

Advanced Placement (AP) Physics C is a year long, elective course designed to provide students with a college-level, calculus-based introduction to the study of physics. Topics in AP Physics C are covered in greater depth and with analytical and mathematical sophistication, including extensive calculus applications. The first semester of AP Physics C is devoted to mechanics. The second semester explores classical electricity and magnetism using calculus in formulating principles and problem solving. This course is aligned with the College Board and Advanced Placement Program. At the completion of the course students will be expected to take the AP Physics C Mechanics and Electricity/Magnetism Exams. This course is recommended for students who plan to attend college and pursue studies in the fields of science or engineering.


AP Social Studies

Psychology

This year long course introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Students increase their understanding of psychology, its methods, theory and research. AP Psychology is a survey course, so students focus on bits of information from many different areas in psychology. Primarily, the course explores the psychological facts, principles and phenomena associated with each of the major sub fields of psychology (consciousness, learning, personality, cognition, etc.)

U.S. Government & Politics / Consumer Education

Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics is a 2 semester course that presents students with an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific case studies. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs and ideas that constitute U.S. political reality. AP United States Government and Politics covers the basic topics that are generally addressed in college courses. Course content includes a study of economic policy as it pertains to U.S. domestic and foreign policy and also as a capstone unit on consumer economics in fulfillment of Illinois State requirements. This course includes direct prep for the AP examination both throughout the curriculum and as a dedicated unit prior to the exam.

United States History

This year long course is designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in U.S. History. The course prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. Students will learn to assess historical materials and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship.

World History

Advanced Placement World History is a sophisticated quest for meaning about the past, beyond the effort to collect information. This course is designed to provide students with a college-level, introduction to the study of World History. This course is designed to emphasize students' ability to craft historical arguments from historical evidence, reason chronological, compare and contextualize, and interpret and synthesize historical information in a classrooms setting. This course is aligned with the College Board and Advanced Placement Program and its assessment program. Students completing the course are expected to take the AP World History Examination. Successful completion of the AP World History course may result in the awarding of college credit, and/or advanced placement in social sciences at the undergraduate level.

AP World Languages

French 5

This course is designed to review and expand upon advanced French grammar and vocabulary. French is used exclusively for instruction, discussion and writing assignments offered through a variety of genres and epochs of French literature, history, culture and current events. Students are expected to use the target language only in all four language skills. Emphasis is placed almost exclusively on preparing students for the French Language Advanced Placement Exam.

Spanish 5

This course is designed to further our student's knowledge of the Spanish language and culture through the use of real literature, writing and culture. Grammar skills, interpersonal and formal/informal oral communication skills are also stressed. Students acquire the skills necessary to be successful on the AP Exam and broaden their understanding of the cultures that make up the Spanish speaking world. They also are able to easily make the connection between using Spanish in the formal, academic setting and in their daily lives. The course is given entirely in Spanish at this level.

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