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University of Minnesota Extension

Master Gardener Volunteer Core Course

The University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Core Course is offered every year and is required training to become a certified Master Gardener volunteer.

Once your application has been accepted and registration complete, you will take the online course through the Canvas learning platform.

Join us!

Applications are accepted annually, August 1 through October 1.

  • Learn research-based best practices.
  • Grow your horticulture skills.
  • Share your gardening knowledge with others.

Would you like to be contacted when we begin accepting applications? Complete this form.

Course details


  • The course fee is $295.

    • Fee includes a background check plus a digital version of the manual.

    • You can buy a printed copy of the manual for $25 (optional).

Online requirements

  • All course participants must have an email address and a reliable internet connection to access the materials and complete training.

  • You are not required to attend Zoom sessions in real time. They will be recorded for later viewing.

  • Additional Zoom sessions for interns and currently certified volunteers will be offered throughout the course for connecting with new colleagues.
  • We hold open office hours with the course coordinator for support working through the course and working with the online learning platform.
  • The course is self-paced. You will have access to the course materials until mid-May 2022.

Weekly Zoom sessions are held on Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., beginning January 13 and ending April 14, 2022.


  • Applications to become an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer are due by October 1. 

  • Core Course registration is due by December 1.

  • A $200 refund is available if you cancel registration by December 15. No refunds after this date.


  • Contact the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer office, mgweb@umn.edu, with questions about Core Course classes.
  • Having trouble with the online application? Contact mgapp@umn.edu.

Want to take the class, but don't want to volunteer?

This course also is available to the general public for personal education and offers continuing education units for horticulture industry professionals. See the ProHort course page for more information and to register.

Class fee: $600 (includes class materials)

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