Epidemiologic Statistics

Resize the browser window to see the effect.

Epidemiologic Statistics

by David Kleinbaum and Eli Rosenberg

Aim of Course:

This is an introductory epidemiology course that emphasizes the underlying concepts and methods of epidemiology. Topics covered in the course include: study designs (clinical trials, observational studies, case-control studies, and cross-sectional), measures of disease frequency and treatment effect, and controlling for extraneous factors.

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

Course Program:

WEEK 1:  Epidemiologic Methodology

  • What is epidemiologic research
  • Methodologic issues

WEEK 2:  Study Designs

  • Clinical trial (brief overview)
  • Observational
  • Case-control
  • Cross-sectional

WEEK 3:  Measuring Diseases

  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Incidence
  • Prevalence
  • Risk
  • Rate

WEEK 4:  Measuring Treatment Impact

  • Risk ratio
  • Odds ratio
  • Difference measures
  • Etiologic fraction
  • Number needed to treat

Note: Inference (significance testing and confidence intervals) for metrics like those listed above is covered in related Institute courses such as Biostatistics and Survival Analysis.

WEEK 5: Controlling Extraneous Factors (brief overview)

  • Bias
  • Confounding
  • Stratification
  • Matching


Homework in this course consist of short answer questions to test concepts.

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

Epidemiologic Statistics

Who Should Take This Course:

Administrators, practicing professionals, researchers, graduate or undergraduate students in the health, medical, and behavioral sciences interested in learning fundamental principles and methods of epidemiologic and public health research. This course is also intended to address increasing demands to provide training to public health professionals and students in developing countries that do not have convenient access to academic training in epidemiology and related public health fields. Specific topics covered in this course will be the purpose of epidemiology, its study designs, measures of disease occurrence and measures of effect, and an overview of control methods for extraneous factors



Course participants should have some background and/or interest in public health, medical research, or research in the behavioral sciences. The mathematics level is basic algebra.  Though not strictly required, if you plan to continue your study of medical statistics beyond this course we recommend taking the introductory course sequence at the Institute before starting this course.  This will allow you to move more readily into further courses for which the introductory sequence is a prerequisite.

Organization of the Course:

This course takes place online at the Institute for 5 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.

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.

Course Text:

The required course material is ActivEpi courseware, available free online at http://activepi.herokuapp.com . Click "Sign up” in the upper-right, enter the information requested, then confirm your registration via email.  Next, use the "log in” button to enter your email address and password, and click the "ActiveEpi Web” course.  This courseware contains everything you need to complete the course, but, if you wish, you may purchase a printed version of a companion guide here.

Note:  The courseware is also available in CD form (Windows only) from the publisher, Springer, or other retailers such as Amazon.com ("ActivEpi CD”).



Epidemiologic Statistics

November 10, 2017 to December 15, 2017November 09, 2018 to December 14, 2018

Course Fee: $589