Join Us

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. Improve the quality of life and inspire others in Michigan 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)

Qualification to become an MSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer:

  1. Must pass the MSU Volunteer Selection Process (VSP), which includes state and national background checks, references, and 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.)
  2. Must be 18 years of age or older.
  3. Be willing to commit to completing at least 40 hours of community-based volunteer service, in Michigan, through horticulture activities.
  4. Possess a willingness to educate others in the community about environmentally and economically sound horticulture practices.
  5. Have an enthusiasm for gardening.

Steps for Becoming an MSU Extension Master Gardener

  1. Select a scheduled training from this link: Training Locations
  2. Complete course registration and pay $325 course fee in full. (Partial scholarships may be available)
  3. Follow instructions to complete Volunteer Selection Process (VSP). A link to the online VSP application is on the course registration page and can be found in the email response you will receive after completing registration.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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 Michigan community.
  6. Maintain your MSU Extension Master Gardener (EMG) certification by:
    1. Complete and report annually at least 20 hours of community service in Michigan and 10 hours of continuing education.
    2. Complete the annual 3-step re-certification process during the designated time frame. 

Available and upcoming training locations... Training Locations

Questions? Contact the person listed for your selected training course location.