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Design, build, and live in a way that replenishes the health of people, communities, and our planet, and help others learn to do the same

  • Bring your own projects and continue working on what you’re passionate about
  • Focus deeply, taking one immersive course at a time
  • Learn by doing, with meaningful and relevant projects
  • Learn naturally, without stress, challenging and stretching you in the best way
  • Become healthy and whole with organic food and a balanced daily schedule
  • Discover and develop your inner self in daily group meditations
  • Integrate your studies with your dream career via meaningful internships and senior projects

MIU also offers an online Bachelor’s with Specialization in Sustainable & Regenerative Living. This option is great for students who want to transfer in credits and graduate on a fast track.

Sustainability re-envisioned

All things are interconnected. We live within a web of life that includes all aspects of life, and you cannot “fix” just one isolated crisis without considering the whole. In this program you’ll study the interrelated fields of sustainable and regenerative practices, including ecology & earth-systems, eco-justice, and community-scale technologies such as:

  • Natural and sustainable building design and construction
  • Renewable energy systems theory and applications
  • Permaculture design and other homestead-scale practices
  • Regenerative community planning and development
  • Ecocities design philosophy and applications

Rediscover your inner self

student meditatingAs a student at MIU, you’ll learn the Transcendental Meditation technique, an evidence-based technique that promotes inner peace and wellness, enhances clear thinking, improves learning ability, and boosts creativity.

In class discussions, you’ll explore the ideals of human potential and the roles of individual and collective consciousness and worldviews. We believe that global transformation depends on individual transformation. Therefore, inner and outer change must be addressed simultaneously.

student meditating


Make the world a better place

MIU & our students share a strong common commitment to personal inner growth, wellness, sustainability, and positive uplifting values. Here, you’ll gain a solid foundation in philosophies of sustainable and regenerative living—such as ecological literacy and social justice—and you’ll learn practical skills you can take into the world, becoming a welcomed member of whatever community you choose to join.

As a student of the Sustainable & Regenerative Living program, many of your classes will be held in our state-of-the-art Schwartz-Guich Sustainable Living Center. Using a combination of wind, solar, and geothermal energy, this building goes beyond net-zero and actually creates more energy than it uses.


Watch the video about MIU’s Sustainable Living Center, 2 minutes and 37 seconds long


Get started by contacting Adriene

Adriene Crimson, admissions counselorAdriene Crimson is this program’s admissions counselor for US students. Adriene will provide you with all the details of becoming a student, including connecting you with program faculty when you have questions. International students may connect with their admissions counselor through our contact form.

Adriene Crimson, admissions counselor

Contact Adriene >


Featured courses

Buildings

Buildings and the built environment

Buildings

Learn how to design and build sustainable, energy-wise community-oriented buildings in their appropriate social and environmental contexts

Global Sustainability

Global sustainability

Global Sustainability

Learn about global issues such as climate change, economic globalization and its effects, environmental degradation and its solutions, and more

Ecology

Ecology

Ecology

Gain a fuller understanding of Earth’s dynamic systems and how they relate to human activities, stewardship and the design of sustainable systems

Permaculture

Permaculture design certificate

Permaculture

Earn a certificate in homestead-scale planning, “storied” garden planting, water resources, land use and more. Learn self-sufficiency and community resiliency

Energy

Energy and sustainability

Energy

Learn the fundamentals of solar and wind power systems, so you can become energy self-sufficient, and teach others how to harvest the power of sun and wind.

Courses may include:

There can be little doubt that we are living in a time of unprecedented crises. As never before, we as a global civilization are facing the possibility of societal and environmental collapse, leading to untold suffering for both human and non-human species. The problems we face are tightly interlocked; no problem can be viewed — let alone solved — in isolation. While efforts are underway to address these complex, systemic problems at high levels of governance and administration (UN, IMF, WTO, World Bank, etc.) these “solutions” embody a Western management outlook. In this positivist framework, we can manage our way out of crises; all we need to do is more of the same. But evidence suggests otherwise, and these efforts often backfire, with dire consequences for those affected. As Einstein famously said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” However well-intended, the “management” worldview does not adequately address underlying, paradigm-level causes of violence, poverty, and environmental destruction. From a darker perspective, international attempts at betterment are, in fact, mere extensions of globalized neoliberal/colonial regimes, and thus represent not “solutions” but reproducers and amplifiers of the very problems they profess to solve. In either case, a new way is needed. Using a “toolbox” of practical means (Critical & Systems Thinking, Sustainable/ecological Literacy, theories of consciousness and social change, etc.) we develop new theories on how to view and understand global problems, and to affect change-for-the better. And we test our theories in real-world projects in our local and regional settings. The project-based approach we adopt in this course grounds our theories in praxis, and, if successful, will offer living proof of the potential for local solutions, when documented, contextualized, and openly disseminated, to have lasting positive effects on a global scale. This course covers the MIU general education requirements for Critical Thinking, WTG 191 (College Composition l), and Health-related Fitness. Course fee: $50 (8 credits)
This course explores the role energy plays in sustainability and in the development of complexity and order in nature and in the human economy. Anything of economic value comes from nature or from humans, and both require energy. Therefore, energy is critical to the economy. Energy inevitably loses usefulness as it flows through human-made and natural systems. Sustainability is about regeneration and renewal of opportunity for future generations. Therefore, renewable sources of energy are essential for sustainability. Students learn basic energy concepts and their application to sustainability and renewable energy systems. The course will include lecture, readings, films, guest speakers, field trips, and hands-on work. (4 credits)
The built environment consists of all the things that humans build — buildings and the rural, suburban, and urban context in which they are placed. Buildings, the cities they are placed in, and the transportation systems that connect them are the biggest things that humans build. Designing and building them sustainably is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. This course gives an overview of the origins and evolution of buildings and issues of sustainability in the built environment. Buildings consume over 40% of the energy we use. They are often made from toxic materials and materials difficult to recycle. Few buildings are designed to optimize the use of energy and resources are freely given to us by nature. We need to radically redesign the way we think about, build, and use buildings. The goal is to create a built environment that, like the natural environment, is regenerative, giving back more than it takes. By the end of the course, students are able to: 1) Think holistically about the relationship between climate, culture, and available building materials in a variety of global settings; 2) Understand and be conversant in the basic concepts and language of building design and construction; and 3) Translate into real-world projects various team design skills gained during the course. (4 credits)
The course views ecology and ecosystems critically through biological and cultural perspectives. A main theme is to understand our modern concepts of ‘environment,’ how humans have imagined their natural surroundings and the consequences and significance for life in the 21st century. Another theme is the integration of anthropological, biological, and sociological concepts and knowledge as tools for inquiry into the present and possible futures of all life on earth. Alternatives to human-dominant, resource-intensive, and objectifying relations with the natural world are considered, among them deep ecology, ecofeminism, and Native American views. Scientific studies of agricultural practices, landscape, stream ecology, and other topics are used to tie conceptual learning with local knowledge of the land. A crucial goal is to use empirical and non-empirical experience and knowledge to consider how we, as individuals, societies, and species can accept reciprocal, responsible relations to the non-human world. (4 credits)
Permaculture Design is an attempt to rethink and redesign every aspect of human endeavor in terms of sustainability. In this course, you will learn about the principles, ethics, and scientific reasoning that guides permaculture design, along with how to apply it to homes, cities, and natural landscapes. Students engage with concepts and strategies for building soil health, maximizing water efficiency, and increasing biodiversity through integrated plant dynamics and agroforestry. There will also be workshops related to mushroom cultivation and fermentation sciences. The course will culminate in a final comprehensive design project involving a real client, where you will work to perform site analysis and develop practical solutions for real-world design challenges. Upon successful completion of the course, students earn an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate. This course includes a weekend field trip. Course Fees: $100 (4 credits)

Elective credits may be concentrated in a specific subject area for more in-depth study and to achieve an area of emphasis within Sustainable & Regenerative Living or fulfilled with stand-alone courses of interest.

Students apply their skills and knowledge of regenerative sustainability in real-world situations while earning academic credit. Internships are coordinated by the Career Services Office along with the department and the Registrar to ensure proper credit and approvals. (4–16 credits) Prerequisites: Internship Proposal and consent of the Regenerative Living Department.
This course is devoted to preparing students for the Senior Sustainable & Regenerative Living Project (RL G401). Students meet with faculty to research, discuss, and plan the project to ensure that it will unfold as smoothly as possible. (4 credits) Prerequisites: good academic standing and consent of the instructor
In this senior-level course, students apply what they have learned to a special project. The project may be an individual effort or students may work together in small teams to produce a fitting tribute to the concept of sustainable and regenerative living. Students generate research, creative, or service projects based upon the available knowledge and best practices currently available. Service and creative projects also require a reflective piece of writing that demonstrates writing, critical thinking, and holistic thinking skills. Students prepare their projects in writing and present them orally to their departments. Students may request to be nominated to represent the department and present their project at the annual Senior Project Honors Competition. Senior projects give faculty a final opportunity to evaluate student writing, critical thinking, and speaking toward the end of students’ academic careers. The projects also give students an opportunity to demonstrate their speaking, thinking, and writing capabilities on topics that matter to them. (4 credits — may be repeated subject to satisfactory progress in the previous course and a clear plan for the progression of learning in the subsequent course)

To graduate, students must also satisfy the general requirements for a bachelor’s degree.

Cost & Aid, 2022-23

Annual Cost and Typical Financial Aid
Tuition and fees$16,530
Housing (single room) and meals$7,400
Health insurance (estimate)$3,506
Personal expenses, books, unexpected needs (estimate)$3,500
Cost Per Year$30,936

Full-time students may apply for up to $6,000 scholarship based on qualifying documented family income. Our undergraduate scholarship application form will be made available to you upon application to the university.


Tuition, other fees, scholarships, and financial policies are subject to change prior to the entry date.

Featured faculty

Ralph Hearn

Ralph Hearn, BSEE, MScEng, is an expert and inventor in sustainable energy systems. He has 20+ years of R & D experience in electrical rotating machinery, magnetics, and other electrical technologies. He teaches subjects related to energy and sustainability and holds two US patents.

According to Ralph Hearn, the most pivotal experiences in his life have been: contribution to Variable Reluctance Motor & Variable Reluctance Generator Patents; developing EV 1 and EMD locomotives for GM as a  Senior Scientist in the middle 1990s; designing an electric car for a southern California Automotive research company in the early 2000s, now manufactured and sold in Bangalore, India

Students of Ralph’s Energy and Sustainability class built an EV charging station for one-tenth of the market price. The station, located alongside the Sustainable Living Center, continues to be used by members of the campus community.


All Department Faculty

(R)evolution webinar series

Deep conversations with leaders regenerating the world

In these twice-monthly conversations, we speak with some of the leading figures in creating a healthy, safe, thriving, and socially just world. We learn about their work, and we ask them: What needs to change, at the deepest level, to bring about the transformations we need?

Speakers have included:

  • Dr. Rattan Lal — the first researcher to demonstrate that regenerative agriculture can address the climate crisis and other major global challenges; winner of the 2020 World Food Prize Watch ➡︎
  • Allan Savory — one of the founders of the Savory Institute and developer of the Holistic Management framework to address the cause of global desertification and climate change Watch ➡︎
  • Dr. Roland Bunch — one of the most well-respected leaders in regenerative land management Watch ➡︎
  • Dr. Tim LaSalle — past CEO of the Rodale Institute and a global champion of regenerative agriculture. Watch ➡︎
  • Alex Pryor — co-founded Guayaki Sustainable Rainforest Products in 1996, a major beverage company based on yerba mate tea that is devoted to regenerative agriculture. Watch ➡︎

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