Permaculture Design: Practicum

Cornell University

Date Posted: Aug. 22, 2016
Submitted by: Julian Dautremont-Smith
Sustainability Topics: Curriculum, Food & Dining, Grounds
Content Type: Academic Programs
Disciplines: Agriculture, Design
Program Type: Professional or Continuing Education Certificate/Diploma
Completion: 4.5 weeks
Distance: Distance Education
Commitment: Part-Time


This 4.5-week online course provides an opportunity for students to build their knowledge about permaculture and ecological design. Participants will explore the content through videos, readings, and activities and complete portions of design for a site of their choosing.

Writing and reflection are key elements of processing information and the instructor will take an active role by providing feedback on assignments and journal entries. Students also have the opportunity to learn from one another through an open forum in which they can share their ideas with others.

The purpose of this third permaculture course in the series is to apply principles and ecosystem understanding to the permaculture design process. Students will engage in a personal design project of their choosing and walk through the steps to complete a meaningful landscape plan including design concepts, budget details, and strategies for implementation.

Participants do not receive Cornell University credit. Rather, they receive a certificate of participation from Cornell's Office of Continuing Education.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, graduates will be able to:

  • Define permaculture and describe key elements of permaculture systems.
  • Describe the parts of a map and create a base map for your design site.
  • Conduct a thorough assessment of current environmental characteristics.
  • Set specific and detailed goals for designs.
  • Develop design concepts and conduct necessary research.
  • Create accurate project budgets and plans for implementation.
  • Compile design work and present as a whole system.

Links and Materials