Program Overview

The MSU Extension Master Gardener Program (MGP) is a horticulture education and volunteer leader training program. Volunteers are committed to improving the quality of life in Michigan through horticulture-based volunteerism and beautifying communities throughout the state.


The MSU Extension Master Gardener Program serves two major and equal functions:

  • To provide instruction in basic, research-based horticulture science to motivated and active gardeners through an adult (18 years or older) educational program offered through MSU Extension.
  • To provide MSU Extension with trained gardeners who will educate others in the community about environmentally and economically sound practices through horticulture-based volunteer activities.

Educational Requirement

The MGP’s educational component provides an overview of major horticulture subjects in a virtual and classroom setting. The MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture Team is updating the curriculum, and will provide additional information in early 2023. 

Volunteer Commitment

The MSU Extension Master Gardener trainee’s commitment to volunteering is equally as important as the educational component of the course. Trainees have the chance to educate and inspire others in their communities through horticulture activities. Volunteer tasks may include everything from designing an elementary school garden with children, to creating a horticulture therapy program at a senior center, to helping a neighborhood beautification team with site and plant selection. Upon completion of the educational component and 40 hours of volunteer service in Michigan, the Extension Master Gardener trainee will receive their Extension Master Gardener certification.

Maintaining MSU Extension Master Gardener volunteer status requires completing a minimum of 20 hours of community service in the state of Michigan, and 10 hours of education each year.