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PBHE520 - Biostatistics with Lab

Course Details

Course Code: PBHE520 Course ID: 4507 Credit Hours: 4 Level: Graduate

Biostatistics is a fundamental course in public health. This course will prepare the students to collect, analyze and present the data through the understanding of basic concepts, principles, and techniques/methods of statistics as applied to public health. Major topics will include descriptive statistics, statistical models, probability, probability distribution, point and confidence interval estimation, sampling, hypothesis testing, general principles of study design, and comparison of discrete and continuous data such as t-test, ANOVA, correlation, and regression. The lab portion of the course will focus on the application of Biostatistics by using statistical software. The students will learn to apply the concepts learned in the course (PBHE 520, Biostatistics with Lab.) Major topics will include descriptive statistics, probability, probability distribution, point and confidence interval estimation, sampling, hypothesis testing, and comparison of discrete and continuous data such as t-test, ANOVA, correlation, and regression. Students will develop advanced skills in SPSS to run statistical procedures and interpret output. Students will ask questions of data sets, write-up results in briefs, and develop the skills to critique analysis & findings in peer-reviewed literature. NOTE: Students are required to purchase and use the statistical software, SPSS, to successfully complete this course.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 02/27/22 Winter 2022 Session B 8 Week session
08/31/21 - 02/04/22 02/07/22 - 04/03/22 Winter 2022 Session I 8 Week session
09/28/21 - 03/04/22 03/07/22 - 05/01/22 Winter 2022 Session D 8 Week session
10/26/21 - 04/01/22 04/04/22 - 05/29/22 Spring 2022 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, students will be able to

• Describe the role biostatistics serves in the discipline of public health.
• Describe basic concepts of probability, random variation, central tendencies, and other commonly used statistical distributions.
• Distinguish among the different measurement scales and the implications for selection of statistical methods to be used on these distinctions.
• Apply common statistical methods for inference.
• Apply descriptive and inferential methodologies according to the type of study design for answering a particular research question.
• Determine the appropriate use and limitations of quantitative data for health problem identification and resolution.
• Interpret results of statistical analyses found in public health studies.
• Apply evidence-based principles and scientific knowledge base to critical evaluation and decision making in public health.
• Describe how public health information infrastructure is used to collect, process, maintain, and disseminate data.
• Develop a presentation based on statistical analysis for both public health professionals and educated lay audiences.


Please join the Discussion each week. Replies must be posted in the week due and replies after the end of the each week will not be graded or receive credit. The discussions are for student interaction and input and must be submitted before the week ends in order to receive full credit. Students should demonstrate their own knowledge in the discussions and avoid copying and pasting from websites. The Rubric is attached to discussion description.


Initial Response:

  • Post your initial response to each discussion by 11:55pm, ET, Wednesday.
  • Initial responses should have substance where students explore, explain, and expand upon issues being discussed, and apply relevant course materials.
  • Students should analyze course concepts, theories or materials correctly, using examples or supporting evidence.
  • Initial responses should be supported by at least two references (APA referencing format is not required for discussions)

Peer Responses:

  • For each discussion, reply to at least 2 of your classmates by 11:55pm, ET, Sunday.
  • Students are required to respond to at least two (2) other student’s initial postings (and the instructor) with significant comments that have substance.
  • Students should collaborate with fellow learners, relating the discussion to course concepts, add several innovative ideas, and provide considerable additional insight that relates to core concepts.
  • Peer responses should include at least two (2) of the following components: Offering advice; posing a question; providing an alternative point-of-view; and acknowledging similar experiences.
  • Peer responses should be supported by at least one reference (APA referencing format is not required for discussions)
  • All discussions can be accessed in the discussion section of the course.
  • A Discussion rubric is included in the discussion section of the course
  • More in-depth specific instructions for each discussion can be found in the discussion tab within the course.
  • Late Discussion posts receive a 10% per day late penalty. If your 2 peer responses are posted after the week is ended (after Day 7, Sunday) they receive a zero, and that the discussion is finished. You cannot receive credit for participation in a discussion with others after the discussion week has closed.
  • If there are less than 3 students in the course, only one (1) peer posting will be required. Your peer postings should challenge or expound upon at least one of the points made by your peer, and “I agree” does not constitute as an adequate response. As graduate students, you will be expected to provide comprehensive, relevant and well supported points in your assignments.

We all bring something unique to the classroom, from our understanding, our experiences, and our value systems. We honor and respect each person’s diverse beliefs to help us see beyond the classroom to be the most effective individuals we can be. Therefore, we should all be respectful of others while expressing our viewpoints and opinions. Proper Netiquette behavior is expected. Any inflammatory, demeaning or disrespectful language in a posting will be immediately removed from the discussion space.


Each week, you will be assigned a topic covered in the weekly readings to demonstrate your understanding of the material by writing a short paper. This assignment should be at least 1- 1/2 pages long or at least 450 words. You will need to cite within the text and have a reference section in APA format (6th edition) as well as adhere to standard writing for graduate level.

  • Step 1: You will define the concept from your textbook and/or various sources first. You are demonstrating that you understood the concept that you have chosen. You are going to define this in 2-3 sentences by using your textbook and/or other sources.
  • Step 2: You are going to pick an article that utilized the concept that you have chosen. You want to take a look at the following sites to select your article:
  • Step 3: Thoroughly READ the article and TAKE notes.
  • Step 4: Complete the writing of your summary with a review of this article. In your assessment of this article, you MUST provide how the researchers used the statistical concept in their research by doing the following: 1) Explain the sample (i.e., population used), 2) Summarize the statistical analysis and what software or analysis package was used and 3) Evaluate and describe the results and conclusions in your own words. It is very important that you are able to paraphrase and apply critical thinking in each of these assignments.

    Please make sure you cite within the text in APA format (6th edition)

    Final Exam: 100 points, unlimited time and must be completed in one setting.

    Lab Assignment: The biostatistics lab portion of this course will consist of three parts.

To complete this lab assignment, use IBS SPSS Statistical Software. Provide code used to analyze the data with each lab assignment (copy-paste into your file).

Overview: As public health personnel, you conducted a survey and collected economic and health data on households in a township that is known to have a high prevalence of heart disease. (See the Excel Household Data spreasheet). The Household Data file contains data for 100 households surveyed including race, household income, family size, home price, number of bedrooms, and family history of heart disease.

Analyze the 100 survey responses and write a final report of your observation. Complete your report in a Word document, copying in the relevant output and graphics you need to support your report. Your final report must be a complete report describing your findings from the data to include parts 1 - 4. Your report should be in APA format.

Lab Exercise Part 1: DUE WEEK 2

Lab Exercise Part 2: DUE WEEK 5

Lab Exercise Part 3: Final Lab Report DUE WEEK 7

Your final report must be a complete report putting together and describing your findings from the analysis of the data from part 1 through part 4. Your report should be in APA format.

  • More in-depth specific instructions for each assignment can be found in the Assignment tab within the course.
  • Assignments submitted late without advance notice will receive a 5% per day late penalty and will not be accepted for grading five (5) days past the due date.

There is no physical textbook for the course.

  • Refer to the Lessons and Resources sections in the classroom for information about all readings in this course.
  • Each week’s Lesson contains all the material for the week.
  • For most weeks, course readings are a mix of professional sources (such as peer-reviewed journal articles and governmental publications) and “popular” sources, such as newspaper articles, professional magazine articles, and websites intended for the public. All required course readings are freely downloadable from the course website or from other websites.
  • IBM SPSS Statistical Software, Standard Grad Pack (latest version). You may purchase a Standard Grad Pack license for 6 months, 12, or 24 months. You are encouraged to use SPSS for other graduate courses, such as, PBHE 697, 699, research projects, etc. The ideal license length would be six (6) months then get an extended license when if necessary. Use this link Website link is subject to change. IBM SPSS has 24 hours per day, 7-days per week technical support for the license purchased.
  • American Psychological Association Publication Manual, 7th Edition.
Book Title:IBM SPSS Statistical Software, Standard Grad Pack (latest version). You may purchase a Standard Grad Pack license for 6 months,12,or 24 months (
Electronic Unit Cost:$49.00
Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.