Is AP Psychology a Social Studies Credit?

When it comes to choosing courses for high school, students often find themselves with a plethora of options. One question that frequently arises is whether AP Psychology can be counted as a social studies credit. In this article, we will delve into this topic and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

The Nature of AP Psychology

AP Psychology is a rigorous course that explores various aspects of human behavior and mental processes. It delves into topics such as personality, memory, cognition, and social psychology. The course aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the science behind human behavior.

Social Studies Credits

Social studies typically encompasses disciplines such as history, geography, economics, political science, and sociology. These subjects focus on understanding society and its various components. Many high schools require students to complete a certain number of social studies credits to graduate.

The Case for AP Psychology as a Social Studies Credit

While AP Psychology may not fit directly into the traditional social studies subjects like history or geography, it does explore the intricacies of human behavior within a societal context. The course covers topics such as social psychology and cultural influences on behavior, which align with the goals of social studies education.

Additionally, some schools categorize psychology as part of their social studies curriculum. In these cases, AP Psychology would likely be considered a social studies credit without question.

The Case against AP Psychology as a Social Studies Credit

On the other hand, some argue that AP Psychology is more aligned with science due to its heavy emphasis on research methods and empirical data analysis. They contend that the course’s focus on understanding human behavior through scientific inquiry makes it better suited for a science credit rather than a social studies credit.

Considerations and School Policies

Ultimately, whether AP Psychology counts as a social studies credit depends on your school’s policies and requirements. Some high schools may have specific guidelines that classify AP Psychology as either a social studies or science credit.

If you are uncertain about how your school categorizes AP Psychology, it is crucial to consult with your guidance counselor or academic advisor. They will be able to provide you with the most accurate information regarding graduation requirements and course classifications.


In conclusion, the classification of AP Psychology as a social studies credit varies depending on the school. While some argue for its inclusion due to its examination of human behavior within societal contexts, others contend that its scientific approach aligns it more closely with the sciences. It is essential to understand your school’s policies and consult with academic advisors to determine how AP Psychology will count towards your graduation requirements.