MPHS Core Courses (Required For MPHS Students)


  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. 

Weekly SAS office hours are held for MPHS students who may need additional instruction. Fall 2018 office hours are held Wednesdays at 12:15 - 1:00 p.m. Aug. 29- Dec. 19, 2019 in the Martha Eliot room at the Taylor Avenue Building.

Fall Core Courses

M19-510 Introduction to SAS for Clinical Research

Meets August 20-24, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
N. Ackermann, S. Lyons
1 credit

This course will introduce students to the software package SAS for use in cleaning and analyzing data. Topics covered include writing SAS programs; entering, importing and saving data; formatting and labeling data; manipulating variables and creating new ones; dealing with missing values; merging and appending datasets; and running basic descriptive statistics and making graphs. Students with previous SAS experience may opt out of this required class by taking the final exam on Friday, July 27, from 9-11 a.m. in the Taylor Avenue Building (Julius Richmond Room). Students who receive a 90% or higher on the exam will be exempt from taking the course and will receive proficiency credit.


M19-501 Introductory Clinical Epidemiology
Fall 1; Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
T. Toriola
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.

M19-502 Intermediate Clinical Epidemiology
Fall 2; Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
B. Drake, Y. Liu
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.

M19-511 Introductory Biostatistics for Clinical Research
Fall 1; Mondays and Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
K. Trinkaus
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. Prerequisite is M19-510 Introduction to SAS for Clinical Research or equivalent knowledge of SAS.

M19-512 Intermediate Biostatistics for Clinical Research
Fall 2; Mondays and Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Y. Yan
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. 


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


Spring Core Courses

M19-505 Ethics in Population and Clinical Health Research
Spring 1 and 2 (partial); Meets January 21-March 25, 2019, Mondays 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
E. Waters
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.

M19-600 Grant Writing: Applying Clinical and Population Health Methods
Spring 1 and 2; Tuesdays 1 to 4 p.m.
S. Sutcliffe 
3 credits

This final course in the epidemiologic methods sequence provides students with the opportunity to apply methods and principles learned in previous courses to the development of a grant application. Students will prepare this grant application on a research question of their own choosing and in the format expected for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) R03, R21, or K grant application (research plan only). Students will also have the opportunity to evaluate research proposals for scientific merit. Course activities: lectures, class discussion, and presentation and critique of individual grants.
Course note: M19-502 and M19-511 are required prerequisites. This course cannot be taken pass/fail.