Advanced Placement (AP)Download PDF World History

Credit Hours: 1.0

Course Length: 2 Semesters

Course Description

AP World History covers the history of the world from 600 C.E. to the present, with an introductory unit on the period before (covering around 8000 B.C.E. to 600 C.E.). The course emphasizes “patterns of change” and the connections between the various world cultures throughout the time period being studied. Students will gain an understanding of the global experiences of humanity and be able to apply that knowledge to their growth and development as “world citizens.” The class has two major goals: (1) to prepare students to be successful on the AP World History exam and (2) to provide students with an understanding of why the world developed the way it did.

Students will:

  1. Improve expository writing skills
  2. Build understanding of principle themes, events, and figures in World History
  3. Analyze and organize data and historical evidence
  4. Identify and analyze point-of-view in historical sources
  5. Demonstrate higher-order thinking skills within a rigorous format
  6. Cultivate skills that will help them in other educational pursuits

Course Prerequisites

Previous History course and teacher recommendation

Required Textbook(s) and/or Materials

Title: World Civilizations: The Global Experience
Edition: AP
Authors: Peter N. Stearns
Publisher: Prentice Hall

Course Outline

Semester I:

  1. Instruction for writing comparative essays
  2. Instruction for writing change over time essays
  3. Geography, the environment and human origins
  4. The Stone Age
  5. Neolithic Revolution
  6. The Building Blocks of Civilization
  7. The River Civilizations
  8. The Ancient Middle East
  9. Classical Greece and Rome
  10. Decline of Empires
  11. Religious traditions and belief systems
  12. China through the Han and Sui Dynasties
  13. Early Japan
  14. African Empires
  15. Classical India
  16. Trans regional networks of communication and trade
  17. Document-based essay (DBQ) writing instruction


  1. Byzantium
  2. Early Medieval Europe
  3. Early Cultures in the Americas
  4. Class structures, forms of government, slavery, war, trade, religious interaction, and migration of peoples across cultures
  5. Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance
  6. The role of Islam in the Middle East and Africa
  7. China, Japan and East Asia (Sui and Tang Dynasties, Song China, Mongol Conquest, Yuan China, early Ming Dynasty, Heian Japan, Feudal Japan, Korea and Vietnam)
  8. Mongol Empires
  9. Sub-Saharan Africa
  10. Artistic and literary endeavor prior to 1450
  11. Absolutism, Reformation, and Enlightenment in Europe
Semester II: 

  1. The Age of Discovery and Age of Imperialism
  2. Responses to Imperialism
  3. The Columbian Exchange
  4. Rise of a Global Economy
  5. Islamic Empires in the Middle East and North Africa
  6. Ming and Qing China
  7. Manchu conquest of China
  8. Feudal war and reunification in Japan
  9. Comparison of the Romanov and Tokugawa Dynasties
  10. Consolidation of Japan
  11. Mughal India
  12. Kingdoms of Southeast Asia
  13. Australia and its neighbors
  14. Emergence of the Slave Trade
  15. Indian Ocean trade network
  16. Revolutions
  17. Post-colonial societies
  18. Industrialization


  1. Nationalism
  2. Changing status of women and Women’s movements
  3. Massive waves of emigration
  4. Imperialism, the Great War, and the Russian Revolution
  5. Political and economic systems in the twentieth century
  6. The Great War
  7. Postwar Era, Global Depression and WWII
  8. Asia since 1945
  9. Collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union
  10. Economic crisis
  11. Mass media and mass communications technology
  12. Art of the twentieth century
  13. Scientific advancements in the twentieth century
  14. The Cold War and Modern Era