University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP)

Commercial Program
Algebra, Geometry, Problem Solving

The use of technology—including graphing calculators at all grade levels, geometry systems, spreadsheets, the Internet, and other computer applications—is an essential component of the curriculum


University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP) is a core mathematics curriculum.  The curriculum has a focus on problem solving, real-world applications, and the use of technology. The curriculum has a student-centered approach with a focus on active learning that incorporates reading and uses a flexible lesson organization.


UCSMP was designed to support student development of deeper conceptual mathematical understanding. The curriculum focuses on bringing the real world into the classroom with an emphasis on reading, problem solving, everyday applications, and the use of calculators, computers, and other technologies. Repetition and review are used sparingly.

Each UCSMP course includes a student textbook, teacher’s edition, teacher resources, assessment resources, and technology resources. Lessons in the student book contain activities, full examples, and partially completed guided examples to model skills and problem solving.

Students are encouraged to assess their own understanding with an end of chapter self-assessments. Each chapter contains projects designed as extended activities, giving students experience using real data.


Hirschhorn, D. B. (1993). A longitudinal study of students completing four years of UCSMP mathematics. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 24(2), 136–158.

Hirschhorn, D. B. (1991). Implementation of the rst four years of the University of Chicago School Mathematics

Project secondary curriculum (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Chicago, IL. 

Peters, K. G. (1992). Skill performance comparability of two algebra programs on an eighth-grade population (Doc- toral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 9314428)

Thompson, D. R., Senk, S. L., Witonsky, D., Usiskin, Z., & Kaeley, G. (2006). An evaluation of the second edition of UCSMP Algebra. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago School Mathematics Project.

Research Summary

What Works Clearinghouse

Information on this entry was adapted from US Department of Education. (2016). University of Chicago School Mathemeatics Project (UCSMP). WWC Intervention Report. Retrieved from 

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