FAQ About Certification

How do I become certified as an Extension Master Gardener (EMG) volunteer?

  • Within one year of completing the Extension Master Gardener Training course, complete a minimum of 40 pre-approved volunteer hours which align with the program mission. Check with the local program coordinator or VMS Ambassador for complete details about the types of activities that qualify as approved volunteer hours.

After that first year, how many annual volunteer hours do I need to maintain my certification?

  • You will need to complete a minimum of 20 pre-approved volunteer hours which align with the program mission, and enter them into the Extension Master Gardener Program Volunteer Management System (VMS) prior to December 31 each year. 

Do I need to complete any other education to earn my initial certification?

  • No, you do not need additional hours beyond the successful completion of the Extension Master Gardener Training Program to become certified as an Extension Master Gardener volunteer.

After that first year, how many annual hours of education do I need to complete to maintain my EMG certification?

  • You need to complete at least 10 hours of approved education programming and enter the hours into the VMS prior to December 31 each year. Check with the local program coordinator or VMS Ambassador for details about approved education opportunities. 

How do I become an Advanced EMG volunteer?

  • You need to complete an additional 50 volunteer hours and an additional 25 education hours within five years of your original certification date. These hours are cumulative, adding up from one year to the next. Advanced certification does not replace annual re-certification requirements of 20 volunteer hours and 10 education hours. It is a recognition of outstanding service and commitment to the Extension Master Gardener Program. It is important to enter hours you have completed beyond the requirements for annual certification. These hours are used toward Advanced status, hour milestones, and MSU's federal reporting requirements. 
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