Virtual Information Session 

January 14th, 2021 – 8PM est

Please join us for a virtual Information Session for the Program in Clinical Effectiveness.
E. Francis Cook ScD, E. John Orav PhD, Heather J. Baer ScD and Daniel Singer MD will give an overview of the Program and answer all your questions.

Register Here


July 6 – August 13, 2021

Learn more about the Program in Clinical Effectiveness by watching our introductory video:


Our Applicants:

The PCE is designed for physician researchers and other clinical researchers, fellows and faculty, who are seeking quantitative and analytic skills needed for clinical research or are interested in health care administration. Ideally applicants should have a mentored environment to apply the skills learned from the PCE. Local applicants should have a position in a clinical department in a teaching hospital. Applicants from outside of Boston should be recommended by their affiliated medical school or teaching hospital. Exception will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Typically PCE applicants have completed their medical residency training, however those who are completing a residency program which is greater than three years and includes extended time devoted to research training are also encouraged to apply. The PCE does not accept medical students. The PCE encourages applications from individuals from minority groups. Harvard University is an equal opportunity employer. Please review our Application Instructions.


Our Curriculum:

PCE students are required to enroll in an integrated summer-long core courses in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. These applied courses provide the fundamental skills needed for clinical research. The Clinical Epidemiology course provides training in methods for designing and interpreting results from studies and a group mentored experience for students to design a research project of their choice. This involves more than 50 experienced clinical investigators, offering small group workshops and individual office hours. In addition students receive valuable feedback from oral and written presentations of their study design. The Clinical Biostatistics courses provide applied training in fundamental analytical skills with supportive training with commonly-used computer packages

Students also select two half-summer elective courses

2020 Summer 1 Electives Options

  • Ethical Basis of the Practice of Public Health
  • Introduction to Methods and Applications in Health Services Research
  • Medical Informatics
  • Implementation Research in Health and Healthcare
  • Decision Analysis in Clinical Research

2020 Summer 2 Electives Options

  • Linear and Longitudinal Regression
  • Effectiveness Research with Longitudinal Healthcare Databases
  • Improvement in Quality in Health Care
  • Research with Large Databases
  • Machine Learning: Collaborative Data Science in Healthcare

After completion of the PCE, qualified degree students may enroll in the following advanced PCE courses in a subsequent summer:

  • Survival Methods in Clinical Research
  • Analytic Issues of Clinical Epidemiology

Students with previous masters-level training may qualify for the PCE certificate by replacing PCE core courses with the PCE advanced courses and electives.

Core Courses

The two introductory courses in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics are directed at clinical investigators and comprise the core of this program.  These courses are inter-related, present the students with exercises in “active learning,” and provide experience in many aspects of clinical research.  They meet daily during a seven-week period.

Introduction to Biostatistics (BST206/207/208)
Introduction to Clinical Epidemiology (EPI208)

Elective Courses

All participants in the PCE also take two elective courses, each of which lasts for one-half of the summer session.  Elective courses include the following:

Linear and Longitudinal Regression (BST215)
Effectiveness Research with Longitudinal Healthcare Databases (EPI253)
Ethical Basis of the Practice of Public Health (ID251)
Improvement in Quality in Health Care (HPM253)
Introduction to Methods and Applications in Health Services Research (HPM276)
Implementation Research in Health and Healthcare (HPM284)
Research with Large Databases (HPM299)
Medical Informatics (HPM512)
Decision Analysis in Clinical Research (RDS286)
Methods for Decision Making in Medicine (RDS288)
Collaborative Data Science in Healthcare (BST209)

While we are waiting for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to set the format for the 2021 Summer Semester, we are excited to announce that the two core courses Introduction to Biostatistics (BST206/207/208) and Introduction to Clinical Epidemiology (EPI208) will be offered as an online option, in addition to a potential in-class format.

We are exploring the possibilities of the elective courses being offered as an online option as well and will post any updates as soon as we receive them.   

For details, please see Summer Curriculum. Course offerings are subject to change.


Our Program:

The PCE is fast-paced, rigorous, and has received excellent evaluations from it former students. Ideally students should be free of all clinical responsibilities during the 6-week period. This enables students to fully commit to the intense, yet very rewarding curriculum. For details please see Workload and Reviews.


Our Students:

The PCE is completed by both non-degree and degree students. The PCE is a non-degree certificate program, but many of our non-degree students apply for a Harvard Chan School master’s degree after completion of the PCE. Non- degree students who apply to and are admitted into a degree program within 5 years of completing the PCE can roll-over credits earned and tuition paid from the PCE to a HSPH MPH or MS degree program (maximum of 20 non-degree credits). Harvard Chan School offers two specifically relevant degree programs targeted for PCE students. For details see Additional Coursework and Degree Options.


Targeted Degree Programs:

Although the Program in Clinical Effectiveness is a stand-alone non-degree certificate program, many of its graduates have completed master’s degree programs that were created for PCE graduates. This includes:

These degree programs allow PCE graduates to take courses in a subsequent summer, in winter sessions, as well as taking selected online courses offered through the blended MPH in Epidemiology Program during the fall and spring semesters. Students in the Academic-year MPH Program can also take on-campus courses during the fall and spring semesters. This gives PCE graduates multiple degree and scheduling options with courses targeted for the clinical researcher. Summer-only degrees can be completed with two summers in residence at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health.

Credits earned, and tuition paid, from the Program in Effectiveness account for one-third of the degree requirements and tuition for the MPH degree (35% for the MS degree).