I can't find a decent description of these two,

CS50 is Harvard University's introduction to the intellectual enterprises of computer science and the art of programming for students less comfortable and more comfortable alike.

CS50 AP is a free adaptation for high schools that satisfies the new AP CS Principles curriculum framework.

Which one is more thorough and complete? It seems like the CS50 is advertised for students "less comfortable"? On EdX they're both marked as "Introductory", and the AP one is $10 more,

1 Answer 1


CS50 AP covers all the same material as CS50x but with additional problem sets (both programming based and writing based) and some extra curriculum that is required for the AP. It is a 36 week course, designed to be completed over the course of a school year. It has a strict deadline of 30 April, after which time problems can no longer be graded. CS50x is a 12 week course that is the same as Harvard's CS50 course but is open-ended.

You can find more information about CS50 AP on the dedicated CS50 AP site.

  • Just to be clear, the only value added by the non-AP class is saving $10? Shy of that you're just getting an abbreviated class? Feb 4, 2019 at 1:27
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    tbh, I had no idea that edX was charging more for the AP course certificate. I don't think about monetary value (and the majority of students do not purchase a certificate). Its value is what you get out of it in respect to your learning, imho.
    – curiouskiwi
    Feb 4, 2019 at 4:16
  • It just seems weird to me that you would have so many people that want less than what the AP course has to offer to demand creating an abridged version. Feb 4, 2019 at 4:29
  • You seem to misunderstand. CS50 has been around for many years. CS50x (the edX version) was first offered in 2012. CS50AP is a new adaptation specifically created to meet the curriculum requirements for the AP CS Principles course, which debuted in 2017. CS50 is not an "abridged version" of CS50AP. CS50AP is a high school course based on CS50. The two courses serve different audiences.
    – curiouskiwi
    Feb 4, 2019 at 10:14

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