The World Recognized
Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course
The Permaculture Design Certificate course is a seventy-two hour (minimum) training experience. Students who complete the full curriculum earn the internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate. It provides an introduction to permaculture design as set forth by the movement's co-founder Bill Mollison.
Credit for this course is now accepted by a growing number of universities around the world. To date, thousands of permaculture designers worldwide have been certified through this course, and now comprise a global network of educators and ecological activists who influence major corporations, individuals creating new business alternatives, and groups of committed people working together to change the way we view and design into our landscapes.
The course covers sustainable living systems for a wide variety of landscapes and climates. It includes the application of permaculture principles to food production, home design & construction, energy conservation and generation, and explores the social and economic structures that support a culture that cares for the planet and all its inhabitants.
Most Commonly Asked Questions
|What is Permaculture
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|Who Could Benefit from a Permaculture Design Certificate Course?|
|What Subjects and Permaculture Principles are Covered?|
|Should I take a Course in my Bioregion and Climate?|
|What is a Midwest Permaculture Course Like?
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Just about everyone! If you're interested in learning about sustainable living, green design and architecture, abundant gardening, organic agriculture, generating renewable energy, creating authentic relationships and community, learning new skills, or considering a new career to obtain right-livelihood....then you will get much from this course.
When a permaculture design is implemented on the land, in a business, in community or in one's own personal life, (1) wastes become resources, (2) work is minimized, (3) yields increase over time (4) and the environment is restored.
Some who have benefited from a PDC Course?
Students Looking for their Career Path
Farmers (small and large)
Municipal, State, and Federal Staff and Managers
Community Development Workers
Non-profit and Community Organizers/Administrators
Real estate buyers and brokers
Local and Regional Planners
“The information, design methods, networking, and even food were beyond my expectations. Taking this course has re-ignited a fire in me that had been only embers. There is hope for the human species.”
Ron N.—60; Landscape architect
Permaculture is about looking at ways to integrate many different elements into a sustainable way of living. So, even though we might not go into great detail in every subject area (we would need three months) we do delve into many areas and look for those ways that they interrelate to each other.
The goal is design systems that allow us to live abundantly well, while also eliminating wastes, increasing yields, minimizing unnecessary work and caring for the total environment. We must design ways of living that care for nature, ensuring the necessary resources for future generations.
- Observations and Patterns
- Principles and Ethics of Permaculture
- Zone and Sector Analysis
- Soils, Plants, and Trees
- Guilds and Polycultures
- Water and Earthworks
- Utilizing Micro-climates
- Designing with Succession in Mind
- Designing for Different Climatic Zones
- Really Alternative Energy
- Planning the Homestead
- Garden Management
- Small-Farm Strategies
- Large-Farm Possibilities
- Creating Real Abundance
- Urban and Suburban Permaculture
- International Implications
- Starting a Permaculture Business
- Working with People
- Building Authentic and Lasting Community
“I'm so glad we got into the details behind the concepts. I now get the fundamentals and am confident in my own permaculture skills.
Trevor J. -24- Sustainable Ag student, MSU
Permaculture Design Principles & Ethics
Regardless of the subject area being explored, these fundamental permaculture design principles delineated by permaculture's other co-founder, David Holmgren, are the foundation to all permanent design.
- Observe and interact
- Catch and store energy
- Obtain a yield
- Apply self-regulation and accept feedback
- Use & value renewable resources and services
- Produce no waste
- Design from patterns to details
- Integrate rather than segregate
- Use small and slow solutions
- Use and value diversity
- Use edges and value the marginal
- Creatively use and respond to change
Permaculture's 3 Foundational Ethics
- Earth Care
- People Care
- Fair Share (Care of the Future)
"Taking my PDC course with Midwest Permaculture two years ago set me on a much more focused path and has been instrumental in enriching my life in many ways.
Deanna – 45 – Botanic Garden Horticulturist
What is important to understand about the PDC course is that all of the basic principles and ideas behind a permaculture approach or design must be covered to meet Mollison’s requirements for a certificate of completion. Therefore,many different climates, land types, soil types and living situations are explored.
So, it doesn't really matter where you live now or where you take a design course. You should be exposed to all the fundamentals which will allow you to begin to create a permaculture design for just about any location or situation on the planet. The fundamentals and the principles don’t change.
The education you receive from a Midwest Permaculture PDC is universally applicable. We have hosted
trainings in the Midwest, the mountains and the desert.
Grant Shadden and his wife Paige earned their PDCs through Midwest Permaculture and have taken their new skills and understanding to Africa where they volunteer part-time in the winter months. They are now the resident permaculture designers and teachers at an evolving ranch in the Bitterroot Valley, MT.
See Grant and Paige's Blog Posts of Their Work in Africa
|“I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful week. I learned much more than I expected. I have been asked about giving some permaculture classes by our local community college in Cleveland. Thanks for the confidence you instilled in me!"
Sean K.-45, Homeowner with 2-Acres
Receive Continued Support Following Your PDC Course
Students who have completed a Midwest Permaculture design course are then invited to become part of our growing network of graduates.
As such students are invited to repeat a PDC again at half price (provided space is available) and we also occasional host other open events for our graduates and their families.
Our objective is to support our students for as long as they need it or want it, and to encourage them to support each other.
Already A Permaculture Design Course Graduate? 33% Discount off the full price
We do offer a 33% discount to students who have graduated from any other recognized PDC course (from anywhere in the world) who wish to take a Midwest Permaculture course as a refresher. The discount only applies if there are open slots in the intended course. Please email for details and let us know when and where you took your PDC and who the certifying instructor(s) was.
To See our Schedule of Upcoming
Permaculture Design Certificate Courses
We'd Love to Have you Join Us.