Computer science is one of the fastest-growing fields in the world, and more students are accessing AP computer science courses than ever. AP Computer Science Principles (CSP) was the biggest course launch in AP history. Three years after launch, participation in AP CSP had more than doubled.
Students who take the AP CSP Exam are nearly 6 times more likely to take AP Computer Science A (CSA) compared to other AP STEM examinees, and about 15 times more likely than non-AP STEM examinees.
Underrepresented Students in AP Computer Science
The participation data for AP computer science reveal an encouraging trend: Growth in participation by girls and minority students outpaces overall growth.
The College Board believes that more underrepresented students pursuing computer science majors and careers will have meaningful impact on these students, their families, and their communities.
Participation in AP Computer Science (CSP and CSA) by Black/African American Students
Participation in AP Computer Science (CSP and CSA) by Hispanic/Latino Students
Participation in AP Computer Science (CSP and CSA) by U.S. Rural Students
Participation in AP Computer Science (CSP and CSA) by Female Students
Female Diversity Award
As the field of computer science grows, it’s critical that female students aren’t left behind. That's why we developed the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award.
To win the award, schools have to attain at least 50% representation for girls in either of the two AP computer science courses, or the percentage of girls taking the AP Exam must meet or exceed that of the school’s female population.
School Spotlight: Belfry High School, Kentucky
In rural Kentucky, Belfry High School math teacher Stephanie Younger remembers when only 20 students took computer science. That was 2015. Less than a year later, Younger estimates 500 students in eastern Kentucky had taken a computer science class.
“It just exploded,” said Younger. “Our program doubled in size for AP CSP.” In fact Belfry High School has seen 127% growth since launching AP CSP in 2016-17.
And the percentage of young women participating in the course has climbed from 18% in 2017 to 43% in 2019.
Younger explains why AP CSP is good for all rural Kentucky students: “The reality is only about 50% of our students go on to a postsecondary or a trade school. However, by allowing them to choose AP CSP as a math elective, we are sending a new generation of young adults into the world with knowledge of how the internet works, how data is secured and transmitted, the importance of data privacy, and a basic understanding of programming. These are valuable skills for anyone, regardless of the path they choose once they graduate.”
A Note on the Data
Because AP CSP is a newer course, the data on this page is at the administration level.