Core Course Title (Semester) 
Biostatistics for
Clinical Research

Note: Medical students are also required to take Current Topics in Public Health.

Some courses run the entire semester (example: Fall 1 and 2), others run only part of the semester (example: Spring 2), and some courses last only a few weeks. Review course details below and read the syllabus for more information.

Spring core courses

M19-601 Grant Writing: Applying Clinical and Population Health Methods
Tuesdays, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
S. Sutcliffe, PhD
3 credit

This course provides students with the opportunity to apply methods and principles learned in previous MPHS classes to the development of a grant application. Students prepare this application on a research question of their own choosing and in the format expected for National Institutes of Health (NIH) R03, R21, or K grant applications (research plan only). Students also have the opportunity to evaluate research proposals for scientific merit.

Course note: This course is required for medical graduates but optional for medical students.

SP2023 Syllabus (PDF)

M19-505 Ethics in Population and Clinical Health Research
Spring 1 and 2; Meets January24 – April 29, 2024, Mondays 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
E. Waters, PhD, MPH, J. Hunleth, PhD, MPH
1 credit

This course will expose population and clinical health researchers to the various ethical issues and situations encountered in their profession. It will also familiarize them with available ethics and compliance resources. Case studies and scenario presentations will facilitate discussion on topics such as allegations of misconduct, data objectivity and presentation, publications, collaborators’ rights and responsibilities, intellectual property, and student-mentor relationships.

SP2023 Syllabus (PDF)

Fall core courses

M19-520 Introduction to R for Clinical Research
Meeting time is August 19th-23rd (9am -12pm)
N. Ackerman, MPH, S. Humble, MS
1 credit

This course will introduce students to the software package R for use in cleaning and analyzing data. Topics covered include writing R programs; entering, importing and saving data; manipulating variables and creating new ones; dealing with missing values; merging and appending datasets; and running basic descriptive statistics and making graphs.  Students who receive a 90% or higher on the exam will be exempt from taking the course and will receive proficiency credit.

Course note: Students with previous R experience may opt out of this required class by taking the final exam before August 14, 2024. Please email the Program Coordinator for details:

FL2023 Syllabus (PDF)

M19-501 Introductory Clinical Epidemiology
Fall 1; Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
T. Toriola, MD, PhD, MPH
3 credits

This course introduces the basic principles and methods of epidemiology, with an emphasis on critical thinking, analytic skills and application to clinical practice. Topics include: outcome measures; methods of adjustment; surveillance; quantitative study designs; and sources of data. Designed for those with a clinical background, the course will provide tools for critically evaluating the literature and skills to practice evidence-based medicine. Course activities: lectures, midterm and final exams, class participation, problem sets and papers.

FL2023 Syllabus (PDF)

M19-502 Intermediate Clinical Epidemiology
Fall 2; Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Yin Cao, ScD, MPH
3 credits

The second course in the Epidemiology series, this course builds upon the basic principles and methods of epidemiology and introduces additional tools and concepts that are critical to a comprehensive study design. Topics include risk and association, sampling strategies, interaction, confounding, adjustment, lifetables, applied causal inference, validity and reliability, social epidemiology, and approaches to data analysis. Upon exiting this course, students will be prepared to approach the study design portion of a protocol, as required by the final course in the Epidemiology series.

Course activities: lectures, midterm and final exams, class participation, problem sets, and papers.

Course note: M19-501 is a required prerequisite; SAS software is required for this course.

FL2023 Syllabus (PDF)

M19-511 Introductory Biostatistics for Clinical Research
Fall 1; Mondays and Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
F. Wan, PhD
3 credits

This introductory course in biostatistics is designed for medical students, clinicians and health researchers. The course will introduce students to basic statistical concepts including hypothesis testing, probability distributions and relevant basic statistical methods. Through in-class and homework assignments, students will learn to apply statistical concepts to the medical context.  Upon completion of the course, students will be able to summarize quantitative data and carry out and interpret simple data description and analyses using the SAS program.

Course note: Prerequisite is M19-520 Introduction to R or equivalent knowledge of R.

FL2023 Syllabus (PDF)

M19-512 Intermediate Biostatistics for Clinical Research
Fall 2; Mondays and Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
J. Luo, PhD and F. Gao, MD, PhD, MPHS
3 credits

This intermediate course is designed for medical students, clinicians and health researchers and builds on the skills developed in Introduction to Biostatistics for Clinical Research. The course will focus on more advanced statistical concepts as applied to clinical and population-based data sets, including linear and logistic regression analyses, and survival analyses. Through applied coursework, students will learn how to analyze and interpret clinical research data. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to perform statistical data analyses for regression models with continuous, categorical, and survival outcomes using the SAS program, and will be able to use these models to address their research questions.  Prerequisite for the course is an introductory course in biostatistics and SAS knowledge. 

FL2023 Syllabus (PDF)

M19-500 Current Topics in Public Health for Clinicians
Fall 1 and 2; Tuesdays 12 to 1 p.m.
A. King, MD, MPH, PhD
1 credit

Students will review public health research, interventions and problems making headlines in print and television media. Discussion of how the problem is presented and evaluated will take place and students will discuss alternate approaches. Course activities: brief presentations, short written assignments, and class participation.

Course note: Required for medical students. Limited to MPHS degree candidates or with instructor permission. This course cannot be taken pass/fail.

FL2023 Syllabus (PDF)