All courses by

Matthew M Schmidt

I received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental and Forest Biology jointly from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Syracuse University in 1988, and subsequently completed my Ph. D. in Genetics at Stony Brook University in 1995. I joined the faculty of the State University of New York Empire State College in the Fall of 1994 as a part-time mentor in the life sciences (SMAT), and have continued as Visiting Assistant Professor and primary mentor until the present. During this time I have also served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Stony Brook University teaching various classes through the department of Undergraduate Biology. My current interests include evolutionary biology and genetics, as well as integrating technology with education.


This program is designed for science majors, and examines all of the major aspects of biological information. Beginning with the discoveries of Mendel in the late 1800’s, the course follows through to the exciting discoveries of the present.

Genetics is an intense course and one of a few biology courses that requires detailed problem solving and good math and analytical skills. It is required for the biology major at many institutions, and highly recommended for those pursuing entrance to Medical School. This makes it quite a challenging study, but a rewarding one as well!

course duration

46h 26min

Human Biology

Human Biology is a non-majors course introducing the human being, Homo sapiens, as a biological organism. We will emphasize the relationships humans share with other living organisms, through their common evolutionary descent, and the place of humans in the world in terms of our interactions with other organisms and our environment. This will become the framework for a detailed look at the structure and function of the human body. We will take a hierarchical approach, emphasizing the contribution of each "layer" to homeostasis and dissecting each major organ system to determine its contribution to the well-being of the organism. Finally, we will introduce genetic concepts, from chromosomal behavior and the inheritance of genetic traits to DNA and molecular biology. The ultimate goal is to familiarize human beings with their own bodies, their place in the biosphere, and their fascinating genetic heritage.

course duration

10h 27min


The science of Microbiology has offered profound insights, many within the last century, into the biological world and the relationships of human beings with their surroundings. Vital discoveries regarding microorganisms led to revolutions in several fields, including medicine, and provided tools and techniques that would allow the modern field of molecular biology to flourish. This course will explore the major areas of microbiology, including: Principles of microscopy and staining Structure and function of prokaryotic cells Growth and growth control of bacteria Classification of microorganisms Viral replication strategies Interactions between pathogen and host A survey of microbial disease The course will allow both biology students and non-majors alike to come to know our unseen companions, and appreciate both the beauty and challenges of sharing our world with microorganisms.

course duration

17h 20min