Foundations Program

Next session
is in 2021


Foundations is a 425-hour certificate program focused on bioregional and clinical herbalism.  We offer an exploration into the inner workings of the human body and the elemental relationships that link plants, place, and personal health.


The Foundations program is a comprehensive training that brings together the practices of Place-Based Herbalism, Lifestyle & Embodiment, Yoga & Ayurveda, Food & Farming, along with Diet & Nutrition.  


During the program, students are provided with the opportunity to engage in local volunteer projects, including an herbal free clinic and growing food and medicine at the Hawthorn Farm.

Concepts & Principles


Students will learn to correctly identify, ethically wild-harvest, hand-craft and administer more than 50 local medicinal and edible plants of the Klamath-Siskiyou and Cascade bioregions. Students will be exposed to hands-on and experiential herbalism along with opportunities to engage in local community movements & projects.


Students will study both human anatomy and physiology, along with an integrative approach to materia medica including diet, lifestyle, and herbal formulas for support.  Students will intimately study more than 40 widely used herbs in Western Herbalism, including how to correctly prepare, dose, and administer these herbs safely and effectively.


The program is designed to develop each student’s unique healing presence. We believe that one of the pillars of personal growth is contemplative practice. Students are supported through yoga, meditation, mandalas and personal introspection to connect with their unique ability to heal and integrate at the levels of the mind, body and soul.

Bioregional Ayurveda
the study of life

We teach the basic principles of Ayurveda through a constitutional approach and bio-regional lens.  Students will gain a thorough understanding of the three bodily humors (vata-pitta-kapha) and how they can be recognized in an individual and in our environment.  Students will be exposed to the doshic theory; the concepts of agni, karma, and elemental theory; the prakruti/vikruti paradigm; the seven tissue states; the subdoshas ; the practice of vedic astrology and herbs used in Ayurveda along with western herb correlates and diagnostic tools.


This series explores the internal map created by the seven chakras within the subtle body. Each class is designed to dive deep into the emotional body as we connect with the historical archetypes held within each chakra.  Everyone will explore and create their own unique body map through the creation of seven mandalas. Each mandala mediation will bring forth insights for your personal healing journey. No artistic experience is required and all supplies will be furnished. 

& Lifestyle

The Foundations Program is unique in the field of herbalism for emphasizing personal wellness as the basis for becoming a practitioner. For this reason, students learn building blocks of healthy living practices including: creating a balanced diet through cooking and daily routine, supporting seasonal and diurnal biorhythms, and cultivating emotional intelligence.

Elemental Yoga

The yoga program is designed both to enhance students' understanding of ayurvedic theory and anatomy, and to support students' physical and  emotional well-being. Classes are designed to meet the needs and curiosity of beginning to advanced level students. Everyone will gain the tools and confidence they need to construct a safe, personalized yoga practice. We will explore the elements and the chakras with a wide variety of yoga postures, meditations and breathing techniques.

One of my favorite aspects of Hawthorn's Foundations program is how locally based it is. No matter how far-reaching the learning trajectory of our lessons, which did span across time and cultures as well as inside plants and human bodies, planning was made to take us back into local landscapes to ground the information and themes into wild experiences.


'17 Foundations graduate

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Limited to 16 students.


Essays, Plant monographs, Quizzes, Ecosystem monographs, Out-of-class readings and study,

In-class presentations, and Journaling.


A mid-point and a final examination are required in the course.  These will both be oral and one-on-one with a core faculty member.  Examinations are designed to help support the learning process of each individual student.  The exams, along with the in-class presentations, give students the opportunity to solidify their knowledge and give voice to their unique understanding of herbalism.


Tyler Wauters

Cassidy Geppert

Anja Robinson

Venessa Rodriguez

Laural Wauters


Kendra Brown

Todd Anthony


Tom Doty

James Jungwirth

Thomas Redding

Jeanine Moy


April 12-Aug 27, 2021 

Classes are held Tues-Thurs, with the occasional Sat class.  The typical day runs 9am-5pm.


There are 3 overnight field trips: 3-day , 4-day & 5-day.  All overnight field trips are required.

I came in with minimal understanding of Ayurveda and found great value in studying the Ayurvedic philosophy alongside the traditional western herbal energetic model. Together the two broadened my lens of how to interact with health and wellbeing. The open and accepting environment created by the Hawthorn community cultivates a space that fosters self-love and provides an unparalleled level of freedom of expression.


'17 Foundations graduate

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This is a foundational program and is meant for both beginning and intermediate students of Herbalism, Ayurveda, & Yoga.  Due to the unique blend, this program is beneficial for anyone striving for a comprehensive experience with herbs, movement, and community health.


Indoor classes are held in Williams, OR.  Information about the exact location is provided upon acceptance to the program.

Outdoor classes are held in wilderness spaces across the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion.


We offer three apprentice positions for the Foundations Program.  To learn more about duties and tuition discount please click here.


A deposit is required with the submission of your application.  We accept cash, money orders, or checks.  Please make checks payable to: Hawthorn Institute.  If accepted, your deposit will go towards your tuition fee and is NON-REFUNDABLE.  If you are not accepted into the program, your deposit will be fully refunded.



Apply by 1/15/21 and receive a $500 discount on your tuition!

Enrollment for 2021 Foundations Program opens August 2020.  Join our mailing list to stay updated!



Tuition is due in full by 3/1/21.  If tuition is not paid by this date, your position will be offered to a wait-list applicant.


Refund policy-Before 3/12/21, students that withdraw may be refunded 25% of their tuition.  After 3/12/21, there are no refunds. 


How to Apply

Step 1 - Send Application (2021 Application period opens June 2020)  

Send in your completed Foundations Program Application with a $300 deposit.   

Make checks payable to: Hawthorn Institute

Mail deposits to:

Hawthorn Institute

PO Box 460

Williams, OR 97544

Email applications to (applications are also accepted via snail mail):

Step 2 - Schedule an Interview

A confirmation email will be sent in receipt of your application and deposit.  Included are details about scheduling an interview.  


An in-person interview is highly recommended for students in the area. Students coming from out-of-state are required to participate in a phone or online interview. 


Interview will not be scheduled until deposit is received.

Step 3 - Upon acceptance...

You will receive:

program calendar, course listings and catalogue, required and recommended reading list, a student handbook describing Hawthorn policies and FAQs, and other program materials.

Step 4 - Pay tuition balance by 3/1/21

Tuition includes:  

-Certificate of Completion of 425-Hour Program


-Personal consults with our teachers.  

-Some medicine making supplies will be included

Please include in your budget additional funds for books, accommodations, tools, alcohol for medicine making, and transportation.

Next session
is in

Hawthorn is an exceptional school for those who seek a comprehensive, synergistic program, who seek being taught by inspirational and passionate teachers, and for those who truly wish to embody health. The teachers go above and beyond to support us in our learning, including creating a diverse environment by bringing in a handful of energetic and informative guest teachers along the way.


'15 Foundations graduate

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​© 2018 Hawthorn Institute. All Rights Reserved. All material provided on this website is meant for informational or educational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your healthcare professional.