Learn online from world-leading permaculture practitioners as you create your own sustainable design

Designed For
Hobbyist gardeners, professional planners, landscape architects, nursery owners, rural and urban farmers, school gardeners, and community organizers.
January 7 - March 22, 2019
Online | Instructor-led
$840 (+ $60 registration fee)
Ten weeks
Plan for 9-17 hours of work per week
Practical Permaculture for Home Landscapes, Your Community, and the Whole Earth

Ask us about Workforce Development Training. We can customize this program to fit your organization's specific needs.

Permaculture design is an ethically based, whole-systems design approach to create sustainable human settlements and institutions. Although rooted in horticulture and agriculture, permaculture design also touches on regional planning, ecology, animal husbandry, technology, architecture and international development.

Online and instructor-led, the Permaculture Design Certificate offered by Professional and Continuing Education at Oregon State University arms participants with the knowledge needed to successfully employ permaculture philosophies and techniques.

Our Permaculture Design Course Equips You to Create a Design in 10 Weeks

Within a collaborative, academically rigorous curriculum, you will complete regenerative landscape projects with intensive instructor feedback and one-on-one interaction to help with every step along the way. You will learn or expand your skills of translating site observations and designs to paper or digital applications such as Powerpoint, Google Slides, Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.

Through instruction and tutorials, you will build or improve your visual communication skills through pen and paper or graphic design. You will need access to a physical project site to use for class assignments. You don't have to own the land, but it's important to physically visit the site in order to build a customized permaculture design plan in this course.

You can expect to create a sustainable Permaculture design in this course, with design work beginning on Day One. Each assignment creates a new layer in the permaculture design process, culminating in a unique site design plan for residential, agricultural or other natural areas. These plans will be an excellent first draft that allows you to develop a permaculture plan to be used at home or as a portfolio to share with prospective clients.

Engage With an Online Community

You will engage with peers through the program’s blog, where you can receive and provide feedback and follow each project’s progress. You will learn from peers by sharing your own permaculture design plan and viewing other projects from diverse climates and environments.

This course is primarily focused on the U.S., but it is possible for international students to succeed with extra work and effort. Previous participants have come from locations all around the world, and have created design plans for sites that ranged in size from urban balconies to 100-acre ranches. View examples of previous student projects.

This course is led by OSU instructor, Andrew Millison, who has benefited thousands of students by sharing insights from his 20+ years of experience in permaculture design. By learning one-on-one with Andrew and his team, students can avoid common mistakes and receive experienced guidance throughout the process. After successful completion of the Permaculture Design Certificate Online, consider enrolling in the Advanced Permaculture Design Practicum.

Certified by Permaculture Institute of North America

  • Observation and analysis of the natural processes of a site
  • Design principles and methods
  • Dynamics of water systems, soils, gardens and trees
  • Urban permaculture
  • Apply an ethically based whole-systems design approach
  • Use concepts, principles, and methods derived from ecosystems, indigenous peoples, and other time-tested practices
  • Learn about regional planning, ecology, animal husbandry, appropriate technology, architecture, and international development
  • Andrew Millison

    Andrew Millison has been studying, designing, building, and teaching about Permaculture systems since 1996 and is an instructor in the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University. He instructs Advanced Permaculture Courses in Teaching, and has guest instructed for many Permaculture courses throughout the Western US. He worked for the State of Oregon creating a Permaculture conference and course for Oregon Housing and Community Services, an agency that builds low-income housing.

    He works with gardeners, developers, university students, and community organizers to promote Permaculture. Andrew spent years running a design and build Permaculture landscape company, Millison Ecological Inc., where he completed large scale and high profile projects including rockstar Maynard Keenan’s Merkin Vineyard. To view more of his recent projects ranging from low-income senior housing developments to homesteads from 5-75 acres, as well as his demonstration sites in Corvallis, Oregon, visit www.permaculturerising.com/.

    Marisha PermacultureMarisha Auerbach has been actively practicing, studying, and teaching Permaculture in the Pacific Northwest for more than a decade, specializing in food production, seedsaving, ecology, and useful plants. She gained practical experience while living in both rural and urban locations. Currently, Marisha teaches at Portland Community College, Bastyr University, Pacific University and offers an online permaculture program through Oregon State University. She also works with a number of non-profit organizations including The City Repair Project, Aprovecho Education Center, Lost Valley Education Center, Fertile Ground Community Center and Planet Repair.

    Marisha is committed to sharing her passions for food security, regenerative design, biological diversity, seedsaving, permaculture, ecology, cottage industry and positive futures. She has developed several permaculture-based businesses including a plant nursery, providing edible flowers and other gourmet specialty food items to restaurants, plantable greeting cards and herbal medicines. Marisha has offered permaculture work from the forests of Vietnam to the Rocky Mountains of the United States to the stressed conditions of Haiti. She holds advanced permaculture certificates in Permaculture Aid Work and Keyline Planning.

    Marisha graduated from the Evergreen State College in 1998 where she focused on ethnobotany, ecological agriculture and sustainability studies. She currently resides in Portland, OR. Marisha can be found online at www.herbnwisdom.com.

    Neil Permaculture

    Based in Reno, NV, Neil Bertrando manages a 1.3 acre homestead with his wife Katie and the help of many in the community. His passion is enriching bioregions by building community and broadening the local genetic resources of practical plants and animals to relocalize resource supply networks. He strives for collaboration in his work and runs RT Permaculture, a Permaculture consulting, design, and education business. In his teaching and design he applies Keyline Design, Permaculture and Holistic Management as interconnected systems approaches to managing the complexities of ecosystems.

    While he lives in a temperate arid climate, over the past 12 years, he has gained experience working in wide range of climate and cultural contexts such as Hawaii, Haiti, Minnesota, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and California. He has an MS in Environmental Science from University of Nevada, Reno, where his research focused on effects of the urban corridor on stream health and regional nutrient cycling. In design and development he has worked properties from 1/10th of an acre to 100+ acres. His experience has oscillated between academic research, environmental monitoring and planning surveys, stream restoration, farm management, and local community building.

    Because we all stand on the shoulders of giants, he wants to acknowledge his many teachers and mentors including Craig Sponholtz, Geoff Lawton, Darren Doherty, Erik Ohlsen, Owen Hablutzel, Dan Halsey, Andrew Millison, Robyn Francis, Dr. Sherm Swanson, Tom Stille, Dr. Jerry Qualls, Dr. Glenn Miller, and many others. Thank you.

    Javan Permaculture

    Javan K. Bernakevitch lives permaculture. Consulting, designing and installing urban yards, rural homesteads, farms and international aid projects, he helps folks get clear on their lives, explore niches, build businesses and create thriving landscapes. Trained by pioneers and leaders in Permaculture, Keyline Design, Holistic Management, group facilitation and the Soil Food Web, Javan works around the planet while savoring his native biome in western Canada.





    Tao Permaculture

    Tao Orion graduated from UC Santa Cruz after majoring in Environmental Studies with a focus on Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture. She participated in the 2001 Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the UC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, and received a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture. She received her PDC from Max Lindegger at Crystal Waters Permaculture Village in Australia in 2002.

    Tao completed her Permaculture Teacher Training Course in 2006, as well as a Keyline Design Course with Darren Doherty; and an Advanced Permaculture Course in Earthworks with Geoff Lawton in 2007. She is also a graduate of the Columbines School of Botanical Studies in Eugene, Oregon.

    Tao is the author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species: A Permaculture Perspective on Ecosystem Restoration (Chelsea Green, 2015). She is passionate about linking restoration with thoughtful design of human and non-human habitat.

"I am loving how each week I am having so many moments where I think…”I never thought of that.  It’s a great idea that could work.” And everywhere I go I am observing so many possibilities for change.  I feel like I am at the beginning of my college experience, instead of 20 plus years past it.  There are many ideas I want to incorporate as part of my permaculture design, but my challenge is having a small design site and packing it all in."
Jane, California
"I loved, LOVED this class so much.  I’ve truly gained so much knowledge and ambition through each week. I’m moving onto a farm from the city (apartment where I currently reside) in two weeks with a group of 4 people; we are all likeminded city kids with common experiences and working knowledge of farming and diy lifestyles. I have been left in charge of designing the layout of the land and the gardens, so this is my next HUGE endeavor.  We are planning on getting chickens, goats, and we already have 3 beehives. We are even going to be installing rain barrels. I feel like I have a lot of good ideas brought forth from you and Marisha that I can share with my roommates and put into play what I’ve learned from this course. So, thank you for an excellent semester."
Stephanie, Maryland

"I really enjoyed this course and was very impressed with the high standard of content. This was my first time doing an online course and I have been singing its praises ever since. I'm really glad that I completed it."
Martyn Hatori-Singleton
OSU Permaculture Student Oscar
"Pretty eye-opening course. I liked the most how both of the teachers (Millison and Auerbach) were able to integrate their knowledge into an understandable vehicle. That delivered a lot of knowledge, and common sense. Balancing a holistic approach and scientific one very well. I think also their human qualities are observed in the delivery and their attention, since their assistance was quick and diligently thorough making my learning process much more agreeable. Which added to their teaching methods made it a much better experience. They took the robotic nature of an online course and by their coaching turned it into a good learning experience, free from what you have in an online course where the human interaction is dislocated."
"A lot of information covered! This course provided me with a better understanding of where I needed to focus on further studies. Excellent course content!"
Jennifer Pringle 
"WOW awesome job. Very intense but very rewarding. A lot of work went into creating the course and managing the course and it shows. Thanks!
"Andrew and all of his instructors were incredible. They are extremely hardworking, knowledgeable, and kind, and each put in a significant amount of effort to help each involved student understand, learn, and therefore grow. I was very impressed with the research that has gone into creating and maintaining this course and I highly recommend it to anyone willing to put in the effort. I end this course feeling inspired, more knowledgeable, and ready to take on the principles I learned about. I'm genuinely grateful, thank you!
Stacy Fox

The course is all pre-recorded, so there are no live sessions because of the vastly different locations and time zones of the participants. The course is part watching and reading content and filling out quizzes as you go along to make sure you're getting it, and then there is a major project component where you will do assignments each week related to analyzing and finally designing a site. You will post your work on a class blog, where the other students in other climates and locations can view and comment on your work. There is a lot of interaction between students and instructors relating to your specific design site and process.

The book you will need for this course is Practical Permaculture for Home Landscapes, Your Community, and the Whole Earth. It is available through Amazon.

The instructor does expect you to turn in a project at the end – you actually build upon this project each week, almost like adding a new layer based on the theories and concepts you learn that week. Here are a couple of examples of previous student's work:


To receive a 100% refund (minus the nonrefundable registration fee) you must send a written request to withdraw seven days before the first day of class. There is no refund for withdrawals on or after the first day of class. All refund requests must be sent to pace@oregonstate.edu

Transfers are allowed only within the same course. For instance, a student may transfer from the Spring offering of a course to the Fall offering of the same course, but may not transfer to a different course or program.

A $200 transfer fee will be applied when a student enrolls in the subsequent course. Students may only transfer once. If they are unable to complete a course the second time and still wish to take it, they must re-enroll at full price.

Students wishing to take advantage of the transfer option, should contact PACE at PACE@OregonState.edu stating the name the student used to enroll and the name and start date of the current course session and the start date of the new session desired. Student will be contacted with transfer instructions for their specific course.

This course covers the internationally recognized 100-120 hour Permaculture Design Course curriculum, and earns the student a Permaculture Design Course certificate.

Course outcomes include:

  • Comprehension of the Permaculture design system and the protocols for the Permaculture site design process. 
  • Understand the basic Permaculture design strategies for water, soil, gardens, trees, climatic zones, structures and communities.
  • Apply Permaculture teachings to all assignments.
  • Articulate the Permaculture design system through feedback to other students and presentation of projects and assignments

The whole certificate takes about 100 hours to complete, or up to 120 hours depending on how long it takes you to complete your project/assignments.