Credits and costs
Expand Your Career Possibilities with an Online Turfgrass Master's Degree
Learn business concepts, personnel management theories, and how to manage the day-to-day challenges of running a turfgrass facility through the new Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Turfgrass Management. With this program, you can focus on turfgrass science electives or business-related courses and improve your current skills to advance your career in the turfgrass industry.
Why a Turf Degree Online at Penn State?
Legacy — Penn State became a leader in turfgrass education in 1929, when we launched one of the first turfgrass programs in the United States. As the first university to offer a two-year technical program specifically for golf course superintendents, and as the first to offer an undergraduate major in turfgrass science, we built a solid foundation for the turfgrass management programs that we offer today through World Campus:
- Undergraduate Certificate in Turfgrass Management, Basic
- Undergraduate Certificate in Turfgrass Management, Advanced
- Associate in Science in Turfgrass Science and Management
- Bachelor of Science in Turfgrass Science
- Master of Professional Studies in Turfgrass Management
Who Should Apply?
The MPS in Turfgrass Management is ideal if you have completed an undergraduate degree and want to improve your turfgrass technology skills. If you already have a solid understanding of turf, this degree can help you gain the business and project management skills to round out your career development.
Online Education at Penn State
Penn State has a history of 100+ years of distance education and more than two decades of experience in online learning. We create an online learning environment that offers you the same quality education our residential students experience in a face-to-face setting. Learn more about Penn State World Campus.
This 30-credit online master's degree program in turfgrass management is designed for individuals who currently work as managers of turfgrass facilities, including golf courses and professional sports complexes. The MPS-TM program requires the completion of four core courses in which students learn to apply scientific concepts to fundamental problems encountered in the management of complex turfgrass ecosystems. A capstone individual study in turfgrass management course is also required. The capstone course integrates theory and practice in addressing real problems encountered in turfgrass facility management.
In addition to the required courses, students also take an additional 15 credits of elective course work to focus on their particular interest within turfgrass facility management. A total of 18 program credits must be 500-level or higher, with at least 6 credits of 500-level course work. This requirement is met through the required courses, the project, and at least one 500-level elective.
The Master of Professional Studies in Turfgrass Management consists of five required courses (15 credits) and five elective courses (15 credits). Your elective courses will determine your area of concentration for the turfgrass management master's degree.
Become a Turfgrass Management Leader
The MPS-TM program offers students two areas of emphasis from which to choose. This innovative approach allows students whose educational and work experience has emphasized personnel management skills to focus on turfgrass-specific courses. Conversely, if your background is primarily in the turfgrass sciences, you may pursue a course of study devoted to management skills.
The required core course of study offers experience in:
- turfgrass physiology
- plant population biology
- turfgrass health management
- turfgrass science literature
The online courses are highly interactive and collaborative, allowing you to build strong ties with other students. Maximum flexibility is maintained by the program in an effort to meet both the professional needs of individual students and academic quality standards.
Required Courses (15 credits)
Elective Courses (31 credits)
Electives cannot be used if taken to satisfy undergraduate degree requirements.
Turfgrass Electives (16 credits)
Business-Related Electives (select 15 credits)
If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.
Costs and Financial Aid
Graduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.
|How many credits do you plan to take per semester?||Cost|
|11 or fewer||$1,007 per credit|
|12 or more||$12,082 per semester|
Financial Aid and Military Benefits
Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.
How to Apply
Deadlines and Important Dates
Your degree application, including receipt of all application materials, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.
- Fall Deadline: Apply by June 30 to start August 21
- Spring Deadline: Apply by October 31 to start January 8
- Summer Deadline: Apply by March 15, 2024, to start May 13, 2024
If you have questions about the admissions process, contact our admissions counselors.
For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.
Students who do not have a GPA of 3.0 will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the quality of their overall application. Applicants who are still completing their baccalaureate requirements at the time of application may be admitted to the Graduate School, conditional on the awarding of the baccalaureate degree. Students are also expected to have a minimum of two years of full-time work experience prior to admission.
What You Need
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:
Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed — Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
References — you will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering names, email addresses, and mailing addresses of two references. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to each reference requesting they complete a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment for success in an online program. Please inform all recommenders they must submit the form in order for your application to be complete.
1- to 2-page letter of professional introduction in which you describe your professional experiences and education, delineate your career goals, and discuss how the MPS-TM program will enable you to meet your objectives
Start Your Application
Begin the graduate school application
- Choose Enrollment Type: "Degree Admission"
- Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
Checking Your Status
You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.
Review the technical requirements for this degree program.
Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.
Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State master's degree?
Start or Advance Your Career
Start or Advance Your Career
The MPS in Turfgrass Management program was created for golf course and sports field professionals who want to extend their careers into facility management and operations. You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.
To learn more about the Master of Professional Studies in Turfgrass Management, offered in partnership with the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, please contact:
World Campus Admissions Counselors
Email: [email protected]
242 Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building
University Park PA 16802
Email: [email protected]
DegreePh.D., Agronomy, University of Maryland
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Dr. Michael Fidanza is a professor of plant and soil sciences at Penn State Berks. His research and teaching focuses are turfgrass ecology, the translational evaluation and exploration of plant health products (fungicides, herbicides, and plant growth regulators), soil surfactants, seed technology, bio stimulants, turfgrass physiology, cultural practices in turfgrass ecosystems, and the biology and ecology of fairy ring disease in turf. He is the director of Penn State's Center for the Agricultural Sciences and a Sustainable Environment, and he is a Fellow in the American Society of Agronomy.
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DegreeM.S., Genetics, University of California, Davis
DegreeB.S., Crop and Soils Sciences, Michigan State University
Dr. David Huff is a research scientist who performs basic and applied genetics on a wide range of grass species, including some native to North America. In the area of crop improvement, his program focuses on enhancing turf quality, seed yield, persistence, disease resistance, and tolerance to salinity and extreme temperatures (both heat and cold). He also performs a range of genomic investigations on the reproductive biology of these grasses, including such systems as apomixis, dioecy, and fungal-induced hermaphroditism.
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DegreeM.S., Agronomy, Penn State
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Dr. Andrew McNitt is the director of Penn State's Center for Sports Surface Research, where he conducts research relating to athletic field surface characterization and golf green construction and maintenance. As the technical adviser to the NFL Groundskeepers Organization, he oversees the NFL field certification and serves on several committees at the League level.
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DegreeM.S., Agronomy, University of Georgia
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Dr. Max Schlossberg's comprehensive instructional approach supports effective management of turfgrass in every hemisphere. His primary research focuses on developing fertilizer programs to optimize resilience, playability, and nutrient use efficiency of turfgrass systems. His laboratory team has identified cultural methods for rapid soil pH optimization of turfgrass root zones, enhanced efficiency mechanisms of N fertilizers, factors controlling soil water repellency development, and topographic dependence of soils fertility.