How to become a Master Gardener
Learn about the purpose and history of the Purdue Master Gardener Program by clicking Here!
Step 1: Find a Purdue Master Gardener Program near you by visiting the 2024 Purdue MG Basic Training Upcoming Events page or by clicking on the appropriate icon on the map below or searching by city.
Step 2: Contact the County Master Gardener Coordinator who will provide registration information and a copy of the Purdue Master Gardener Program Policy Guide (MG-5 –W) and volunteer application and agreement form.
Step 3: Complete the volunteer application and agreement form and return it to the local Purdue Extension office with registration fee payment and any additional registration information. You will also be asked to show evidence of a government-issued photo ID.
Step 4: Get connected with other gardeners and learn more about horticulture by attending a series of weekly classes, each lasting 3 to 4 hours.
Step 5: Complete the required training and pass an exam with a score of 70% or above to become a Purdue MG Intern!
Step 6: Give back to your community by volunteering at least 40 hours to be certified as a Purdue Master Gardener. (Some county requirements may vary, talk to your county MG Coordinator for details.)
For more information about the Purdue Master Gardener Program, you may also read Purdue Extension Publication HO-184-W.
To become a Master Gardener, you must first complete the 14 classes listed below. Each class is 3 hours and if you miss a class, you can go to another county and make it up. There is no requirement to attend in your home county.
Classes that you must complete:
- Weed ID and Control
- Plant Science
- Insect ID/Control
- Soils & Plant Nutrition
- Plant Disease
- Pesticide Safety/Alternatives
- Fruit Gardening
- Vegetable Gardening
- Herbaceous Ornamentals
- Woody Ornamentals
- Animal Pest, Pollinators
- Invasives & Natives
- Lawn Care
Classes might be offered in another sequence but the final will be the on the last week of class.
The Master Gardener training provides 40 hours of education. Once you complete the volunteer commitment of at least 40 hours, Master Gardener Interns will receive a certificate from Purdue University through their Master Gardener county coordinator that verifies they completed the Purdue Master Gardener Program requirements.
Purdue Master Gardeners must satisfy specific requirements each year to maintain the Purdue Master Gardener Title. They must complete and report a minimum of twelve (12) volunteer hours approved by the Master Gardener county coordinator and six (6) hours of educational training by participating in State, regional, national, or international Master Gardener conferences, county-sponsored advanced training sessions, or any other program approved by the Master Gardener county coordinator. Please note this education requirement was waived for 2020, but is in effect for 2021 and after. In addition, Master Gardeners must undergo a yearly background check.