Master Gardener Application Process
This page provides information about the Master Gardener application and training process. We usually recruit new volunteers every two years. Following that schedule, the next application process would start in the summer of 2024, for training beginning in January 2025. We welcome applicants from all walks of life, with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
To learn more about our program and our passion for sharing eco-friendly, sustainable gardening practices with the home gardening public, please visit Becoming a UC Master Gardener. We also welcome you to attend some of our talks and events or visit our demonstration gardens.
You must be a resident of Santa Clara County and at least 18 years of age.
The application process has 3 steps:
- Mandatory informational meeting: You must attend one of the mandatory informational meetings. These meetings provide detailed information on the application process, Master Gardener training, and requirements of the program. Details of the meetings will be posted here when available.
- Application: Following your attendance at one of the informational meetings, a link to the application will be emailed to you.
- Interview: We will review applications, interview candidates, and select people for the new class.
If you are accepted into the UC Master Gardener Program, you will be enrolled in a weekly training class. Training has traditionally been held on Thursdays, 9 am–3 pm, from January through early May, though it may vary in the future. Trainees are expected to attend all training sessions.
There is a tuition fee of approximately $300 due on acceptance which covers training and resource materials. Need-based scholarships are available—applicants will not be turned away for lack of funds. For working with the public, UC requires that trainees be fingerprinted and pass a background check. (There are many places in the community to have this done, including some UPS stores, some community centers, and some churches. See the full list.)
Following the completion of training, UC Master Gardener volunteers must complete 50 hours of volunteer service during the first year in the program. In subsequent years, 25 hours of volunteer service and 12 hours of continuing education are required.
Sign-up to be notified
Submit your contact information to be notified when there is information about the next training class.