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Master Floral Designer

Master Floral Design logo.

Master Floral Designers learn all the basics of floral design, including proper care and use of fresh flowers, dried flowers and numerous mechanics and accessories.  Discover and understand what makes a floral design beautiful! This statewide program is offered in two formats, face-to-face at the MSU Coastal Research and Extension Center, Biloxi, or a hybrid version with both video and face-to-face formats. Both of these formats are identical and maximize learning of design principles and elements, basic floral designs, care and handling information and much more. The MFD Program is open to beginners, including consumers, professional florists, and producers. Professional florists will find the program helpful in training new employees. All will find it both educational and enjoyable.

The program is led by Dr. Jim DelPrince, MSU Extension Horticulture Specialist. Dr. DelPrince has taught floral design at Mississippi State, one of the country’s leading floral management programs, since 1992. He is a Laureate Member of the American Institute of Floral Designers and was granted the AIFD Service to the Floral Industry award in 2016.

The hybrid MFD version consists of three phases. Participants must follow the program, beginning with Phase I through III, in numerical order. Some may elect to complete Phase I, or Phases I and II, finding that these fulfill their educational needs. We encourage participants to complete all three Phases to earn the certificate from MSU Extension.

Phase I consists of weekly video units within our Extension learning platform. These lively videos program explain all basic floral design topics and the end-of-unit quizzes will test your comprehension. You will receive the companion text Principles of Floral Design by Pat Scace and James DelPrince, used in many floral design courses in high schools and colleges in the US and Canada. The book is filled with design ideas and clear explanations of techniques in floral care and handling, along with design principles and how to work effectively with design elements. It also has links to flash cards, exercises and games that aid you to learn cut flowers, design principles, and more. If you desire, you can follow along with the Phase I video demonstrations to create your own floral designs. Phase I is offered twice per year, during the fall (August through November) and spring semesters (January-April) and provides the theoretical basis for understanding floral design principles and mechanics.

Phase II involves creating all the basic floral designs via hands-on, intensive classes directly with Dr. DelPrince. You can register for Phase II intensives upon successful completion of Phase I. This studio course will meet four consecutive days at an MSU Extension office/center. During that time, each participant will learn how to make a bow, corsages, a hand-tied bouquet, symmetrical and asymmetrical designs, topiary and more. Phase II intensives are posted each semester within the MSU Extension Registration portal.

Phase III requires completing 40 hours of Extension volunteering, putting what you learned into action. This service component can involve different, non-profit activities that promote the benefits of floral design. For example, some previous projects include teaching others how to create a specific design, floral design for places of worship, promotion of the MFD program, designing for community spaces, and many others. Successful completion of 40 approved volunteer hours is necessary to achieve the Master Floral Designer certificate. Reports are due February 8th and certificates are awarded March 8th or thereabouts, every year. After the certificate program, Master Floral Designers are encouraged to keep an active status by conducting and reporting 20 hours per year of education and/or volunteering to remain active.

In the face-to-face version, participants complete 42 hours in studio practice (meeting once per week for lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on work) at the MSU Coastal R&E Center floral studio. Following this segment, they become eligible to complete 40 hours of volunteer floral design practice to receive certification. Reports must be turned in by February 8 and certificates are awarded March 8th or thereabouts, every year.

Ready to take the next step and commit to a certificate program in floral design? Register for classes.

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Filed Under: Floral Design June 1, 2020

When Jim DelPrince became a horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, his goal was to get flowers in the hands of Mississippians.

Closeup of a floral arrangement.
Filed Under: Floral Design April 27, 2020

Floral enthusiasts and professional floral designers can broaden their design skills in a three-phase horticulture course that has online, in-person, and volunteer components.

Filed Under: Floral Design August 12, 2019

Floral enthusiasts and other interested individuals can attend a luncheon event that showcases holiday and seasonal-themed floral arrangements.

A flower arrangement with various types of flowers and greenery is displayed.
Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Floral Design June 26, 2019

A new floral design course intended to enhance skills and inspire community volunteerism is now easily accessible to floral enthusiasts statewide.

Orange, red, pink, purple, and yellow flowers are arranged in a glass bowl that sits atop a small, red table.
Filed Under: Agriculture, Local Flavor, Farmers Markets, Specialty Crop Production, Lawn and Garden, Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Floral Design, Flower Gardens May 13, 2019

Floral enthusiasts can learn how to make a basic floral arrangement in the Sweet Mississippi Flower Bowl workshops this summer.

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Portrait of Dr. James M. DelPrince
Assistant Extension Professor

Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Dr. James M. DelPrince
Assistant Extension Professor