PINA Core Curriculum for the PDC

The Permaculture Design Course (PDC) is a 72-hour+ program that teaches the ethics, principles and application of permaculture. The PDC includes a standard core curriculum adapted to local needs and conditions.

List of Core Curriculum Topics

Instructors present topics in any sequence using a variety of methodologies.

  1. Introduction to Permaculture
  2. Ethics and Principles
  3. The Local Ecosystem
  4. Patterns and Pattern Application
  5. Climates, Biogeography and Microclimates
  6. Design Methods and Process
  7. The Home System
  8. Water
  9. Earthworks
  10. Soils
  11. Trees, Forests, Plants, and Cultivated Ecologies
  12. Animals
  13. Aquaculture
  14. The Built Environment
  15. Waste and Bioremediation
  16. Appropriate Technology
  17. Design for Catastrophe
  18. Urban Permaculture
  19. Broad-scale Landscape Design
  20. Design for Invisible Structures
  21. Economic Systems
  22. Access to Land
  23. Ecovillage and Neighborhood Design
  24. Permaculture Scene
  25. Design Projects and Presentations
  26. Passion / Talent Show

Earth User’s Guide to Teaching Permaculture

Rosemary Morrow has graciously released here Permaculture Teacher Training guide to the public.  This in depth resource will give you the tools you need to embark in a career teaching Permaculture.

Topics included in this Teacher Training Manual

Topic Resources

PINA is developing teaching resources for topics of the Core Curriculum. Find links to PDF and PowerPoint versions of compiled resources here.

Promote Your Course or Event

  • Find other PDCs across North America to understand the market.
  • List your course on PINA’s calendar to gain exposure.
  • Fill out a Podcast Guest Inquiry form to schedule your interview to air a month+ before your course or event.
  • Tag @permaculture_institute_na on Instagram and share your course in Facebook Groups

Have Your Students Joined PINA Yet?

Give your students an extra discount on the already affordable Students & Volunteers membership level to help them continue learning and growing by staying connected to the Permaculture community and avoid the dreaded Post-PDC Blues.


Use Coupon Code:


Take the PDC Teacher Poll

As teachers, it is a best practice to update and revise course materials to stay up to date with the latest developments.

In this poll, PINA is seeking your input to determine which 3 topics from the Core Curriculum for the PDC* would your course most benefit from access to updated graphics, videos and suggested design activities?

PINA will utilize the results of this poll to focus on delivering the most useful updates to our members.

Permaculture Teachers Recognized by PINA

PINA recognizes and highly recommends the teaching of the PINA diplomates holding our Diploma in Education. We have reviewed their curriculum and teaching experience and found them to meet our standards for excellence in the field.

Academic Partnerships

Students can earn college credit for a Permaculture Design Course from a PINA Recognized Teacher at participating colleges and universities.

Goddard College

Students who complete the Permaculture Design Course from a PINA Diplomate will receive two credits for Natural Science when they enroll at Goddard College.

The Permaculture Design Course must be recognized by PINA. This quality control is an essential component of the Goddard-PINA partnership since permaculture courses of varying quality have proliferated in recent years, while college-level equivalencies can only be offered for coursework that meets high standards.