Does AP Psychology Count Social Studies?


Martha Robinson

When it comes to choosing high school courses, students often wonder how different subjects will count towards their graduation requirements. One common question that arises is whether AP Psychology counts as a social studies credit. In this article, we will explore the relationship between AP Psychology and the social studies curriculum.

Understanding the AP Program

Before delving into the specifics of AP Psychology, let’s briefly discuss the Advanced Placement (AP) program. AP courses are rigorous and college-level classes offered in high schools. These courses allow students to earn college credit if they perform well on the corresponding AP exam.

The Interdisciplinary Nature of Social Studies

Social studies is a broad field that encompasses various disciplines such as history, geography, political science, economics, and sociology. The goal of social studies education is to develop informed and active citizens who can understand and participate in a complex society.

With its focus on human behavior and mental processes, AP Psychology can be considered an interdisciplinary subject that overlaps with several areas within social studies. It incorporates elements of sociology by examining how individuals interact within society. It also touches upon history by exploring the evolution of psychological theories over time.

Earning Social Studies Credit with AP Psychology

The acceptance of AP Psychology as a social studies credit ultimately depends on your school or district’s policies. While some schools categorize it as a social science or elective credit, others may specifically include it under their social studies requirements.

If you are unsure about how your school views AP Psychology in relation to social studies credits, it is essential to consult with your guidance counselor or academic advisor for accurate information specific to your institution.

Benefits of Counting AP Psychology as Social Studies

  • Broadening Perspectives: By recognizing AP Psychology as a social studies credit, schools acknowledge the interdisciplinary nature of the subject. This inclusion encourages students to explore diverse fields and gain a broader understanding of the social sciences.
  • Flexibility in Course Selection: Counting AP Psychology as social studies widens the range of elective options for students.

    It allows them to fulfill their graduation requirements while pursuing their interests and passions in psychology.

  • College Admissions: Many colleges and universities view AP courses positively during the admissions process. Counting AP Psychology as a social studies credit can demonstrate your dedication to challenging coursework and may enhance your college applications.


In summary, whether AP Psychology counts as a social studies credit depends on your school or district’s policies. Understanding the interdisciplinary nature of AP Psychology and its relevance to various social science disciplines can help you advocate for its inclusion within the social studies curriculum. Remember to consult with your guidance counselor or academic advisor for accurate information regarding credit requirements at your school.

Ultimately, regardless of how it is categorized, taking AP Psychology can be a rewarding experience that provides valuable insights into human behavior and mental processes.