Top 5 SAS Books for Students


As a fellow student, I know that making sure you get the right books for learning a new skill can be tough. To get you started off right, I would like to share the top SAS books that professors are requesting for students learning SAS. With this inside sneak-peek, you can see what books instructors and professors are using to give new SAS users a jump-start with their SAS programming skills.

1. Learning SAS by Example: A Programmer's Guide, Second Edition

At the top of the list is Ron Cody’s Learning SAS by Example: A Programmer’s Guide, Second Edition. This book teaches SAS programming to new SAS users by building from very basic concepts to more advanced topics. Many programmers prefer examples rather than reference-type syntax, and so this book uses short examples to explain each topic. The new edition of this classic has been updated to SAS 9.4 and includes new chapters on PROC SGPLOT and Perl regular expressions. Check out this free excerpt for a glimpse into the way the book can help you summarize your data.

2. Getting Started with SAS® Programming: Using SAS® Studio in the Cloud

This book will help you get up-and-running with the free SAS OnDemand for Academics using Ron Cody’s easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide. This book is aimed at beginners who want to either use the point-and-click interactive environment of SAS Studio, or who want to write their own SAS programs, or both.

The first part of the book shows you how to perform basic tasks, such as producing a report, summarizing data, producing charts and graphs, and using the SAS Studio built-in tasks. The second part of the book shows you how to write your own SAS programs, and how to use SAS procedures to perform a variety of tasks. In order to get familiar with the SAS Studio environment, this book also shows you how to access dozens of interesting data sets that are included with the product.

3. The Little SAS Book: A Primer, Sixth Edition

Our third book is a classic that just keeps getting better. The Little SAS Book is essential for anyone learning SAS programming. Lora Delwiche and Susan Slaughter offer a user-friendly approach so readers can quickly and easily learn the most commonly used features of the SAS language. Each topic is presented in a self-contained two-page layout complete with examples and graphics. Also, make sure to check out some more tips on learning SAS from the authors in their blog post.

The sixth edition is interface independent, so it doesn't matter if you are using SAS Studio, SAS Enterprise Guide, or the SAS windowing environment as your programming interface.

4. SAS Certification Prep Guide: Statistical Business Analysis Using SAS 9

"Well written & voluminous, this is an amazing exam prep and reference." --Russ Lavery "SAS User"

Number four is a must-have study guide for the SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9 exam. Written for both new and experienced SAS programmers, the SAS Certification Prep Guide: Statistical Business Analysis Using SAS 9 is an in-depth prep guide for the SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9: Regression and Modeling exam. The authors step through identifying the business question, generating results with SAS, and interpreting the output in a business context. The case study approach uses both real and simulated data to master the content of the certification exam. Each chapter also includes a quiz aimed at testing the reader’s comprehension of the material presented. To learn more about this great guide, watch an interview with co-author Joni Shreve.

5. SAS for Mixed Models: Introduction and Basic Applications

Models are a vital part of analyzing research data. It seems only fitting, then, that this popular SAS title would be our fifth most popular book requested by SAS instructors. Mixed models are now becoming a core part of undergraduate and graduate programs in statistics and data science. This book is great for those with intermediate-level knowledge of SAS and covers the latest capabilities for a variety of SAS applications. Be sure to read the review of this book by Austin Lincoln, a technical writer at SAS, for great insights into a book he calls a “survival guide” for creating mixed models.

Want more?

I hope this list will help in your search for a SAS book that will get you to the next step in your SAS education goals. To learn more about SAS Press, check out our up-and-coming titles, and to receive exclusive discounts make sure to subscribe to our newsletter.


About Author

Missy Hannah

Senior Associate Social Media Specialist

Missy Hannah is a Social Media Specialist at SAS where she specializes in social listening, social network analysis, data analytics, and social media strategies. She is currently finishing her doctorate at North Carolina State University in Communication, Rhetoric & Digital Media where she also teaches classes in web development and business communication. For fun, she loves nature walks, photography, and playing video games at home with her husband and two cats.


  1. The following book on Bio-statistics based on SAS can also be looked into

    Essential of Biostatistics: An Overview with the help of software- 2nd in Series: Pocket Guide
    ISBN-13: 978-1729293577

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