AP® Environmental Science

  • $700.00 / Full Year
  • $380.00 / Semester 1
  • $380.00 / Semester 2
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Course Overview

AP® Environmental Science provides students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. The course draws upon various disciplines, including geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography in order to explore a variety of environmental topics. Topics explored include natural systems on Earth; biogeochemical cycles; the nature of matter and energy; the flow of matter and energy through living systems; populations; communities; ecosystems; ecological pyramids; renewable and nonrenewable resources; land use; biodiversity; pollution; conservation; sustainability; and human impacts on the environment. The equivalent of an introductory college-level science course, AP® Environmental Science prepares students for the AP® exam and for further study in science, health sciences, or engineering.

The AP® Environmental Science course provides a learning experience focused on allowing students to develop their critical thinking skills and cognitive strategies. Scientific inquiry skills are embedded in the direct instruction, wherein students learn to ask scientific questions, deconstruct claims, form and test hypotheses, and use logic and evidence to draw conclusions about the concepts. Frequent no- and low-stakes assessments allow students to measure their comprehension and improve their performance as they progress through each activity.

Students perform hands-on labs and projects that give them insight into the nature of science and help them understand environmental concepts, as well as how evidence can be obtained to support those concepts. Virtual lab activities enable students to engage in investigations that would otherwise require long periods of observation at remote locations and to explore simulations that enable environmental scientists to test predictions. During both hands-on and virtual labs, students form hypotheses; collect, analyze, and manipulate data; and report their findings and conclusions. Throughout this course, students are given an opportunity to understand how biology, earth science, and physical science are applied to the study of the environment and how technology and engineering are contributing solutions for studying and creating a sustainable biosphere.

Summative tests are offered at the end of each unit as well as at the end of each semester, and contain objective and constructed response items. Robust scaffolding, rigorous instruction, relevant material, and regular active learning opportunities ensure that students can achieve mastery of the skills necessary to excel on the AP® exam.

This course has been authorized by the College Board to use the AP® designation.

Course Details

Grade Levels
High School

Two years of high school laboratory science (one year of life science and one year of physical science), and one year of algebra

Course Length

Full Year: Full year courses are two semesters in length, 18 weeks maximum each.

Semester 1: 18 weeks, recommended summer pacing is 9 weeks.

Semester 2: 18 weeks, recommended summer pacing is 9 weeks.

Required Materials

Semesters 1 and 2: Required

AP® Environmental Science requires a college-level textbook. Students may use any college-level environmental science textbook to successfully complete the course.

Though students may use any college-level textbook, resources such as page references and scaffolded reading guides are provided in the course to support students who use either of the following texts:

  • Environment: The Science Behind the Stories, 7th Edition. Jay Withgott. (Pearson, 2019)
    ISBN-13: 9780136451471
    Acceptable alternate: 6th ed. (2018). ISBN-13: 9780134580562
    Acceptable alternate: 5th ed. (2014). ISBN-13: 9780133540147

– OR –

  • Environment, 9th Edition. Peter H. Raven, David M. Hassenzahl, Mary Catherine Hager, Nancy Y. Gift, and Linda R. Berg. (John Wiley & Sons, 2015)
    ISBN-13: 9781118875827
    Note: Out of print and no longer available

AP® Environmental Science requires the completion of hands-on lab activities and has been approved by the College Board as meeting all requirements for a laboratory science course. For a list of hands-on lab materials, go to: http://support.apexlearning.com/materials

Course Units & Syllabus

Download the Syllabus