Become a Master Gardener

Master Gardener Program Registration

Thank you for your interest in the OSU Extension Service Master Gardener™ Program in the Portland metro area including Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties.

The Master Gardener (MG) Program provides science-based horticulture education offered as a hybrid course including in-person classes, online content, hands-on workshops, gardening seminars, and a final exam starting in late January and ending in October each year.

Registration closed for 2019

Our registration is closed for 2019. If you want to be contacted when registration opens for our 2020 Master Gardener training please Sign up for our contact list.

Classes will run January - March 2020.


Master Gardener Training Details (2020)

In-person Classes (8 weeks)

Tuesdays in Hillsboro, January 28 – March 17 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

  • Hillsboro United Methodist Church - 168 NE 8th Avenue Hillsboro, OR 97124

Thursdays in Oregon City, January 30 – March 19 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

  • Museum of the Oregon Territory 3rd floor- 211 Tumwater Drive, Oregon City, OR 97045

Fridays in SE Portland, January 31 – March 20 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

  • Multnomah County Building -501 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214

Students enrolled in any of the options listed below (Option 1, 2, or 3) can attend in-person classes at any of these locations to provide flexibility in scheduling.

You must attend at least 80% of the in-person classes.

Online modules through Canvas

Take four required modules, and an additional module of your choice by March 31, 2020 and enjoy access to additional research-based modules at your convenience

Final exam

Complete open-book exam online by March 31, 2020. Passing score of 70% required.

Hands-on workshops

Take one hands-on gardening workshop offered at multiple locations in the metro-area (we will offer 10-12 workshops from April - July on a range of subjects offered both weekdays and weekends). Take up to 2 -3 workshops as part of your tuition (pending availability).

MG garden education programming

Choose three hours of classes from any Master Gardener hosted educational activities from designated options posted on the OSU Educational Events Calendar (example: metro-area MG Chapter educational events).

Volunteer internship

Complete and document at least 50 hours of volunteer time by September 30, 2020. (Not required for certificate option 2 below).


Training Options

Option 1: Master Gardener Volunteer Educator Training - $495

(Discount price $445 registering before January 11, 2020)

Learn about sustainable gardening in a fun, friendly environment and help your community grow! Take a 53-hour training and contribute 50 hours of volunteer service toward OSU's horticulture education outreach program. The MG Volunteer Educator Training is the equivalent of a college-level horticulture course focused on sustainable gardening. It is coupled with a volunteer internship in which you apply your learning toward approved volunteer activities to help educate the public using research-based information.

This MG program is an investment in your potential to serve as a garden-based educator in the community. Join us to build your foundation as a community educator with OSU! The MG program requires a season-long commitment (at least 103 hours total from January-September) to complete both the training and volunteer components of this community-based education program.

Option 2: Certificate of Home Horticulture - $695

Receive an OSU Extension Service Certificate of Home Horticulture upon successful completion of the course, which includes in-person classes, online content, hands-on workshops, gardening seminars, and final exam.

Learn the research-based content of the OSU Extension Master Gardener program without the volunteer commitment required to become a Master Gardener Volunteer Educator.

Participants who do not wish to become a Master Gardener Volunteer Educator (see Option 1 above) can still take the Master Gardener curriculum for their own personal and professional development. The MG curriculum is the equivalent of a college-level horticulture course focused on sustainable gardening. Have fun and connect with other garden enthusiasts.

Option 3: Reduced-fee slots to become a Master Gardener Volunteer Educator

By mid-December 2019, we will inform applicants for Option 3 if they are accepted into the Master Gardener program. At that time we will provide a link to register for the class and make a payment.

We are able to provide a limited number of reduced-fee positions in the Master Gardener Volunteer Educator Training as part of our fellowship program. You will receive the same educational and volunteer opportunities as Option 1 above.

3A. Fellowship (You pay $75 for materials): Available to participants if your income is below the 2018 Federal Poverty Guidelines based on the number of people in your household.

3B. Scholarship (You pay $75 for materials + $175 for program tuition = $250): Available to participants that don’t meet the Federal Poverty Guidelines, but can’t afford the full cost of the Master Gardener training. We are looking for volunteers with special skills (bi-lingual, experience educating diverse audiences) for these reduced-fee slots. Payment plans are available if you pay by cash or check.

Here is the criteria for the Fellowship (You pay $75) positions:

  1. You want training and mentoring to increase your knowledge and skills to serve as a garden-based educator.
  2. You can commit to at least 103 hours of time (53 hours training and 50 hours as a volunteer educator in the community) from January – September 2020 for your initial training experience.
  3. You have financial need based on 2018 Federal Poverty Guidelines.
    • If your annual income is below 50% median income based on the criteria listed at the link above, you are eligible to apply for a 3A. FELLOWSHIP option.
    • If your income is above the threshold, apply for the 3B. SCHOLARSHIP option.

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