AP Computer Science A (Sem 1)

Enrollment Message:

ATTENTION: Due to rigor and testing requirements in a year-long course, we recommend that a student be enrolled in Sem 2 at the time of their Sem 1 enrollment. Enrolling early increases likelihood of staying with the same instructor all year, promoting student success. Sem 2 enrollment may be dropped as late as January. This course has REQUIRED due dates. All Sem 2 due dates in AP courses occur prior to the College Board’s national AP exam date. The pacing ensures completion of all required lessons and assessments prior to the AP Exam. Official AP Course and Exam Descriptions are located on the AP Central website. Michigan Virtual prepares students for the AP exam but does not offer the AP exam. It is the responsibility of the school or parent to register for a local administration of the AP exam. AP courses often require students purchase a College Board approved textbook. Please refer to the Additional Costs section of the syllabus to locate any required textbooks or materials.

This course is the first semester of a two-semester sequence and is aligned to the Advanced Placement curriculum for Computer Science A. AP Computer Science is a college level computer course covering the applications of computing within the context of programming methodology, algorithms, and data structures. The Java computer language which is a free download for either a Macintosh or a Windows platform. This course requires a proctored mid-term and final exam. Course does not include the AP Exam; students can contact their school’s AP Coordinator or the College Board to sign up to take the Exam. In order to maintain the integrity of AP standards, all AP course midterm and final exams must be proctored. Prerequisites: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II

Course Objectives: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Apply and implement commonly-used algorithms and data structures.
  • Develop and select appropriate algorithms and data structures to solve problems.
  • Identify the major hardware and software components of a computer system

Course Outline:

Module 1 - Getting Started

Module 2 - Variables and Expressions

Module 3 - Strings and User Input

Module 4 - Condition Statements

Module 5 - Loops

Resources Included: Michigan Virtual will purchase an additional IMACS software module aimed at studying for the College Board’s AP exam – “Be Prepared for the AP Computer Science Exam in Java” – for all semester 2 students still enrolled after the final drop date at no additional cost to students or enrolling schools.

Additional Costs: Required Software not included in the cost of the course. IMACS software, Computer Science: Java Programming includes students' eTextbook and labs for the eIMACS online edition of Maria Litvin and Gary Litvin, Java Methods A & AB, AP edition, Andover, MA: Skylight Publishing, 2006, at a cost of $24.95, NON-REFUNDABLE.  Your instructor will provide you with a unique link for your e-text software access and purchase information. By clicking on this link, students will be taken to a registration page where they will be asked to pay $24.95 using either Mastercard or Visa. There are NO REFUNDS which means students should be certain about joining your class prior to paying our fee. This registration fee will give students access to our curriculum for 1 year from the date they enroll and they will be placed into your eIMACS class.

Scoring System: Michigan Virtual does not assign letter grades, grant credit for courses, nor issue transcripts or diplomas. A final score reported as a percentage of total points earned will be sent to students upon completion of a course. Your school mentor is also able to access this score within the Student Learning Portal. Schools may use this score for conversion to their own letter grading system.

Time Commitment: Semester sessions are 18-weeks long: Students must be able to spend 1 or more hours per day in the course to be successful. Summer sessions are 10 weeks long: Students must be able to spend a minimum of 2 or more hours per day, or about 90 hours during the summer, for the student to be successful in any course. Trimester sessions are 12-weeks long: Students must be able to spend 1.5 or more hours per day in the course to be successful.

Technology Requirements: Required purchase of eIMACS software including eTextbook (instructions will be provided by your instructor) as well as the required download of the latest version of Java SE Development Kit 8 from Oracle and the installation of the Blue J IDE on devices running either Windows 10 (x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit)) OS or Mac OS X (10.8.3+ or 10.9 and above); detailed instructions will be provided in the first module of the course with additional instructions to be provided by the instructor.

Students will require a computer device with headphones, a microphone, webcam, up-to-date Chrome Web Browser, and access to YouTube.

Please review the Michigan Virtual Technology Requirements: https://michiganvirtual.org/about/support/knowledge-base/technical-requirements/ 

Instructor Support System: For technical issues within your course, contact the Customer Care Center by email at [email protected] or by phone at (888) 889-2840.

Instructor Contact Expectations: Students can use email or the private message system within the Student Learning Portal to access highly qualified teachers when they need instructor assistance. Students will also receive feedback on their work inside the learning management system. The Instructor Info area of their course may describe additional communication options.

Academic Support Available: In addition to access to a highly qualified, Michigan certified teacher, students have access to academic videos and outside resources verified by Michigan Virtual. For technical issues within the course, students can contact the Michigan Virtual Customer Care by email at [email protected] or by phone at (888) 889-2840.

Required Assessment: Online assessments consist of formative and summative assessments represented by computer-graded multiple choice, instructor-graded writing assignments including hands-on projects, model building and other forms of authentic assessments.

Technical Skills Needed: Basic technology skills necessary to locate and share information and files as well as interact with others in a Learning Management System (LMS), include the ability to:

  • Download, edit, save, convert, and upload files
  • Download and install software
  • Use a messaging service similar to email
  • Communicate with others in online discussion or message boards, following basic rules of netiquette
  • Open attachments shared in messages
  • Create, save, and submit files in commonly used word processing program formats and as a PDF
  • Edit file share settings in cloud-based applications, such as Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides
  • Save a file as a .pdf
  • Copy and paste and format text using your mouse, keyboard, or an html editor’s toolbar menu
  • Insert images or links into a file or html editor
  • Search for information within a document using Ctrl+F or Command+F keyboard shortcuts
  • Work in multiple browser windows and tabs simultaneously
  • Activate a microphone or webcam on your device, and record and upload or link audio and/or video files
  • Use presentation and graphics programs
  • Follow an online pacing guide or calendar of due dates
  • Use spell-check, citation editors, and tools commonly provided in word processing tool menus
  • Create and maintain usernames and passwords

Additional Information: The official course descriptions for Advanced Placement courses and information about their exams are located on the College Board site at a http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/descriptions/index.html

Michigan Virtual prepares students in AP courses for the AP exam, but does not offer the exam test itself.  It is the responsibility of the school or parent to register for a local administration of the AP exam.  

There are required due dates in AP courses. The pacing of due dates in AP courses aligns to the completion of all lessons and required assignments and assessments prior to the national AP exam date related to this course title. The calendar of AP exam dates is published by the College Board (Exam Calendar).


School Level: High School
Standards: College Board: AP Course Topics and Objectives
NCAA Approved: Yes
Alignment Document: Document
Course Location:
NCES Code: 10157
MDE Endorsement Code: NR - Computer Science
MMC Minimum Requirements: Math - 4th Year Elective

When Offered: _Internal Use Only

Content Provider: Florida Virtual School
Instructor Provider: Michigan Virtual

Course Type: Advanced Placement