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Introduction to SPSS

For Charité scientists we offer an introduction to the program IBM SPSS Statistics (SPSS for short) to accompany our statistical consulting. This course is free of charge and exclusively for Charité members.

Courses are provided on weekends or during work at CCM.

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General Information

All participants need access (account) to the Charité intranet. When registering, you must enter your personal e-mail address ( This address will also be used for further correspondence (confirmation, further information). Doctoral students who are neither working nor matriculated at the Charité can apply for a personal e-mail address ( via the Promotionsbüro (doctoral office).

SPSS may be used at the Charité by anyone who has access to the Charité domain (site license).

The next German-language two-day course is in preparation.

Dates will also be published on our Twitter account. For more information for your preparation, see "How do I need to prepare"? 

ECTS: Upon successful participation, you will receive a certificate for the Promotionsumgebung (doctoral environment) (1 ECTS).

For registration please use the online form. (see also "How do I register?").

About the Course

Who is the course aimed at?

In 6 lessons you will be introduced to SPSS extensively and efficiently, hence enabling you to quickly apply what you have learned. 

The introduction to SPSS is intended as a supplement to individual statistical counseling for doctoral students or scientists who have their data ready and want to start evaluation as soon as possible.

Other members of the Charité can participate if places remain available.

What will be covered?

SPSS can be operated (almost) completely via a graphical user interface. The disadvantage is that in case of an error or a repeated evaluation you have to reproduce these clicks exactly in order to get the right results. Using the internal command language ("syntax") enables saving command sequences into a file and reuse them correct minor errors. We will show you both methods and how to connect them cleverly.


  • Structure of the data matrix
  • Labels for variables and values
  • Missing values
  • Introduction to the "Syntax" Command Language
  • calculating new variables
  • Date differences
  • Classification of values
  • Selection of cases
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Simple (bivariate) tests

The focus is on the usage of SPSS, the knowledge of biometrics is a prerequisite, as well as the usage of Windows.
If you want to utilize advanced statistical methods, you should take advantage of our consulting services.

When, where, how many?

During the pandemic, the course will be conducted via MS Teams, will take for two mornings (starting at 09:00 each), and will include a total of 6 full hours plus breaks. The start time is considered s.t., please be on time.

Up to 30 people may participate in the course held in Englisch. Non-German speaking applicants will be considered preferentially. If there are less than 10 registrations, the course will not take place.

How to register?

This course is aimed at doctoral students and clinicians. If you do not belong directly to this group of people, please enter your reasons for the need to participate in the Remarks field of the online form.

To register, you need to identify yourself as a member of the Charité by using your personal Charité e-mail account ( Since November 2017, Doctoral students need to be matriculated at the Charité. This matriculation includes access to Charité e-mail services.

Registration is only available for the listed courses. If you do not have time on these dates or there are no available dates at the moment, please check this website from time to time. An advance reservation for future dates is not possible.

The number of participants is limited, participation at a desired date is not always guaranteed. Normally you will receive your confirmation within two working days. If a course is booked, up to 3 possible successors will be registered in case registered participants cancel at short notice. Please do not come to the course unregistered.

Any unplanned changes or problems (illness, technical problems) will be published as soon as possible at the top of this page (above "Upcoming Courses").

Click here for the Online-Form.

How do I need to prepare?

During the pandemic, the course will be conducted via MS Teams (you will receive the link after successful registration). Therefore, you will need to download SPSS and install it on the computer you want to use for the course.

  • SPSS (Statistical Paxkage for the Social Sciences) installation instructions (in German, only) can be found at
  • Make sure to follow the installation instructions exactly, e.g. for WIN10 devices you have to start the installation by right-clicking "Run as admin".

In order to use SPSS outside the Charité network, you must also apply for and have installed VPN. This is because SPSS checks the license authorization at startup.

Please download the exercise data and the script (see accompanying material) to your drive "T: " (ideally to a new folder). Alternatively, you can use a USB stick.

Information on SPSS

The IBM SPSS package

SPSS is a program package for the statistical evaluation of data. It is offered for various operating systems. In the area of statistical software, there is a variety comprehensive packages and even more specialized packages for specific procedures. We have chosen this package because it is relatively easy to use and can perform all common statistical procedures and create common graphics. Data handling (variable definition, data entry, variable calculation, and case selection) is easier than with most other software packages. And: SPSS is available for general use at the Charité (site license).

SPSS at the Charité

The package with all major modules is not quite inexpensive. However, the Charité site licensed it. The program is installed locally onto your computer. To use it, your computer needs a connection to the Charité intranet (possibly via VPN). For business trips you can "borrow" a license for a few days (see commuter license).

SPSS is available in most public computer rooms of the Charité (CIPom)

Installation and Licensing

If you need SPSS on a Charité-owned computer, send an e-mail to The program will be installed via Empirium.

The program and important information can be found on the Helpdesk pages in the Intranet  (a VPN connection is required for private computers). Here, you will find the required downloads and above all a sheet with all important information. Caution! Make sure to enter the name of the license server correctly! If you mistype here, the installation will continue normally, but the program will not work ("Processor not available"). In this case, you must first uninstall SPSS and then reinstall it.

SPSS commuter licence

Usually, the software is activated after the program has been started by connecting to the license server in the intranet. If contact to the intranet is not possible or difficult, SPSS can be activated for a maximum of 7 days with the help of a commuter license and used offline, for example for a longer train journey, a weekend in the countryside (if you want to work on your dissertation in the evening) or if you need SPSS at an important meeting and do not know whether you will be connected to the network there. The number of licenses is limited, please use this service only if you really need it.

To activate the commuter license, you must have access to the Charité intranet! Open the folder "IBM SPSS Statistics" in Windows via the START button in connection with "All Programs". Then start "IBM SPSS ...Pendlerlizenz (commuter license)". In the opening window, select the line that matches your installed SPSS version. Enter the desired number of days below (maximum 7) and click on [Check out]. A red tick should appear next to the marked line.
To check the commuter license activation, remove the notebook from the network (unplug the LAN, deactivate WLAN) and start SPSS. The status line at the bottom should read "Processor is ready".

As long as commuter license is active (mark the same row as above), the number of days remaining is displayed at the bottom. The [Check Out] button is inactive, instead you can use [Check In] to return days you no longer need.

I prefer using a Mac

The introduction to SPSS is offered exclusively for Windows, training rooms for other operating systems do not exist at the Charité.

The SPSS Program package is available as Mac version, the range of functions and the operation are similar. Experienced users should have no problems with the system-related differences (file paths, mouse operation and menu arrangement). However, since you will probably be using a private computer, you will have to establish a VPN connection (VPN tunnel) to the Charité intranet.