Study permaculture online through Cornell University’s distance learning program.

Create a design portfolio based on your own project and complete all three of the courses from home to earn a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC).


Instruction and facilitation is led by Michael Burns of the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute who has been teaching and practicing permaculture since 2005 at Cayuta Sun Farm.

Enrollment for the first course Permaculture: Fundamentals of Ecological Design is open. Sign up and learn more at:

The first 6.5 week long course and provides an opportunity for you to build your knowledge about permaculture and ecological design.

Participants will explore the content through videos, readings, and activities and complete portions of a design for a site of their choosing.

While the course is online, the format is designed for consistent interaction between instructors and students through forums and review of assignments. Readings and presentations will be directly applied through hands-on activities students will engage with at home.

There are two additional permaculture design courses: 

Permaculture Design: Ecosystem Mimicry: Begins January, 2020

Permaculture Design: Design Practicum:Begins March, 2020 

*Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Ecological Design or Ecosystem Mimicry

Completion of a single class gives students a certificate of completion from the Cornell Dept. of Horticulture and Continuing Education units. Completion of all three courses gives students the portfolio necessary to apply for an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate though the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute. Students may choose to continue and complete all three courses  the course of the next year or may opt to finish it in following years.

Space is limited to 20 participants.  Fee is $675 for the first course paid via credit card at sign up. See registration link at:<> Questions about the course can be directed to the lead instructor, Michael Burns at <>.