SAS Programming : Essentials

This course is for users who want to learn how to write SAS programs. It is the entry point to learning SAS programming and is a prerequisite to many other SAS courses. If you do not plan to write SAS programs and you prefer a point-and-click interface, you should attend the SAS Enterprise Guide 1: Querying and Reporting course.

This course can help prepare you for the following certification exam(s): SAS Base Programming Exam for SAS 9, SAS Certified Clinical Trials Programmer Using SAS 9.

Learn how to

  • navigate the SAS Studio programming environment
  • navigate the SAS Enterprise Guide programming environment
  • navigate the SAS windowing environment
  • read various types of data into SAS data sets
  • create SAS variables and subset data
  • combine SAS data sets
  • create and enhance listing and summary reports.


Before attending this course, you should have experience using computer software. Specifically, you should be able to

  • understand file structures and system commands on your operating systems
  • access data files on your operating systems.

Course Outline


  • overview of SAS Foundation
  • course logistics
  • course data files

SAS Programs 

  • introduction to SAS programs
  • submitting a SAS program
  • SAS program syntax

Accessing Data 

  • examining SAS data sets
  • accessing SAS libraries

Producing Detail Reports 

  • subsetting report data
  • sorting and grouping report data
  • enhancing reports

Formatting Data Values 

  • using SAS formats
  • creating user-defined formats

Reading SAS Data Sets 

  • reading a SAS data set
  • customizing a SAS data set

Reading Spreadsheet and Database Data 

  • reading spreadsheet data
  • reading database data

Reading Raw Data Files 

  • introduction to reading raw data files
  • reading standard delimited data
  • reading nonstandard delimited data
  • handling missing data

Manipulating Data 

  • using SAS functions
  • conditional processing

Combining Data Sets 

  • concatenating data sets
  • merging data sets one-to-one
  • merging data sets one-to-many
  • merging data sets with nonmatches

Creating Summary Reports 

  • using the FREQ procedure
  • using the MEANS and UNIVARIATE procedures
  • using the Output Delivery System

Learning More 

  • SAS resources
  • next steps