Track 1: Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Certification
Track 1 (Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Certification)
The full Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Certification Program including access to the online course with a weekly schedule, assignments and due dates. Passing students commit to a 40-hour volunteer requirement over a 2-year period after the course.
Track 1 may be right for you if you are:
- Eager to improve your community and share your knowledge as a community educator.
- Interested in environmental stewardship.
- Willing to promote and educate the public about research-based home horticulture practices.
- Willing to serve as a Master Gardener volunteer year to year, and maintain your certification and annual membership fee, ($25).
- Able to complete the 40 hours of volunteer service within 2 years of taking the course .
- Interested in a professional qualification or title.
Track 1 Requirements:
- Complete the online course.
- 3-5 hours each week to complete assignments, quizzes, watching lectures and participating in Q&A sessions using a video conferencing system.
- Complete a 40-hour volunteer internship during the 2 years after the course.
Track 1 Benefits:
- Course completion letter and intern badge.
- Certified Vermont Master Gardener badge and certificate (upon completion of 40 volunteer hours).
- Access to UVM faculty and staff expertise and other professionals.
- Learn from other Extension Master Gardeners.
- Give back to your community.
- A membership network that includes thousands of Vermonters.
- Access to a number of special offers, discounts and educational opportunities.
Track 2: Home Horticulture Certificate (Self-Paced)
Track 2 (Home Horticulture Certificate of Completion)
Access to the online course with no weekly schedule, assignments and due dates. There is no volunteer requirement and no Extension Master Gardener volunteer certification. Passing students receive a Home Horticulture Certificate of Completion that may be used on a resume.
Track 2 may be right for you if you are:
- Not a Vermont resident.
- Don't have time to volunteer.
- Are self-motivated.
- Don't have time to turn in assignments or follow a schedule.
- Are interested in gardening for your own knowledge.
- Working in a field related to gardening and want to learn more about the science of gardening.
- Interested in a professional qualification (The Home Horticulture Certificate of Completion can be used as a professional qualification on a resume).
Track 2 Requirements:
- Complete the online course.
- 3-5 hours each week to complete assignments, quizzes, and watch pre-recorded lectures
Track 2 Benefits:
- No schedule, no assignments, no hassle.
- Access the materials for your own learning as your leisure.
- Receive the Home Horticulture Certificate of Completion.
- The Home Horticulture Certificate of Completion does not imply that the holder is representing the University of Vermont Extension system as a Master Gardener volunteer.
Course Content and Outline
Each of the online course modules require Track 1 and Track 2 students to:
- Read assigned chapters from course manual each week.
- Watch a pre-recorded 1-3 hour lecture for each unit.
- Take a 5-10 question quiz and get 80% or better to pass
- Take a 20 question final exam and get 70% or better to pass
Additionally Track 1 Students are required to:
- Turn in all assignments and quizzes on time.
- Post 1 discussion question each week prior to the Thursday night Q&A session.
- Post on a weekly student discussion forum.
- Participate in a weekly live-online Q&A session on Thursday evenings with instructors.
Other Info & Materials
- Q&A sessions are held using online video conferencing. These sessions allow students to interact with on-screen faculty to ask questions.
- The online courses are offered statewide through the eXtension campus website.
- The text for this course is the Penn State Master Gardener Manual from the University of Pennsylvania. This text costs $75, and must be purchased directly from PennState prior to beginning the course. This training manual is currently used throughout Northeast Extension programs to train Master Gardener students. It reflects the national goals of the Master Gardener program.
The course covers the following topics. See a sample syllabus from the 2021 course here . (NOTE: Dates & times subject to change)
- Course Introduction
- Volunteering, (Track 1 Students Only)
- Basic Botany
- Soil Health
- Herbaceous Plants
- Basic Entomology
- Entomology Integrated Pest Management
- Small Fruits
- Vegetable Gardening
- Vegetable Garden Planning
- Plant Pathology
- Fruit Trees and Pruning
- Garden Pollinator Habitat
- Sustainable Landscape Design & Garden Wildlife
- Trees and Shrubs
- Final Thoughts
Is An Online Course Right for You?
Refunds & Accommodations
Dropping the course/Refund Policy
Full refund up until the course starts. Unfortunately, we cannot provide refunds for the course modules that you have already been given access to on the website. Refer to the course syllabus for more information.
Disability-related accommodations are addressed upon request.