Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement courses are college-level courses offered by trained high school teachers in the regular high school setting.  AP® courses guarantee rigor in our classrooms. The high school teachers who offer AP® courses are trained by The College Board to offer the course at a college-level and have a syllabus approved by The College Board. AP® courses are challenging and require significant study time on a daily basis. Assessments in these classes require sophisticated critical thinking skills. In May of each year, AP students take the AP® exam(s). Students who score at the 3, 4 or 5 level may be able to earn college credit for these courses taken in the high school. Policies for credit differ from college to college, so take care to check college admissions and credit policies.

Performing well on an AP® exam means more than just the successful completion of a course.  Research suggests that students who complete an AP®
Coursework are:

  • Better prepared for college-level work
  • Stand-outs in college admissions process
  • More likely to continue beyond their freshman year in college
  • More likely to graduate within 4-5 years
  • More competitive in qualifying for scholarships

There are currently 35 AP courses that high schools in the US may choose to offer. Not all courses are offered in each high school. Communicate with your local school’s counseling department to learn which of these courses are offered in your high school.

AP Art History
AP Music Theory
AP Studio Art 2-D Design
AP Studio Art 3-D Design
AP Studio Art Drawing
Mathematics & Computer Science
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
AP Computer Science A
AP Statistics

AP English Language & Composition
AP English Literature & Composition

AP Biology
AP Chemistry
AP Environmental Science
AP Physics 1 (replaces Physics B and begins fall of 2014)
AP Physics 2 (replaces Physics B and begins fall of 2015)

AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
AP Physics C: Mechanics
History & Social Sciences
AP Comparative Government & Politics
AP European History
AP Human Geography
AP Macroeconomics
AP Microeconomics
AP Psychology
AP United States Government & Politics
AP United States History
AP World History
World Languages & Cultures
AP Chinese Language and Culture
AP French Language and Culture
AP German Language and Culture
AP Italian Language and Culture
AP Japanese Language and Culture
AP Latin
AP Spanish Language and Culture
AP Spanish Literature and Culture

Advanced Placement exams will be administered May 9, 2016 through May 13, 2016.  Click here for specific course exam dates.


The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement based on students' performance on AP Exams.  The levels of achievement are listed below:

Students can qualify for the National AP Scholar Award by earning an average grade of 4 or higher on a five-point scale on all AP Exams taken, and grades of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. 

Students can also qualify for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. 

In addition, students can qualify for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average grade of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. 

Students also have the opportunity to qualify for the AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP Exams with grades of 3 or higher. 

2017 Advanced Placement Fee Reimbursement

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) strongly believes that all students should have equal access to the benefit of Advanced Placement (AP) coursework. In September 2016, MDE secured federal funds to pay for the May 2016 AP exams. With the switch to ESSA for the 2017-2018 year, those funds will go directly to the local school districts in the form of block grants.

May 2017 Exams
Knowing the federal funding was not going to be available for the 2016-17 school year and to avoid shifting these costs to districts, MDE was able to plan and budget for these exam fees, and will pay $38 for each AP exam taken by eligible for low-income students in May 2017.

What the School Must Do for Reimbursement, May 2017:

  • Fill in the "Option 1" oval on qualifying students' AP Exam answer sheets.
  • When generating your invoice online, enter the total number of exams (not students) that qualify for the fee reduction.
  • Maintain a list of students who qualify for and use the AP Exam Fee Reduction; record each individual exam that the student is taking. Ensure that each student is eligible for free or reduced lunch, and was enrolled in the corresponding AP class(es).
  • Public high schools in Mississippi who have not secured district or local funding for the remainder of the cost will collect $15 for AP Exam fees from students qualifying for the College Board fee reduction. The College Board will bill MDE directly for qualifying students' AP Exam fees.
  • MDE will reimburse the College Board when we receive the request for reimbursement from the district.

Upper level Cambridge and upper level IB exams will have a different procedure for reimbursement.  Additional guidance for reimbursement of Cambridge and IB exams will be issued later.

Below is a breakdown of the AP Exam fee for low-income students in 2017:

Cost Component               Amount Per Exam

MDE Subsidy                                             $38

College Board Fee Reduction                    $29

College Board Exam Rebate                     $  9
(Waived for low-income Students)

Student Contribution                                  $15

Total Exam Fee                                        $91

The MDE is determined to do all it can to assist those students most in need. In addition to seeking state appropriations to fund and extend equity to our low-income students, we will continue to explore the use of federal funds.  As a reminder, beginning in 2017-18, local districts will have these funds within their Title IV appropriation.  We will continue to keep you abreast of funding guidance as we receive it from USDE.

If you have additional questions, please contact either Dana Bullard, or Jean Massey, by email or call 601-359-3461.

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