Other Course Opportunities

Advanced Placement (AP)

Advanced Placement is a College Board program that offers students the opportunity to take college-level courses while they are enrolled in high school. Students have the opportunity to learn a subject in greater depth, develop analytical reasoning skills, and develop study skills necessary for success at the college level. All high schools in Virginia Beach City Public Schools participate in the Advanced Placement program. Students and parents may contact the guidance department of the respective high school to obtain additional information and a list of the AP courses that are offered. Parents are strongly encouraged to assist their student with AP course selections. AP teachers are available to answer course content and requirement questions. The College Board also publishes a booklet, Advanced Placement Course Description, for each course. This booklet describes the content of the AP course and provides sample examination questions. Additional information is available at www.collegeboard.org.

Students may gain advanced standing and/or earn college credit through their performance on the Advanced Placement examinations that are given each year in May. Students registering for AP courses should review their selections with the guidance counselor to be sure the proper credit will be awarded. A limited number of AP courses serve as replacements for high school courses; therefore, credit would not be given for both. All AP examinations (except Studio Art and Music Theory) contain both multiple choice and free response questions that require essay writing and problem solving. In Studio Art, students submit portfolios of their work instead of taking an exam. In Music Theory, a competency examination in music theory is given. In administering the AP program, the following guidelines have been established:

  1. Any student should be afforded the opportunity to take an AP class without having to apply. The College Board does offer student selection guidelines related to standardized test scores and prerequisite courses.
  2. Students may be given the opportunity to take an AP class through distance learning (provided a qualified licensed teacher is available) with prior approval of the building principal in the following situations:
    1. The AP class has insufficient enrollment in their home school to be offered as a class.
    2. The AP class is not available because of scheduling conflicts with other AP courses inthe school.
    3. Regulations regarding the adding/dropping of classes and course loads are followed.Students also may be given the opportunity to enroll in the Virginia Department of Education’s Virtual Early Scholars Program (see page 37 for additional information).
  3. The normal maximum number of credits to be earned in one school year is eight. Under special circumstances, a student may earn more than eight credits. Requests for special consideration should be discussed with the school counselor.
  4. Advanced Placement (AP) courses may be dropped at the end of the first nine-weeks or the end of the semester. If possible, the student should be moved to a lower level course in the subject area. The student's current grade should be transferred forward to the new course. An AP course dropped after the last day of the first semester must be counted as an “E" and included in class rank. The dropped AP course is recorded as Withdrawn/Failing "W".\
  5. AP courses prepare students to take the AP examinations in the spring. Students are encouraged to take the AP exam. The exams serve as a nationally accepted standard for rigorous college-level courses. Funds may be made available to qualified students enrolled in an AP course who wish to take the AP examination and need financial assistance with the examination fee.
  6. Students are responsible for verifying granting of college credit for successful completion of any course with the colleges or universities they choose to attend. Some information on a school’s AP credit policy can be found at http://collegesearch.collegeboard.com/apcreditpolicy/index.jsp.
  7. Some AP courses may require the completion of summer assignments.

Advanced Placement Examinations

Advanced Placement examinations are offered in the following subjects:


  • History of Art
  • Studio Art-Drawing, 2-D Art and Design, or 3-D Art and Design

World Languages

  • Chinese Language and Culture
  • French Language and Culture
  • German Language and Culture
  • Italian Language and Culture
  • Japanese Language and Culture
  • Latin
  • Spanish Language and Culture
  • Spanish Literature and Culture

Language Arts

  • English Language and Composition
  • English Literature and Composition


  • Calculus AB Calculus BC
  • Computer Science A Statistics
  • Computer Science Principles
  • Statistics


  • Music Theory


  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • Physics 1
  • Physics 2
  • Physics C (Mechanics)

Social Studies

  • European History
  • Human Geography
  • Comparative Government and Politics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Psychology
  • United States Government and Politics
  • United States History
  • World History


  • AP Research
  • AP Seminar

Independent Study

Independent study allows eligible high school students to pursue self-initiated, academically advanced study projects within their special interest areas. Students identify a problem, conduct an investigation, and present their findings for evaluation. Participants may be scheduled one block a day in their home school to work on their projects. See School Board Regulation 5-30.2. Grades are not weighted for Independent Study courses.

Distance Learning

Virginia Beach high schools are equipped with Distance Learning Labs allowing courses to be taken through videoconferencing through the Quality Connection program. This technology provides students the opportunity to participate in courses for which enrollment is insufficient to offer the course at the home school. A list of each high school’s distance learning offerings is available in the guidance office. Students selecting these courses should be aware that they are broadcast via two-way video and two-way audio within Virginia Beach’s internal network. Each class originates from one of the division schools and is received by one or more other schools.

Courses that have been delivered via Distance Learning include the following:

  • Advanced Placement Art History
  • Advanced Placement Japanese
  • Advanced Placement Human Geography
  • Exploratory French, German, Latin, and Japanese
  • French IV
  • German III
  • Japanese I, II, III, IV
  • Latin III
  • Music Theory I and II
  • Russian I, II, III, IV

Dual Enrollment

In the Dual Enrollment Program, students may take courses that meet requirements for high school graduation while simultaneously earning college credit. Grades are awarded according to the policies of the college, and credit earned for the courses taken may sometimes be transferred to other public colleges in Virginia. Students are responsible for verifying granting of college credit for successful completion of any course with the colleges or universities they choose to attend. Some dual enrollment courses will be offered during the regular school day. In addition, interested students at any high school may take other non-dual enrollment courses for credit if they secure prior approval of their principal. These non-dual enrollment courses do not count toward graduation requirements.

Admission Requirements

Dual enrollment applicants must:

  • Be prepared for demands of a college course,
  • Complete the required college application materials,
  • Take required placement tests prior to admission in a course,
  • Meet college and university prerequisites for course enrollment, and
  • Pay required tuition costs, textbook costs, and fees as established by the college.

Tuition Costs

Tuition costs are set by the college and are required for courses offered through Tidewater Community College. Tuition is paid by the student at a designated time. Additional fees may also be required for some courses at colleges and universities with dual enrollment partnerships with Virginia Beach City Public Schools.

Credit Awarded

College credit will be awarded to students on a semester basis upon successful completion of a semester of work. Six semester hours of college credit will be equivalent to one high school standard credit and three semester hours will be equivalent to one-half standard credit. In the case of lab sciences, eight semester hours are equal to a high school standard credit.

The college course grade will be used in computing the student’s high school grade point average. The grades earned for dual enrollment courses will not be weighted but may be used in lieu of Advanced Placement courses for the Governor’s Seal.

Please note that the credit does not automatically transfer to other schools and universities, and the student is responsible for verifying the policies and practices of the college or university of his/her choice on this matter.

Additional information may be obtained from the guidance office at your school.