Join Us

Qualifications for Trainees:

  1. Must be 18 years of age or older
  2. Must pass the MSU Volunteer Selection Process (VSP) which includes a state and national criminal history and background check, provide five references and successfully complete an interview.
    (A criminal record will not necessarily prevent an applicant from being an Extension Master Gardener volunteer. A criminal record will be considered as it relates to specifics of the volunteer opportunities for which the applicant may be engaged.)
  3. Have an enthusiasm for gardening.
  4. Be willing to commit to completing at least 40 hours of community-based volunteer service through horticulture activities.
  5. Possess a willingness to educate others in the community about environmentally and economically sound practices.

Steps for Becoming a MSU Extension Master Gardener  

  1. Select a scheduled  Training Location.
  2. Successfully complete and pay for all portions of the MSU Extension Volunteer Selection Process application, $25, and the Extension Master Gardener Course registration, $300, total $325. 
  3. Complete the required 14-week training course by attending all classes and completing all open-book testing documents (weekly quizzes and final) with a minimum score of 80% on each one. 
  4. Within one year of successfully completing the training course, complete and report 40 hours of horticulture-based service volunteering to share research-based garden knowledge with others in your community.
  5. Upon certification, maintain your MSU Extension Master Gardener (EMG) volunteer status by:
    • Completing and reporting annually at least 20 hours of community service and 10 hours of education.  
    • Completing a 3-step re-certification process.

Benefits of Becoming an Extension Master Gardener (EMG) volunteer:

  1. Engage in research-based training and instruction on 14 major horticulture topics and environmentally sound practices.
  2. Earn the title of certified MSU Extension Master Gardener (EMG).
  3. Connect with like minded people who share a passion for gardening and teaching others. 
  4. Have the opportunity to improve the quality of life and inspire others in your community through service-based horticulture activities. 
  5. Work toward additional recognition opportunities. (e.g. Advanced EMG certification and volunteer hour recognition)
  6. Enjoy access to MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture workshops and events. (e.g. Master Gardener College)

If you have questions about the training and requirements please contact the person listed for the course location you are interested in participating in.


If you have general program questions, please email: