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Jesuits schools have been teaching young mathematicians since the founding of the first Jesuit school in 1548. In fact, Rene Descartes, one of the world's greatest mathematicians, was Jesuit educated and the uncle of a Jesuit.

The goal of the mathematics department is to assist students in understanding and appreciating the mathematics they are studying and to help them acquire mathematical skills and problem-solving techniques. Mathematical literacy reinforces, compliments, supports, and enhances other areas of study - from art and music to physics and computer science. Mathematics is an essential component of any liberal arts curriculum.

Canisius expects its students will be able to use mathematics as they need to in their daily lives. The increasingly quantitative nature of our society makes it imperative for students to achieve mathematical competency. Development of creative, logical, analytical and critical thinking skills and the enhancement of exploration and self-confidence are equally essential. Clear, accurate, precise and orderly work is expected of all students studying mathematics.

The Canisius mathematics program features Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II and Trigonometry, with Honors options available at Geometry and Algebra II levels. From there, depending upon ability and interest, students may take Pre-Calculus or Pre-Calculus Honors, Calculus and/or Statistics. Canisius offers three Advanced Placement (AP) courses: Calculus AB, Calculus BC, and Statistics. Although three years of mathematics are required, students are encouraged to pursue their studies of math for a fourth year. Students in the past from Canisius have also taken part in the University at Buffalo's Gifted Math Program.

Extracurricular Activities in Mathematics

The American Mathematics Competition is a highly prestigious examination, in which 60-80 of Canisius' best students take part each February.


To learn more about the curriculum and educational philosophy of the mathematics department please click here for CPM and click here for Pearson. These outline the program details and also provide a number of useful resources.

  • Algebra I
  • Geometry
  • Geometry Honors
  • Algebra II/Trigonometry
  • Algebra II/Trigonometry Honors
  • Applied Statistics
  • Pre-Calculus
  • Pre-Calculus Honors
  • Advanced Placement Calculus (AB)
  • Advanced Placement Calculus (BC)
  • Advanced Placement Statistics