How to Become a Master Gardener

To become certified as a Master Gardener Volunteer, individuals must complete the Level 1 Training course, pass the Level 1 exam, and complete and report a minimum of 24 hours of approved volunteer service. To maintain certification, at least 10 hours of continuing education and 24 hours of volunteer service must be completed annually.

Level 1 Training Information

Registration for the 2019 Master Gardener Level 1 training in Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties is closed. Please watch this webpage for information about 2020’s Level 1 training.

Course fee: $219
Annual dues to SouthEast Wisconsin Master Gardeners (SEWMG): $10

A limited number of scholarships are available for applicants with financial need, funded in part by SouthEast Wisconsin Master Gardeners (SEWMG), the association of Master Gardeners serving Milwaukee and Waukesha counties

About the Criminal Background Check (CBC):
All UW-Madison Extension volunteers are required to complete a criminal background check, which requires sharing your SSN. This is due to our work with children, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations. You can review our CBC procedure here.

  • Will you accept a Tax ID Number (TIN)?
  • What would disqualify me?
    We handle CBCs on a case-by-case basis; however, the leading cause of disqualification is violence against a minor

Please contact Susan Taylor at  or 414-615-0516 for any questions about the Level 1 Training. She is available Tuesdays and Wednesdays.


Visit the Wisconsin Master Gardener website for other training locations in Wisconsin.

Master Gardener Volunteer Level 1 Training is held September through December each year. For more information call 414-615-0518 or email