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Course Learning Outcomes

The health science department defines the following general outcomes for this course:

  1. Data Management: Identify the principles of data management.
  2. Presentation of Data: Describe how/when to use tables, charts, and graphs for data presentation.
  3. Charts and Graphs: Create tables, graphs, and charts in Excel for presenting public health data.
  4. SAS: Use SAS to manipulate data sets provided by sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  5. SAS Procedures: Use basic SAS procedures to explore, describe, and analyze data, including proc contents, proc freq, proc means, proc univariate, and proc print.
  6. Data Cleaning and Recoding: Clean and recode data to prepare it for analysis using a variety of data cleaning techniques. Document all cleaning and recoding using comments in the SAS program and external documentation (code books, data dictionaries, etc.).
  7. Output: Create clear and documented output using labels, titles, and formats.
  8. Basic Analysis: Conduct basic analyses using SAS including Proc Ttest, Proc ANOVA, Proc Corr, Proc GLM, and Proc Logistic.

When you successfully complete this course, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate using SAS to open, import, merge, and concatenate data sets provided by sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. Demonstrate principles of data management and use of data documentation (codebooks, etc.).
  3. Demonstrate simple and conditional recoding of continuous and categorical variables using SAS.
  4. Demonstrate how to document recoding procedures and improve data presentation through format and value labels.
  5. Demonstrate the use of do groups and loops and arrays for complex data management in SAS.
  6. Demonstrate basic data analysis in SAS including the use of Proc Freq and Proc Logistic.
  7. Demonstrate creating a database in Excel.
  8. Describe how/when to use tables, charts, and graphs for data presentation and demonstrate use in projects and exams.


Course Materials

A packet entitled A Introduction to Statistical Computing in SAS is available for purchase through the BYU Store and is required for this course.

Access to the SAS computer program is also required. This software is currently available free of charge through SAS University Edition.

A high-capacity flash drive may be desirable if you do not wish to save large data files to your computer hard drive.

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Reading Quizzes

For each of the 23 lessons, a reading quiz based on the lesson material will be completed prior to the lesson's other assignments. Quizzes range in length from 1 to 5 questions and are worth 10 points each. The quiz is closed book, and you will have 15 minutes to complete the quiz. Students may drop their four lowest reading quiz scores.

Skills-Practice Exercises

Skills-practice exercises are designed to be learning tools. You will complete a series of tasks. As you move through the exercise, you will check your progress and be provided feedback. You should correct any errors as you go. Skills-practice exercises should always be completed prior to starting the homework assignment.

Homework Assignments

Students have 8 homework assignments over the duration of the course. Generally, there will be 1 homework assignment for every 2 lessons. However, as homework assignments are grouped according to relating concepts, this pattern does vary.

Data Analysis Project

The data analysis project combines skills learned throughout the course into a culminating experience. Students will use a real data set to conduct a directed data analysis. They will present the results of the analysis in a professional fact-sheet, complete with text, tables, charts, and graphs.

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The final exam consists of two parts: A practical exam (similar in nature to the homework assignments, but spanning all course content), and a conceptual exam (focusing on concepts, similar to the reading quizzes).

The practical exam is open book and must be completed within 3 hours. You are encouraged to prepare a reference sheet of syntax for use during the exam. A codebook and data documentation for a novel data set will be given to you that you may review prior to beginning the exam. During the exam, you will perform a variety of specified data management and analysis functions in SAS using the given data set.

The conceptual exam covers the concepts and ideas covered in the course. It is proctored, closed book, closed notes, and has no time limit (though it should not take more than two hours).

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These assignments and exams count toward your course grade.

Assignment Percentage of Grade
Reading Quizzes 10%
Skills-Practice Exercises 10%
Homework 30%
Data Analysis Project 25%
Practical Skills Exam 15%
Conceptual Final Exam 10%

Grade Scale

Your letter grade is calculated according to these percentages.

Grading Scale
A 93–100
A− 90–92
B+ 87–89
B 83–86
B− 80–82
C+ 77–79
C 73–76
C− 70–72
D+ 67–69
D 63–66
D− 60–62
E (fail) 0–59

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


23 reading comprehension quizzes, 23 skills practice exercises, 8 homework assignments, and 1 data analysis project. None may be resubmitted.


1 non-proctored, instructor-graded practical skills test; 1 proctored, computer-graded conceptual exam. You must pass both parts of the final exam to earn credit for the course. You may retake the conceptual exam once for a fee.

Retake the final exam for a fee.

Course Duration

You have 1 year to complete this course. You may purchase one 3-month extension if you need more than a year to complete the course.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.