Do Colleges Look at AP Art History?

Art|Art History

Advanced Placement (AP) Art History is an exciting and rigorous course offering for high school students. It provides an in-depth exploration of the history of art, architecture and other visual arts from a global perspective. While the course is not required for college admissions, it can provide college admissions officers with valuable insight into a student’s level of interest and commitment to the field of art history.

Due to its comprehensive nature, the AP Art History exam is considered one of the most difficult AP exams available. Students are expected to demonstrate mastery of specific topics such as artistic media, styles and periods, as well as current issues in the field. They must be able to identify works of art from different cultures, analyze them in terms of their form and content, and place them within a historical context.

Colleges view AP Art History as an indication that applicants have an eagerness to engage with both classic works of art and contemporary artwork. By taking this course, students have demonstrated their willingness to take on challenging material and think critically about various aspects of art history. The AP Art History exam also requires students to demonstrate visual literacy skills such as spatial reasoning, which is a valuable asset for many college majors.

Another great benefit of taking AP Art History is its potential for college credit or placement out of basic art history classes. Many colleges offer credit or placement out of introductory classes if a student earns a suitable score on the AP Art History exam. This can be especially beneficial for students who plan to major in art history or related fields in college as it may allow them to take more advanced classes sooner.


In summary, while taking AP Art History may not be required for college admissions, it can provide colleges with evidence that applicants are interested in exploring the world of art history in greater depth. Additionally, students who do well on the exam may be eligible for college credit or placement out of basic courses which could save time and money when studying this subject at university level.