Environment and Ecology

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Home Gaia Gaia RDI University Degree Programs

Gaia RDI University Degree Programs

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Gaia RDI University Degree Programs

Gaia RDI Open Houses

Join us for an introduction to the Gaia RDI programs.

September 26, 4–5pm in at Commonweal Garden. You are welcome to join the Commonweal Garden Tour from 1–4pm prior to the Gaia RDI Open House.

Gaia RDI : Project Based, Self Directed, Action Learning

Are you ready to embark on a challenging adventure in which un-learning is possibly as important as learning?

Are you ready to put your passion, vision, and dreams to work in an active, productive way to meet both your own goals and the needs of the Earth?

If your heart sings when you imagine a more sustainable, just, and peaceful world, if you are ready to step forward to contribute your "grain of sand" to the emergence of this vision, then Gaia RDI can offer you the support you need to manifest your dreams.

Gaia RDI offers a unique approach to higher learning by offering you access to accredited bachelor's and master's degrees and graduate diplomas while you are actively engaged in self and planetary transformation. Linking your ideals with self-directed practical experience, you act as a world changer by working for local and global sustainability and regeneration, justice and peace.


Our self-directed action learning methodology enables you to study locally, at work or on project, in your own language, supported by Gaia University's regional organizers, and a worldwide network of learning providers, tutors and mentors. You don't have to choose between earning a living and studying. With action learning your work and your projects become your places of study.

Gaia RDI Programs : Integrative EcoSocial Design (IESD) and Open Topic (OT)

BSc Degree in Integrative EcoSocial Design
MSc Degree in Integrative EcoSocial Design or Open Topic
Graduate Diploma in Integrative EcoSocial Design or Open Topic

Our IESD degrees—including a BSc degree, an MSc degree and a graduate diploma (GD)—enable you to further develop and display your mastery of design on both ecological and social fronts, applying permaculture design principles to your project, personal and professional work. Within IESD we offer three concentrations: 8 Shields Cultural Mentoring, Regenerative Leadership, and Regenerative Design and Nature Awareness (RDNA). You can also create your own concentration.

In addition to our IESD degrees, we offer Open Topic (OT) degrees for the MSc and GD associates. Open Topic allows you to concentrate on a graduate level if you do not want to be on a design track. Open Topic associates declare their own concentration with the support of their advising team.

Within all of our programs, we offer concentrations in:

  • Regenerative Leadership: Based in RDI's Ecology of Leadership program
  • Regenerative Design and Nature Awareness: Based in RDI's RDNA program
  • 8 Shields Cultural Mentoring: Based in Jon Young's 8 Shields Cultural Mentoring work at RDI and in Santa Cruz
  • Design Your Own!

Please see our pages on Degrees and Concentrations pages for more information.

GaiaU Graduates in Action

Click here to see what GaiaU graduates are doing.

Glossary / Terminology

Gaia University International uses a variety of terms that might sound odd as you are becoming familiar with them. We use new terminology not to confuse you, but so that we can invite new ways of learning, relating to each other, and relating to the larger world. For example, we use the term “associate” rather than student. This is because for us, the term student conjures the image of a passive recipient of information rather than the dynamic, fully engaged “learner” we wish to invite—and cultivate—in our program. See our growing Gaia U glossary online here.


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