Advanced Placement

Why Take AP Computer Science A?

AP computer science courses can launch you into limitless careers.

In AP Computer Science A, you’ll learn the foundations of Java, a powerful programming language that’s highly valued in today’s job market.

"AP Computer Science A is different from my other courses. It's less about the facts and formulas and more about learning and understanding how to work through problems."

Emily, AP student

About the Course

In AP Computer Science A, you’ll get a comprehensive introduction to computer science concepts by learning part of the Java programming language. Through hands-on and collaborative work, you’ll design, write, and test computer programs that solve problems or accomplish tasks.

Watch this webinar to hear directly from students who took the course and check out some examples of projects completed by other AP Computer Science A students:

Stephen is most proud of his recreation of the basic functionality of Wordle. He included a word bank and made the letters change colors if it was correct or incorrect.

Chisolm made a grocery shopping list that tells you how much everything you're planning to buy costs and if you're over budget or under budget.


Saiya made a spacetime game to help children learn and thought it was really fun to find sound effects and create her own graphics used in the game.

Emily is proud of her magic square project that involved the user inputting numbers and then it would make a square and see if the columns, rows, and diagonals added up to the same number.


AP computer science courses can be taken in any order but AP Computer Science Principles is often taken first. It provides students with a wider view of the computer science field and introduces key programming concepts that are then explored in depth in AP Computer Science A.

While there are no required computer science prerequisites for either AP computer science course, it is recommended that students have taken a first-year high school algebra course. Learn more about the similarities and differences between AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A.


How You Benefit

Java is widely used in the software development industry, and there is a growing demand for developers and programmers with this skill set. Check out all the careers and majors that this course connects to.

Like all AP courses, AP Computer Science A can help you stand out in the college application process and gives you the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both. Learn about all the benefits of taking AP courses and exams.

"AP Computer Science A is different than other AP courses I've taken because you get to be a creator. The class teaches you how to problem solve, how to think, and most importantly how to collaborate."

Milan, AP student

Talk to your school counselor to see if AP Computer Science A is available at your school and how you can enroll. And learn about scholarships, paid internships, and other opportunities for high school and college students interested in computer science.