Join Us

Thank you for your interest in the MSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program®!

The MSU Extension Master Gardener Program® is an MSU volunteer program that trains, supports and certifies MSU Extension Master Gardeners who partner with us, meet program requirements, and follow our mission to educate communities on research-based horticulture science.  To become a part of the program, individuals need to follow the steps below.  Please note that our Foundations of Gardening Course (FOG) is open to all, including those who wish to take additional steps to apply to the MSU Extension Master Gardener Program.

Questions? or contact your local MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture Educator


Steps to Train and Apply to the MSU Extension Master Gardener Program

  1. Enroll in the online, 10-week Foundations of Gardening, complete the course, and receive a certificate of completion. This step must be done prior to applying to become an MSU Extension volunteer.
  2. After completing the FOG course, apply to become an MSU EMG volunteer, which involves a Volunteer Screening Process and acceptance as a volunteer.
  3. Sign up for a local MSU Extension Onboarding Course - information is provided in the FOG course; dates vary by location; some in-person participation is required.
  4. Engage in 40 hours of volunteer service within one year of completing the Onboarding Course on an MSU Extension Master Gardener approved project. 


Is this program right for me?  

This is a great program for you if you like to engage in research-based training and instruction on horticulture topics and environmentally sound practices; connect with like-minded people who share a passion for gardening and teaching others; and improve the quality of life and inspire others in Michigan through service-based horticulture activities. Note: You must be 18-years or older to participate.


Access to MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture classes, webinars, workshops, events and field trips

Connections to MSU Extension and MSU faculty and staff

Opportunities to work with MSU Extension educators on statewide outreach, such as our Lawn and Gardening Hotline and the Smart Gardening Program

Achievement recognition (e.g. Advanced EMG certification, hour milestones, recognition events)

Improving communities with others who have the same passion

Our Mission

Through their volunteer outreach, EMGs shared science-based, environmentally-sound gardening knowledge and engaged citizens and empowered communities in the following areas.

  • Environmentally responsible gardening practices
  • Improving food security 
  • Improving community and quality of life
  • Developing youth through gardening