The Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course

About the Worldwide Recognized
Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course

This training provides a clear understanding on how we as humans can minimize, even possibly reverse, Global-Climate Change and heal much of the damage to our planet, while also creating greater abundance & security for all.

Schedule and Fees

How We Deliver this World-Recognized Course no matter the Location

What is Covered? Download the Curriculum Outline in .PDF

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 Course (PDC) Certificate. The training experience provides a deep introduction to the world of permaculture as originally set forth by the movement’s co-founder Bill Mollison.

Bill Mollison - Creator of the Permaculture Design Certificate Course
Permaculture’s Co-founder: Bill Mollison

Credit for this course is now accepted by a growing number of universities around the world.  To date, ten’s of thousand have completed this training and now comprise a global network of educators and ecological doers who influence corporations, create new business alternatives, influence the communities they live in and turn damaged lands into highly productive food producing landscapes (farms). PDC graduates are committed people working together to enhance the way we view and design into our landscapes, our lives and the culture itself.

This course is not just for people who own property!

The PDC provides a fresh understanding into how each of us can be a significant contributor toward creating a more permanent and compassionate culture. The majority of students in a PDC course are actually urban dwellers.

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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Who Could Benefit from a Permaculture Design Certificate Course?

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 PathGardeners
Educators – TeachersLandscape Architects
ArchitectsCommunity Activists
Garden DesignersAgronomists
BuildersResource managers
Municipal, State, and Federal Staff and ManagersReal estate buyers and brokers
Pastors and Church LeadersLocal and Regional Planners
Construction ProfessionalsElected Officials
Green EntrepreneursNon-profit Administrators
Community OrganizersSocial Workers
International Relief WorkersEcologists

“The information, design methods and networking were way 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

How Midwest Permaculture Delivers this World Recognized Training?

What Subjects and Permaculture Principles are Covered in a (PDC) Course?

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.

Subjects Covered

  • Observations and Patterns
  • Principles and Ethics of Permaculture
  • Zones 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
  • Aquaculture
  • Eco-Building
  • Alternatives to Alternative Energy
  • Designing a 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
  • More…
Having already learned about the many benefits of swales and how to find contour on the land so one knows where to place them, students now have the opportunity to mark and dig a swale of their own.
Having learned during the PDC about the many benefits of swales and how to find contour on the land, students now have the ability to mark and dig a swale of their own.

View or Download our
PDC Course Curriculum Outline


“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.
I loved this course. “

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.

Permaculture Co-founder David Holmgren
David Holmgren
  1. Observe and interact
  2. Catch and store energy
  3. Obtain a yield
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback
  5. Use & value renewable resources and services
  6. Produce no waste
  7. Design from patterns to details
  8. Integrate rather than segregate
  9. Use small and slow solutions
  10. Use and value diversity
  11. Use edges and value the marginal
  12. Creatively use and respond to change

Permaculture’s 3 Foundational Ethics

  1. Earth Care
  2. People Care
  3. Fair Share (Care of the Future)
Click Here for a Downloadable Color Copy of this Great Graphic and Learn More from David Holmgren Himself. Then come on back…

“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.
Being guided by the ethics and principles of permaculture has set me free, bringing me joy every day in the work I do, the people I invite into my life, and the choices I make.”

Deanna – 45 – Botanic Garden Horticulturist

Should I take a Course in My Own Bioregion and Climate?
A Focus on the Fundamentals Regardless of Your Climate

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 Teaching a Permaculture Design Course in Africa
A Midwest Permaculture PDC Grad (Grant Shadden) Teaching Villagers in Africa

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 when possible.  Grant now works incorporating permaculture design principles at the Meskwaki tribe’s organic farm in Iowa. 
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

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.  We support our students in 3 ways:

  1.  We offer the course at half-price to any graduate who would like to experience the PDC once again.
  2. We host a networking site so students can stay connected to other classmates.
  3. And we occasionally host various 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?  Receive a 33% Discount off the full price.
We do offer a 33% discount to students who have graduated from other recognized PDC courses (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.

Midwest Permaculture Design Certificate Course - Arbor Day Farm's Lied Lodge
Milton Dixon with Students Sampling Some Wild Edibles

To See our Schedule of Upcoming
Permaculture Design Certificate Courses
Click Here

We’d Love to Have you Join Us.