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Master Floral Designer Program: A Quick Guide

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Publication Number: P3674
View as PDF: P3674.pdf

What Is the Master Floral Designer Program?

The Master Floral Designer (MFD) program is a great way to gain floral design expertise from a well-respected educational organization, the Mississippi State University Extension Service. In addition, you will meet other people who are also interested in floral design, share floral design tips and experiences with your instructors and your peers, and get connected to the broader floral design community.

In Phase I and Phase II of this program, individuals are trained in floral design and the care of fresh and dried flowers. In Phase III, individuals are asked to volunteer their time to help share their appreciation of flowers and floral design within their local community. In this way, Master Floral Designers extend the educational arm of the university to the public, in addition to deepening their knowledge and expertise.

What Does the Master Floral Designer Program Provide?

The Master Floral Designer program can be your introduction to floral design, or it can deepen your existing knowledge. Regardless of your expertise when starting the program, you will increase your floral design knowledge and confidence in each phase. There is enough information to satisfy a budding amateur florist; but the content is approachable and understandable, even for people who have never cut a flower or arranged a design.

  • When you finish Phase I, you will understand how to appropriately care for fresh and dried flowers, and you will understand floral design principles and elements. Anyone and everyone with an interest in floral design, or working with fresh or dried flowers, is encouraged to participate. Phase I provides foundational, conceptual knowledge necessary for Phase II.
  • When you finish Phase II, you will be able to confidently create the floral designs covered in Phase I, and you will apply appropriate floral care techniques to extend the vase life of your arrangements. MSU Extension instructors will lead the sessions, demonstrate each project, and provide individual, real-time feedback as participants create their designs. You must complete Phase I before participating in Phase II.
  • When you finish Phase III, you will extend your learning—and your enthusiasm for flowers and floral design—to people in your community. Participants who coordinate and record 40 total volunteer hours with MSU Extension will earn the Master Floral Designer program certificate. You must complete Phases I and II before participating in Phase III.

What Does the Master Floral Designer Program Require?

As a participant in the Master Floral Designer program, you choose how far you go in the program, based on your needs and interests. Everyone is encouraged to complete all three phases to earn the Master Floral Designer program certificate. However, some may wish to complete only Phase I or only Phases I and II, while some may go on to take professional floral design coursework after completing some or all of the Master Floral Designer program.

What Happens During Each Phase of the Master Floral Designer Program?

  • Phase I provides more than 50 instructional videos from veteran floral designer and MSU Extension horticulture specialist Dr. James DelPrince. Over 14 weeks, participants learn how to cut, care for, and arrange fresh and dried flowers. Instruction includes in-depth discussion and demonstration of floral design principles and elements. Phase I is offered online and engages students in active learning through regular discussions and announcements.
  • Phase II requires successful completion of Phase I and provides more than 24 hours of in-person, hands-on floral design instruction over the course of multiple days. Students will create many of the floral design projects demonstrated in Phase I. In-person instructional groups are limited in size to maximize learning.
  • Phase III requires successful completion of Phases I and II and requires 40 hours of volunteer time. Volunteer projects should promote the beauty and value of flowers and floral design. Volunteers coordinate with MSU Extension instructors to get projects approved and officially recorded.
  • Participants who successfully complete all three phases receive the Master Floral Designer program certificate.

What Are Some Sample Volunteer Projects I Can Do as a Master Floral Designer?

Here are just a few examples of Master Floral Designer projects you could complete, both during Phase III of the program as well as any time you represent the Master Floral Designer program within your community:

  • Teach children or adults how to create a simple floral design
  • Teach children or adults how to create a pressed flower design
  • Answer questions about caring for fresh flowers and foliage
  • Provide floral design assistance to local organizations such as churches, hospitals, and schools

Note that all preparation and commute time should be included in your total volunteer hours.

How Do I Apply?

If you are interested in participating in the Master Floral Designer program, visit our registration page. Beyond the Master Floral Designer program, we offer floral design workshops and training programs throughout the year.

Publication 3675

By James DelPrince, PhD, Associate Extension Professor, Coastal Research and Extension Center, and Sarah Fuelling, Master Floral Designer-in-training and volunteer.

Copyright 2021 by Mississippi State University. All rights reserved. This publication may be copied and distributed without alteration for nonprofit educational purposes provided that credit is given to the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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Portrait of Dr. James M. DelPrince
Associate Extension Professor