online course in clinical trials

PUBH 3415/7415: Online Course in Clinical Trials

SPH Biostats | May 20, 2016

The School of Public Health Division of Biostatistics is pleased to offer PUBH 3415/7415: Introduction to Clinical Trials. This fully online course — taught by Division of Biostatistics faculty — will give you a fundamental understanding of how clinical trials are used to advance science. The course is open to anyone with the pre-requisites, including individuals who do not currently attend the University of Minnesota. Non-degree seeking students should consult the Non-degree registration page for instructions on how to register.

For questions, please contact

Course Description

Evidence-based medical and public health decisions require an understanding of the quality of that evidence. A strong foundation in clinical trials helps prepare scientists to evaluate published medical advances and to implement well-designed pioneering health research. The topics of this Introduction to Clinical Trials online class follow the natural sequence in a protocol, and will include:

  • Phases of trials
  • Hypotheses and endpoints
  • Choice of intervention and control
  • Ethical considerations
  • Blinding and randomization
  • Data collection and monitoring
  • Sample size
  • Analysis strategies

Motivating examples from published research will be used throughout the course. Weekly lessons on each topic have audio lecture presentations; readings in texts and research literature, short video delivered by experts, and optional enrichment materials. Students will participate in protocol development and implementation, interactive discussion boards, and exams.  All these interactions will occur online.


The main prerequisite for all enrollees is one semester of introductory statistics or biostatistics. Questions about prerequisites should be directed to

The following applies to University of Minnesota students only:

PUBH 3415 enrollees must have one semester of undergraduate level introductory biostatistics or statistics (STAT 3011, EPSY 3264, SOC 3811, BIOL 3272) AND junior or senior standing, or instructor consent.

PUBH 7415 enrollees should have taken PUBH 6414 or 6450 or one semester graduate-level introductory biostatistics/statistics, or have instructor consent.

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