Oregon State University

Master Gardener Online


Learn the art and science of growing and caring for plants with Master Gardener™ Online.

This two-option program is offered in January and September.

Option 1: Develop Gardening Skills

Those who do not wish to become Master Gardeners (see below) can take this course option for their own personal and professional development.

Participants receive a Certificate of Home Horticulture upon successful completion of the online course, which includes forum conversations, quizzes and an exam.

Option 2: Become a Master Gardener

Those interested in applying the concepts learned in the online training course through community volunteer opportunities can become a Master Gardener with this course option.

To become a Master Gardener and receive a badge, participants complete 40 to 70 hours of on-site volunteer practicum in addition to the online coursework. Master Gardeners fulfill volunteer and continuing education responsibilities to maintain certification.


Gail Langellotto

Gail Langellotto works with the Oregon State University Master Gardener program, state and local agencies, non-profits and other non-governmental organizations. She helps to develop a better research-based understanding of how to design and sustainably manage gardens and parks to maximize ecosystem services. Her OSU Extension Service and outreach efforts are focused on communicating research-backed management practices to home gardeners and commercial landscapers.

Email: gail.langellotto@oregonstate.edu 

Example Syllabus

Click the PDF Download button below to view a syllabus from a previous Master Gardener session.


Select a question to view or hide the answer
Is Master Gardener Online available to those living outside of Oregon?

Yes. However, if there is a Master Gardener program in your home state or region, contact your local Master Gardener Coordinator to see if they would accept your online training through OSU as credit towards earning your Master Gardener certification. Find a list of offices in the U.S. and Canada here.

Out-of-state participants cannot complete the required Master Gardener volunteer practicum within the state of Oregon may want to consider Option 1, where students can earn a Certificate of Home Horticulture. You receive the same in-class training as Option 2 with this course but are not required to volunteer.

Which OSU Extension Service county offices have opportunities for the required Master Gardener volunteer practicum?

To become a certified OSU Master Gardener, you would need to complete the Master Gardener Online Option 2, which begins each January. This option requires on-site volunteer practicum coordinated at an OSU Extension Service county office that offers a Master Gardener program. You can find a list of local Master Gardener programs here.

Note: Although Benton and Linn counties have active Master Gardener programs, they do not currently accept online-trained Master Gardeners into their training practicum.

Would I be able to complete Option 1 and then continue on to pursue a Master Gardener badge once I have time to complete the volunteer practicum?

Although it is possible to pursue a Master Gardener badge after you complete Option 1 of the online Master Gardener course, this practice is generally discouraged.

How long does Master Gardener certification last?

Master Gardener certification is valid for one year. After one year, Master Gardeners must take qualified recertification courses in order to continue as an active, certified Master Gardener. Please contact your local county Extension office before taking these courses for recertification.

What is the time commitment required for the course?

The Master Gardener Online coursework takes 12 weeks to complete, with one module lesson per week.

For each weekly module lesson, students should budget one to two hours to view lectures, one hour for readings and one to three hours for assignments and quizzes. We suggest that those who are unfamiliar with gardening or basic biology should budget a little more time.

Those who participate in Option 2 will have to budget additional time in order to complete the volunteer experience coordinated through your local Extension office.

Where do I find information about the onsite OSU Master Gardener program?

Visit the main OSU Master Gardener site for information about the traditional OSU Master Gardener program.

What if I have been certified as a Master Gardener in another state and now live in Oregon?

Contact your local Extension office to let them know that you are interested in continuing your Master Gardener service.

Master Gardener Online Short Course Series is a convenient option for people who do not want to take the entire course.

Is there a textbook for this course?

All necessary content, including much of the material found in the Oregon-Washington Master Gardener Handbook, is included with the cost of the course and available in PDF format. There is also a hard copy of the textbook, which can be purchased online for $30 here

Why am I unable to register for Option 2 right now?

Option 1 is offered in the fall and winter, but Option 2 is only offered during the winter. We open registration for Option 2 several months in advance. To receive notification of open registration, please sign up here.

I want to learn the material of the Master Gardener program, but I do not have time to do Option 1 or 2. Is there an option for me?

Yes. We recently created the Master Gardener Online Short Course Series for students who want to receive the information from the Online Master Gardener course at their own pace. Please note: taking these short courses will not count towards either a Certificate of Home Horticulture nor will it count towards the Master Gardener certification. Please contact your local county extension office before taking these courses for recertification.

I have been enrolled in the course, but I'm having trouble logging in to the course, what should I do?

Go to Blackboard and click on the “Support” tab.  On the bottom-right of the screen you will see a form to create a new username.  Just above this form is a link that says “Forgot Password?” Please use this link to have your password reset and to log in to the course.

I’m finished with the course. How do I get my Certificate of Home Horticulture?

Log in to your account at our registration site and go to your course page.  You should see a green button that says “Print Certificate.”

Request more information

Sign up for more information and to be notified when registration is open.
Contact us with your comments or questions

Professional and Continuing Education
4943 The Valley Library
Corvallis, OR 97331-4504

Copyright ©  2015 Oregon State University