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Permaculture Courses


Continuing Education Noncredit Courses

Why continue your permaculture education at Oregon State University? Because you can gain access to university permaculture experts in a noncredit setting. Our certificate programs allow you to start working on your project day one, and you'll receive individual guidance from instructors to create your chosen project. And for all of our programs, you don't have to formally apply and there are no prerequisites. You simply register to get started! 

For the home gardener or hobbyist wanting to design their own site or friends’ sites. Ideal for learning the permaculture design curriculum without making a professional living from being a permaculture designer. This course includes all the curriculum required for the internationally recognized certificate. Duration: 10 weeks
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For the person wanting to make permaculture a vocation and gain the skills of a professional designer. This course includes all the curriculum required for the internationally recognized certificate. Duration: 20 weeks


diagram of water shed


A logical next step for those who've taken our Permaculture Design Certificate, this advanced course focuses on teaching you to build climate change resilience as a design layer.

Click here to learn more
about Advanced Permaculture.

fruit on the branch


This course shows you how to create a permaculture food forest. These intentionally cultivated forest gardens contain native and cultivated plants which provide yields for humans.

Click here to learn more
about the Food Forests course.

permaculture water demonstration using virtual sandbox


This advanced program teaches you the principles of water harvesting that you can use to create functional site designs. Learn to identify both water and solar site resources in your design.

Click here to learn more about the Water Management course.



Courses for Credit

Through the College of Agricultural Sciences, you can take these permaculture courses for credit.

Garden rake in dark soil


Permaculture design course meets internationally recognized standards for certification. Lectures, hands-on activities, experiential learning, group discussions, readings, student projects and presentations.

Click here to learn more
about HORT 285.

Green reflections in springtime Trimmed hedges growing by ledge of reflecting pond in formal garden


Teaches assessment, mapping, and site designs for installing water retention landscapes using integrated water management strategies. Introduces assessment and analysis of rainwater runoff patterns and calculation of runoff quantities and water usage amounts.

Click here to learn more
about HORT 286.

Senior Community Garden


Understand how permaculture as a design system can create sustainable human habitation that is beneficial to the natural world. Use tools specific to permaculture designers to assess, analyze, and project future climate scenarios and respond to them with appropriate design.

Click here to learn more
about HORT 485.


Student Feedback

Here's what past students thought about the Permaculture program.

From the beginning of the course, it was clear that this was a well-designed program. The layout of each module was thoughtfully designed to present the information in a clear manner. Supporting and additional information was available and easily accessible to students and was much appreciated. As the course continued, the quality of the course and ease of material accessibility remained consistently high. The systematic approach to the information made a complicated subject simultaneously approachable and thorough, which is a difficult task. It is clear that the course was designed using the same principles that are taught in the course. Thank you for providing this course and making it a fun experience. 

This class illustrates the art of “chunking” to conquer overwhelming problems. The amount of work and content in this class is huge. Looking at the class in whole, all that needs to be done, it seems impossible. But by breaking it down into steps that can be accomplished, then pulling them all together, the whole is complete. The same is true of a permaculture design site. SO many things to do. But bit by bit, step by step, do the smalls and the bigs get done. Chunking is an important skill to take away from this class.

This has been an amazing course. I have been teaching online/hybrid/traditional college classes for over 15 years and this class is incredible in comparison to anything I have done. To create a practical application class in an online setting is difficult, but this class has mastered “doing” online. Genius, really. True genius. I hope everyone who takes this class realizes what a gift this course is. I sure do.

Thank you for this great course. I really enjoyed the multiple facets of it: the sandbox videos, the varied other interesting videos, the book, feedback about assignments, and learning for other peoples’ projects. I really appreciate learning from teachers with so much experience and knowledge…


Learn More about scholarships and the program founder

Discover more about available scholarships and learn about Andrew Millison, who created the program.