Several schools offer online Master of Science degree programs in turfgrass management or in agronomy with a concentration in turfgrass management. While a few programs are taught entirely online, most offer some online classes along with on-campus courses and internships and fieldwork. Students must hold a bachelor's degree, and many programs ask that they have experience in the field.
A master's degree program in turfgrass management trains students in the establishment, growth and maintenance of lawns, athletic fields and golf courses. Courses may cover the science of turfgrass, including turfgrass physiology and plant biology. Students also take courses in the management skills needed to operate a turfgrass facility. Many programs call for a capstone project prior to graduation.
Students in these programs have the opportunity to form connections that will help them in their professional lives. They may have the opportunity to attend conferences and seminars and enter turf competitions. Graduates may be allowed to apply credits earned toward the required education points to join the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
Master's Degree in Turf Management
Master's degree programs in turf management provide turfgrass professionals with the enhanced theoretical and practical knowledge needed to address the challenges they will likely face in turfgrass facility management. Students leverage their previous education and their work experience to learn new skills in facility management and turf sciences. Organizational communication and project management concepts are also investigated.
Information and Requirements
Applicants typically must hold a bachelor's degree in a related field. Most institutions require students to have full-time work experience in a related discipline. Some programs are offered completely online; however, many include a mix of distance education and on-campus classes and field work.
Online courses are viewed using distance learning course management systems, such as Blackboard or CourseWebs. Students interact with each other as well as their professors through the use of discussion boards and chat rooms. Students must possess or have access to a computer that meets university hardware and software requirements, as well as Internet access.
Students examine turfgrasses and related groundcover plants. They gain advanced knowledge of the development of recreational grasses and related products and the science and economics of turfgrass facility management.
Introduction to Turfgrass Management
In this course, students develop proficiencies in turfgrass selection, establishment, maintenance and pest management in locations including lawns, golf courses and athletic fields. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the impact of the environment on management practices and turfgrass performance.
Weed Biology and Ecology
Students explore the fundamentals of weeds and their relationship with other agronomic crops. Topics of discussion include weed identification and weed management systems.
Lawns and Sports Turf
This course covers the implementation and use of turfgrasses for lawns and recreational areas. Students explore grass growth and development, cool-and-warm season turfgrass management and irrigation and fertilization strategies.
Graduates of a master's degree are qualified for positions as landscaping operations managers or golf course superintendents. In 2015, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) reported that the average base salary for golf course superintendents was $85,204.
Master's degree programs in turf management provide students with education on turf science as well as the management of a turfgrass facility. Many programs can be found either fully online or in a hybrid format. Graduates can expect to find work as landscaping operations managers or golf course superintendents.