Schools with Turf Management Programs: How to Choose

Turf managers are in charge of the production, performance, quality and maintenance of turfgrass in golf courses, residential landscapes, commercial landscapes, farms, parks, athletic fields, cemeteries and recreation areas. A number of schools in the U.S. offer programs suitable for aspiring turfgrass managers.

How to Choose a Turf Management School

Programs in turfgrass management are typically available at 4-year colleges and universities. These programs are typically offered at the undergraduate level.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Program options
  • Hands-on experience opportunities and online options

Program Options

Students can find certificate, associate's and bachelor's degree programs in turfgrass science and turfgrass management. Certificate programs are introductory programs designed to update the knowledge of professionals already working in the field. Associate's and bachelor's degree programs incorporate the practical experience and technical knowledge vital to the production and maintenance of turfgrass for golf courses, athletic fields and other surfaces that utilize turfgrass.

Hands-On Experience Opportunities and Online Options

Individuals may want to seek out schools that offer internship programs or summer classes that involve working at local golf courses, parks or recreation areas. Schools that have on-site facilities for student use, such as labs, greenhouses or parks, where they can practice hands-on experience with fieldwork and techniques are also beneficial. Online programs are available for students with scheduling conflicts, as well as for students who would prefer to work at their own pace.

Overview of Turf Management Programs

Certificate Programs

A certificate program in turfgrass management is designed for current professionals working in lawn care, as well as golf course managers. These programs may last 1-2 years and include coursework such as:

  • Irrigation systems
  • Horticulture
  • Management skills

Other topics may include design, maintenance and technical skills.

Associate's Degree Programs

An associate's degree program in turfgrass management is for individuals who want to gain entry-level employment in the field of turf management. An associate's degree program typically takes two years to complete and includes courses such as:

  • Irrigation and drainage design
  • Plant biology
  • Business communications
  • Landscape construction

Students may have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through labs and an internship.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

A bachelor's degree program in turfgrass management is for those who want to gain an advanced education and create more career opportunities. Bachelor's degree programs typically include an internship and take roughly four years to complete. Common subjects include:

  • Agriculture
  • Chemistry
  • Crop physiology
  • Ecology
  • Economics

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