Advanced Placement Courses
Advanced Placement courses – commonly referred to as AP courses – are courses taken in high school that can be counted for college credit. Most serve as intro-level college courses with a year-end exam. Results of that exam determine if college credit has been earned, though different colleges may have different score requirements. Passing an AP course is a sign that a student is capable of college-level coursework.
Students may also sit for exams at Pius X in any AP course, even if the course is not offered at Pius X.
- AP American Government
- AP Art History
- AP Biology
- AP Calculus AB
- PACE (two-period double course) – AP Physics and AP Applied Calculus for Engineers
- AP English Literature
- AP Environmental science
- AP Human Geography
- AP Statistics
AP AMERICAN GOVERNMENT
This course is designed to help students gain a critical perspective on government and politics in the United States. It involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret American politics and the analysis of specific case studies. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs and ideas that make up the American political system. This course will fulfill the senior social studies requirement and is designed as an Advanced Placement course.
AP ART HISTORY
Grades 10, 11, 12
This course explores such topics as the nature of art, its uses, its meanings, art making, and responses to art. Through investigation of diverse artistic traditions of cultures from prehistory to present, the course fosters in-depth understanding of the history of art from a global perspective. AP Art History is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester introductory college or university art history survey course.
AP Biology will follow the Advanced Placement curriculum including interaction and energy use in biological systems, genetics and evolution. Laboratory work, lectures, discussions, field trips, and out of class reading will be utilized. At the end of the year, students will have the opportunity to take the AP Biology exam to earn possible college credit.
AP CALCULUS AB
Grade 12 (11 with Teacher Permission) – [Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus]
This course covers the topics of the first semester of college calculus. Students taking this course should check college handbooks to see if the AP Calculus exam is required for admission to second semester college calculus. Daily homework should be expected. Graphing calculator required. TI 83+ or TI 84 series is recommended.
AP CALCULUS (PACE)
Grade 12 – Taken concurrently with AP Physics (PACE)
PACE (Physics and Applied Calculus for Engineers) is a double-period calculus and calculus-based physics coursewith an emphasis on engineering applications. This course will include the study of limits, derivatives, integrals, and series in calculus and the study of mechanics and electricity and magnetism in physics. Students will complete several major projects and will compete in the Pius X Machine Contest. PACE will prepare students to take the AP Calculus BC exam and the AP Physics C exams for possible college credit. Graphing calculator is required (TI 83+ or TI 84 series is recommended).
AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
AP Environmental Science is a one-year course that will follow the Advanced Placement curriculum. The course will provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and man-made, to evaluate risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Laboratory work, lectures, readings, class discussions, research, case-studies, and field trips will be utilized throughout the course. At the end of the year, students will have an opportunity to take the AP Environmental Science exam to earn possible college credit.
AP ENGLISH LITERATURE
This course is designed to mimic the rigor and style of a college level English course. It is organized around the theme of The Other, using various critical lenses such as Post-colonialism, Gender, Historical, Futuristic, etc. to examine the ways in which Otherness and privilege are prominent in both literature and society and are impacted over the course of time. This class explores various authors from the 18thcentury to the early 21stcentury,with authors including Achebe, Miller, Wiesel, Austen, Shakespeare, O’Brien, and Huxley. Poetry, short stories, and non-fiction documents are incorporated into each unit with a novel or play as the central text. One independent choice novel is also read each semester. AP test prep will be incorporated into the class for those wishing to take the exam in May. As preparation for the rigor of AP English Literature, students will have a summer reading requirement of two novels analyzed through an essay. During the semester, daily reading assignments, class participation, analytical papers, and a multi-genre project are required elements of this course. In order to take the AP exam, students must enroll in both semesters.
AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
Grades 10, 11, 12
This full year course will introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences. Methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice will be studied. This course will meet the Social Studies elective and the World Geography requirement.
Grades 11, 12 – [Prerequisite: Algebra II]
This course introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing and drawing conclusions from data with the goal of understanding the fundamental concepts of statistics. Real situations are emphasized. Students will design, conduct, and report on their own studies. The AP Statistics exam will be offered in May. Daily homework should be expected. Graphing calculator required. TI 83+ or TI 84 series is recommended.