Advanced Placement Program

Rooted in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, Saint Ignatius High School offers the most rigorous and challenging curriculum available. From year one, students are given the opportunity to expand both the breadth and depth of their knowledge through a comprehensive slate of Advanced Placement and Honors courses.

The research on Advanced Placement is clear:

  • Students who have taken Advanced Placement courses – even if they did not pass the AP exam – routinely outperform non-AP students in college.
  • AP students who were exempted from introductory level courses in college out-performed peers in subsequent courses.
  • 85% of selective colleges and universities report that a student’s AP experience favorably impacts admissions decisions.

The AP International Diploma

The AP program is recognized in over 60 countries.  Students interested in applying to a university outside the United States may earn an AP International Diploma (APID) by taking AP courses in: Foreign Language; English; History; Science or Mathematics; and the Social Sciences or Art.

AP Courses Offered

For more than 55 years, Advanced Placement courses have been regarded as the gold standard for US colleges and universities, and for good reason. Teachers submit their course syllabi for approval by panels of college professors; students are given college-level texts and materials; a comprehensive exam, written and scored by college professors, is given to assess performance. As a result, colleges know that students who participate in an AP program are well prepared for success in college.

AP French AP Calculus: AB
AP Latin AP Calculus: BC
AP Spanish AP Statistics
AP Music Theory AP English Language
AP Studio Art AP English Literature
AP Biology AP U.S. History
AP Chemistry AP European History
AP Physics AP U.S. Government
AP Economics  


AP Scores

During the years 2011-2015 2,298 students have earned a 3, 4 or 5 on various AP exams – an average of 460 students per year (approximately 1/3 of all students in the school in any given year).

Saint Ignatius students consistently score higher on AP exams than their counterparts throughout the country.  Students who pass the AP exam may earn up to 6 credits of advanced standing in college. But more importantly, they are more prepared to handle the challenges of college. After all, they’ve tackled college-level work before they even step foot on a university campus.

AP Recognition

During the years 2011-2015 the following numbers represent the Saint Ignatius High School students who have earned various award levels from the College Board for their success on Advanced Placement exams:

  • AP Scholars: Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams
    • Total: 345 (an average of 69 in each school year)
  • AP Scholar with Honor: Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams
    • Total: 198 (an average of 39.6 in each school year)
  • AP Scholar with Distinction: Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams
    • Total: 235 (an average of 47 in each school year)
  • National AP Scholar: Granted to students in the United States who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams
    • Total: 28 (an average of 5.6 in each school year)
  • Grand Total of AP Recognized Students for the five years: 806 (an average of 161.2 in each school year – about 1 in every 8 students in the school in any given year)

AP Equity

The most important criteria for admission into selective colleges is whether or not a student has challenged himself with the “most rigorous” curriculum available.

At Saint Ignatius, over 80% of graduating seniors have passed at least one AP course during their four years here.  Rather than limiting these opportunities to a select few students, we offer this rigorous and challenging curriculum to everyone. Our students rise to this challenge.

In the 2014-2015 school year, we administered 1,061 separate exams to 633 students who achieved an overall passing rate of 76.3% compared to the national passing rate of 60.7%.

Students at Saint Ignatius are not tracked.  Our classes recognize that as students grow intellectually, they may be ready to take on new challenges. For example, 44% of students taking Advanced Placement mathematics began their math career in standard level Algebra I.