Biostatistics 2 for Medical Science and Public Health

Biostatistics 2 for Medical Science and Public Health

taught by Abhaya Indrayan

Aim of Course:

This online course, "Biostatistics 2 for Medical Science and Public Health" covers clinical trial designs including randomized controlled trials, ROC curves, CI and tests for relative risk and odds ratio, and an introduction to survival analysis.  After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Specify the design for a basic clinical trial, with randomization, blinding, masking and a control group
  • Explain designs for repeated measures and cross-over trials
  • Determine and interpret ROC curves
  • Calculate relative risk and odds ratios and their confidence intervals
  • Conduct inference procedures for relative risk and odds ratios
  • Explain and apply basic survival analysis models (censoring, Kaplan-Meier)



This course may be taken individually (one-off) or as part of a certificate program.
Course Program:

WEEK 1: Introduction to Designs for Clinical Trials

  • Control group
  • Randomization and matching
  • Blinding and masking
  • One-way, two-way and repeated measures designs
  • Cross-over design

WEEK 2: ROC Curves

  • Review of sensitivity-specificity
  • Serial and parallel tests
  • ROC curve
  • Predictivity-based ROC curve
  • Clinical gains from a test

WEEK 3: Relative Risk (RR) and Odds Ratio (OR)

  • Definitions and applicability of RR and OR
  • CI and test of hypothesis for RR
  • CI and test of hypothesis for attributable risk
  • CI and test of hypothesis for OR

WEEK 4: Introductory Survival Analysis

  • Censored durations and need of special methods
  • Life table method
  • Kaplan-Meier method


Homework in this course consists of short answer questions to test concepts, guided data analysis problems using software and a final exam.

In addition to assigned readings, this course also has supplemental readings available online, and an exam.

Biostatistics 2 for Medical Science and Public Health

Who Should Take This Course:
This non-mathematical course is specially designed for medical and health professionals who deal with medical data and want to acquire some statistical skills. These include nursing, pharmacy, laboratory technology and nutrition professionals beside physicians, surgeons and dentists.
You should be familiar with introductory statistics.  Try these self tests to check your knowledge. *Although we recommend taking Biostatistics 1 prior to Biostatistics 2, most of the topics in Biostatistics 2 can be undertaken on their own, if you have mastered the material in statistics 1 and 2.
Organization of the Course:

This course takes place online at the Institute for 4 weeks. During each course week, you participate at times of your own choosing - there are no set times when you must be online. Course participants will be given access to a private discussion board. In class discussions led by the instructor, you can post questions, seek clarification, and interact with your fellow students and the instructor.

At the beginning of each week, you receive the relevant material, in addition to answers to exercises from the previous session. During the week, you are expected to go over the course materials, work through exercises, and submit answers. Discussion among participants is encouraged. The instructor will provide answers and comments, and at the end of the week, you will receive individual feedback on your homework answers.

Time Requirement:
About 15 hours per week, at times of  your choosing.

Options for Credit and Recognition:
Students come to the Institute for a variety of reasons. As you begin the course, you will be asked to specify your category:

  1. You may be interested only in learning the material presented, and not be concerned with grades or a record of completion.
  2. You may be enrolled in PASS (Programs in Analytics and Statistical Studies) that requires demonstration of proficiency in the subject, in which case your work will be assessed for a grade.
  3. You may require a "Record of Course Completion," along with professional development credit in the form of Continuing Education Units (CEU's).  For those successfully completing the course,  CEU's and a record of course completion will be issued by The Institute, upon request.
  4. You may need academic credit (see below). Upon successful completion, you will be issued a digital badge that contains verified metadata, describing the learning outcomes from this course and the process required to earn them.

College credit:
Biostatistics 2 for Medical Science and Public Health has been evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) and is recommended for the graduate degree category, 3 semester hours in biostatistics when taken with Biostatistics 1. Note: The decision to accept specific credit recommendations is up to each institution. More info here.
Course Text:

The course text is Medical Biostatistics, fourth ed., by Abhaya Indrayan, which you can order from CRC Press.



Course participants should have access to a standard statistical software package for use in course exercises, including obtaining CI's, performing tests of significance including two-way ANOVA and multiple comparisons tests, survival analysis, and producing ROC curves.

Stata, SAS, MedCalc and R have these capabilities and are supported by teaching assistants. Statcrunch has these capabilities, except for survival analysis (which is needed in the last half of the fourth week), and is also supported by teaching assistants. JMP, SPSS and Systat also have these capabilities. More information about obtaining free or nominal cost versions of standard software packages.

NOTE:  If you are continuing to other courses in the certificate program (PASS), be aware that MedCalc and Statcrunch will not have all the capabilities needed for analyses in those courses, in case you want to pick software now and stick with it.



February 07, 2020 to March 06, 2020 August 28, 2020 to September 25, 2020

Biostatistics 2 for Medical Science and Public Health


February 07, 2020 to March 06, 2020 August 28, 2020 to September 25, 2020

Course Fee: $589

Do you meet course prerequisites? What about book & software? (Click here to learn more)

We have flexible policies to transfer to another course, or withdraw if necessary (modest fee applies)

Group rates: Email jdobbins "at" to get information on group rates. 

First time student or academic? Click here for an introductory offer on select courses. Academic affiliation?  You may be eligible for a discount at checkout.

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Courses may fill up at any time and registrations are processed in the order in which they are received. Your registration will be confirmed for the first available course date, unless you specify otherwise.

The Institute for Statistics Education is certified to operate by the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV).

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