Introductory Course Sequences

Should I Take One Course or a Sequence?

  • One course options (508, 511, 517) provides an introduction to biostatistical concepts and basic methods, including use of a statistical package. All one quarter options meet CEPH biostatistics competencies.
  • Sequence options (511-513, 517-518) cover biostatistical methods that are typically needed for research and will lead to competency in applying statistical methodology, including using a statistical package.

Introductory Course List

  • Biostatistical Reasoning in the Health Sciences (BIOST 508)
  • Medical Biometry I, II, III (BIOST 511-512-513)
  • Applied Biostatistics I, II (BIOST 517-518)​

Biostatistical Reasoning for the Health Sciences (BIOST 508) (1 quarter) (Winter)

4 credits, 3 lectures and 1 discussion section each week 
BIOST 508: The course is built around formulating principles and methods of data description and elementary parametric and nonparametric statistical analysis including linear regression analysis.
Statistical computing using a statistical package

Medical Biometry (511-512-513) (1-3 quarters) (Autumn-Winter-Spring)

Each quarter: 4 credits, 3 lectures and 1 discussion section each week
BIOST 511: principles and methods of data description and elementary parametric and non-parametric statistical analysis
BIOST 512: multiple linear regression
BIOST 513: categorical data analysis, logistic regression, survival analysis. Statistical computing using a statistical package

Applied Biostatistics (517-518) (1-2 quarters) (Autumn-Winter)

Each quarter: 4 credits, 3 lectures and 1 discussion section each week
BIOST 517: methods based on elementary parametric and non-parametric models for one and two samples, stratified sample, and simple regression problems
BIOST 518: multiple regression for continuous, discrete, and right censored response variables. Statistical computing using a statistical package

One Course Options

  • BIOST 508
    • Requires EPI 511: Introduction to Epidemiology (offered in Autumn quarter)
    • Offered in Winter quarter, allowing quantitative material (Epi, Biostat) to be addressed over two quarters
    • Covers similar material to BIOST 511
    • Acceptable prerequisite for BIOST 512, but students will need to wait until the following year (Winter) to take it
  • BIOST 511
    • Covers similar material to BIOST 508
    • May have some overlap with EPI 511 material
    • Offered in Autumn quarter
    • Allows continuation to BIOST 512 in the same year
  • BIOST 517
    • Material presented at greater depth and speed compared to 508, 511
    • Seldom used as one quarter option
    • Allows continuation to BIOST 518 in the same year

Sequence Options

  • BIOST 511 – 513 cover data description, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, linear, logistic and hazard regression over 3 quarters
  • BIOST 517 – 518 cover similar material at greater speed and address the underlying theory in greater depth, requiring the class participants to have more advanced mathematical background 


Is it possible to switch sequences during the academic year?
Although the sequences 511-513 and 517-518 cover roughly similar topics, the material is not necessarily covered in the same order or time frame. However, with permission of the instructor, it would be possible, after completing 517, to switch to the sequence 512, 513.

I have completed 508, but now find that I need additional experience. Can I consider enrolling in 512 or 513?
Possibly, with permission of the instructor. Note that because 508 is offered in Winter quarter, you will only be able to enroll in 512 in the following academic year.  Besides instructor’s permission, enrollment in 513 will require additional algebra background (for example, be skilled with logarithms and exponentials).