National Council for Geographic Education


Advanced Placement ® Human Geography is a college level course designed to represent a systematic study of the Earth and its inhabitants. APHG mirrors a typical undergraduate level Introduction to Human Geography course and covers the following seven units: the geographic perspective; population; cultural patterns and processes; political organization of space; agricultural and rural land use; industrialization and economic development, and cities and urban land use. This course should help students understand how cultural, economic and political systems relate to the distribution of human activities, the nature of places, and people’s interaction with their environment.

In addition to mastering the course content, each student should be prepared to pass the national college-level Advanced Placement Examination in May. Students may be eligible for college credit for successfully completing the exam. This course should prepare students to enroll in intermediate and advanced level human geography courses at the college level.


How to Teach APHG in one semester

Download the Course Outline including a complete set of by-unit calendars provided by NCGE member, Lisa Sanders. 

Background Materials

See NCGE's flagship journal, the Journal of Geography for a series of content- specific articles for AP® Human Geography. 

Check out these articles from the special AP® Human Geography issue of the Journal of Geography! Instructions on how members can access journal articles online can be found here.

Here are a few of the many great articles that can be found in this issue (Volume 115, Issue 3): Placing Advanced Placement® Human Geography: Its Role in U.S. Geography Education, Sarah Witham Bednarz; Advanced Placement® Human Geography: Looking Back and Looking Ahead, David A. Lanegran & Donald J. Zeigler; Perspectives on the Development and Future of Advanced Placement® Human Geography, Barbara Hildebrant; and many more!

Daily Warm-up Questions

Sign up to receive NCGE's daily questions, or Bell-Ringers, delivered to your inbox every week. Written by, Ken Keller, these questions will help focus your students on the essential concepts of each unit. 

As part of the bell-ringer collection, Ken has prepared a set of Exam Review Ideas and Strategies


See the NCGE store for two of our most popular publications which support APHG instruction:

A Teacher's Guide to Advanced Placement Human Geography (Bednarz 2004)

AP Human Geography (Smothers-Marcello 2011)

National Standards for Geography

The National Standards highlight the content knowledge, skills and perspectives students should have before graduating from secondary school. Read about the standards and order your copy from NCGE today. 

NCGE Webinar Program

NCGE hosts 20-22 webinars every academic year focusing on various aspects of geography content knowledge, skills and perspectives. Several webinars every year are also specific to the Advanced Placement® Human Geography curriculum. 

All live and archived webinars are free to NCGE members. Live webinars cost $20 for non-members. 

List of Common Texts

Download a list of common textbooks for help getting oriented to the many resources available to APHG teachers. 

Review Texts

Download a list of review texts available on the market. 

Special Considerations for Ninth Graders

Many schools encourage ninth-graders to take APHG as a way to introduce them to the AP® program. This can be challenging for students who are just learning to acquire high-school appropriate study skills and who do not yet have relevant background knowledge. However, it is possible for ninth grade students to do well in the course with the right support. A series of  "Top 10" columns by NCGE member, Sharon Shelerud, offer advice for supporting your ninth-grade students.