Illinois Extension

Summer 2024 Online Illinois Gardener Training Registration

Our online, self-guided Illinois Gardener training course is available to take from the comfort of your home at your own pace. This online course is currently offered three times a year in Winter, Summer and Fall. Registration for this Summer session will be open from April 1- May 20, 2024 and the course kicks off on June 10. There are also three optional group Zoom sessions as a part of this course as well. 

What will you learn: Classes are taught by University of Illinois specialists and Extension educators. Information is science-based and specific to Illinois’ unique climate, soil, environment, insects, wildlife, and plants. Topics include botany, soils, vegetables, fruits, flowers, trees and shrubs, grasses, landscaping, insects, and diseases. The training includes videos, a manual, reading materials, and quizzes. The course can be completed in approximately 14 weeks with four hours of weekly work or additional time can be taken. A computer and strong internet connection is highly recommended.

Cost: The cost for the online training program is $300 or $320 and includes a training manual shipped to your address. Additional local fees may apply if local hands-on sessions are being offered in your county.

Following the Course: Upon completion of the course, you’ll receive an Illinois Gardener Training Certificate of Completion. You’ll then be given the choice to stop there and simply utilize your new gardening knowledge in your own garden- or choose to move on to the next steps of the process to becoming a Certified Illinois Extension Master Gardener volunteer.

Because there is no subsequent volunteer commitment to just taking the online course, participants do not automatically become Illinois Master Gardeners and may not use the title of Master Gardener at this point. The title of ‘Master Gardener’ is a registered service mark and only to be used for Illinois Extension events and purposes.

Please note that different counties have different periods for accepting applications and applying does not guarantee acceptance, as some units receive more applications than spaces available for new volunteers. There may be some waiting period (possibly up to a year or two) between finishing the online training and being able to apply with your local county. Reach out to your local county Extension office prior to registering to find out when they're taking on new applications next if you are worried about having to wait. 

Contact Information

Note- many students prefer the print version of the manual to be able to flip through easier, but it is personal preference to which you prefer.

Civil Rights Compliance - Participant Info

As part of our commitment to providing equal opportunities in our programming, University of Illinois Extension is required to collect and report overall statistics about the race, ethnicity, and gender of program participants. Your responses are voluntary and appreciated.

Refund Policy
No refunds are given once you've received the training manual in the mail. 
Total Registration Cost