Survival Analysis

Survival Analysis

taught by Anthony Babinec


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Aim of Course:

This online course, "Survival Analysis" describes the various methods used for modeling and evaluating survival data, also called time-to-event data. Survival models are used in biostatistical, epidemiological, and a variety of health related fields. They are also used for research in the social sciences as well as the physical and biological sciences, including, economic, sociological, psychological, political, and anthropological data. Survival analysis also has been applied to the field of engineering, where it typically is referred to as reliability analysis.

General statistical concepts and methods discussed in this course include survival and hazard functions, Kaplan-Meier graphs, log-rank and related tests, Cox proportional hazards model, and the extended Cox model for time-varying covariates. The course will also require participants to use a convenient statistical package (e.g., SAS, JMP, STATA, R, or S+) to analyze survival analysis data.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe survival data, and the roles played by censoring, and survival and hazard functions
  • Format data appropriately for analysis, and understanding
  • Graph survival data, and the Kaplan - Meier curve
  • Specify and fit the Cox Proportional Hazards model
  • Check the PH assumption, and comput the hazard ratio
  • Add stratification to specify a Stratified Cox model (with and without interaction)
  • Describe the fully-extended Cox model
  • Apply models to the "Addicts" data, and the Stanford Heart Transplant Study
This course may be taken individually (one-off) or as part of a certificate program.
Course Program:


  • An overview of survival analysis methods
  • Censoring
  • Key terms: survival and hazard functions
  • Goals of a survival analysis
  • Data layout for the computer
  • Data layout for understanding
  • Descriptive statistics for survival analysis- the hazard ratio
  • Graphing survival data- Kaplan Meier
  • The Log Rank and related tests.


  • Introduction to the Cox Proportional Hazards (PH) model- computer example
  • Model definition and features
  • Maximum likelihood estimation for the Cox PH model
  • Computing the hazard ratio in the Cox PH model
  • The PH assumption
  • Adjusted survival curves
  • Checking the proportional hazard assumption
  • The likelihood function for the Cox PH model


  • Introduction to the Stratified Cox procedure
  • The no-interaction Stratified Cox model
  • The Stratified Cox model that allows for interaction


  • Definition and examples of time-dependent variables
  • Definition and features of the extended Cox model
  • Stanford Heart Transplant Study Example
  • Addicts Dataset Example
  • The likelihood function for the extended Cox model.


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

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

Survival Analysis

Who Should Take This Course:
Investigators designing, conducting or analyzing medical studies or clinical trials. Researchers in any field (including engineering) working with data on how long things last.

You should be familiar with introductory statistics.  Try these self tests to check your knowledge.

Course participants should also have had some experience with computer procedures for regression modeling.
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. No credit - You may be interested only in learning the material presented, and not be concerned with grades or a record of completion.
  2. Certificate - 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. CEUs and/or proof of completion - 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. Digital Badge - Courses evaluated by the American Council on Education have a digital badge available for successful completion of the course.  
  5. Other options - Specializations, INFORMS CAP recognition, and academic (college) credit are available for some courses
College credit:
Survival Analysis has been evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) and is recommended for the graduate degree category, 3 semester hours in statistics or advanced biostatistics. Note: The decision to accept specific credit recommendations is up to each institution. More info here.

This course is also recognized by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) as helpful preparation for the Certified Analytics Professional (CAP®) exam, and can help CAP® analysts accrue Professional Development Units to maintain their certification .
Course Text:

The required text is Survival Analysis- A Self Learning Text, 3rd edition by David G Kleinbaum and Mitchel Klein.  It may be purchased here

You should be familiar with R, SAS, SPSS or Stata.  The instructor can comment on all of them, and can offer limited trouble-shooting with SPSS and R.  The Assistant Teachers can help with Stata and SAS.  Illustrations in the text use SAS, and the text also provides help with the other packages.  
 For more information on the above mentioned statistical software, please click here.


March 06, 2020 to April 03, 2020 September 11, 2020 to October 09, 2020

Survival Analysis


March 06, 2020 to April 03, 2020 September 11, 2020 to October 09, 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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The Institute for Statistics Education is certified to operate by the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV).

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