Courses

The online bachelor of science degree in turfgrass science is a 120-credit (minimum) program of study that builds upon the advanced turfgrass management certificate. To earn this degree, you must successfully complete:

  • 49 prescribed course credits
  • 27 supporting course credits
  • 13 additional credits
  • 18 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the requirements for the major
  • 1 elective credit

For help with understanding the credit distribution and requirements for program completion, contact an adviser today.

Core courses in the degree program cover pest management, turfgrass cultural systems, turfgrass edaphology, and case studies in turfgrass management. These required courses are supplemented by additional credits selected from a variety of areas to enhance your skills in related fields, such as business management, speech communications, and organic chemistry.

Core course content and activities are available in electronic format, and access to the web is required in order to complete this program.

Supplemental courses in the program are available in a variety of formats. Details about each course's delivery method are available in the course catalog.

Course List - Bachelor of Science in Turfgrass Science 

All the courses that compose Penn State's bachelor of science degree program in turfgrass science can be completed around your own schedule — wherever and whenever it's most convenient for you. All core courses in the program are one semester in length (15 weeks for the fall and spring semesters and 12 weeks for the summer semester). The start and end dates for the core courses correspond to the University's calendar.

Note: Due to the requirements of internship providers to adhere to CDC guidelines concerning COVID-19 and Penn State's policy to grant permission to complete on-site internships, the TURF program requests that students register for TURF 295/495 for FA20 by August 7.  This will allow enough time for students to complete the necessary forms and for permission to be granted by Penn State for students to complete internships for credit.

Requirements for the Major: 92 credits 

Prescribed Courses (49 Credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Agribusiness Problem Solving AGBM 106 Development of quantitative problem solving skills applied to specific examples of agribusiness management problems, using EXCEL spreadsheets. 3 credits
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry I CHEM 202

Introduction to organic chemistry, with emphasis on the properties of organic compounds of biochemical importance. Because of duplication of subject matter, students may not receive credit for both CHEM 202 and CHEM 210.

Enforced Prerequisite at Enrollment: CHEM 101 or CHEM 110, CHEM 110H or CHEM 106

3 credits
Turfgrass Insect Pest Management ENT 317

Introduction to entomology and management of insect pests of cold- and warm-season turfgrass.

effective spring 21:  Prerequisite Concurrent: TURF 235

3 credits
College Algebra I MATH 21

Quadratic equations; equation in quadratic form; word problems; graphing; algebraic fractions; negative and rational exponents; radicals.

Enforced Prerequisite:  MATH 4 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination

3 credits
Turfgrass Disease Management PPEM 412

Introduction to biology of turfgrass pathogens and management of cool- and warm-season turfgrass disease.

Prerequisite: TURF 235

3 credits
Introductory Soil Science SOILS 101 This survey and foundational course introduces students to a broad range of subject matter from most sub-disciplines of soil science. We study a range of soil characteristics and seek to understand their relationship to soil function, land use, plant growth, environmental quality, and society/culture. This course introduces students to the variety and complexity of soils on a local, national, and international scale. 3 credits
Elementary Statistics STAT 200

Descriptive Statistics, frequency distributions, probability and normal distributions, statistical inference, linear regression, and correlation.

Enforced Prerequisite at Enrollment:  Placement into Math 21 or higher

4 credits
Turfgrass Pesticides TURF 230 Chemical toxicity, formulations, environmental fate, labels, MSDS, calibration, IPM, safety, handling, storage, and Pennsylvania certification and regulations. 1 credits
The Turfgrass TURF 235 Characterization of the primary plant species used for sports, lawn, and utility turf; includes turfgrass morphology, environmental adaptation, and cultural requirements. 3 credits
Turf and Ornamental Weed Control TURF 238 Students will be introduced to the development of integrated weed management strategies utilizing a variety of cultural and chemical methods. 3 credits
Golf Course Irrigation and Drainage TURF 307

The course covers the following topics: The influence of weather on irrigation management; sprinkler characteristics, selection; management of piping and control systems; maximizing irrigation efficiency by using turfgrass evapotranspiration, soil characteristics, and expectations of venue; fundamental hydraulics, irrigation layout and piping sizing; pump characteristics and system winterization; surface and subsurface drainage systems.

effective spring 21:  Prerequisite:  TURF 235; Recommend Preparation:  MATH 21 and SOILS 101 Note: PLANT 217 may not be substituted for TURF 307 for prescribed course credit.

3 credits
Turfgrass Cultural Systems TURF 425

This course will inform students about turfgrass maintenance practices and how their interrelationships can be utilized to develop management systems. TURF 425 will prepare students for the practical application of agronomic principles and concepts in the green industry. Students will develop management and problem solving skills. The course will be a platform for students to learn about the integration of different turfgrass maintenance practices into sound management strategies that lead to the production of high quality turfgrass areas. Specifically, the course will include concepts about golf turfgrass, sports turfgrass and home lawn care. There will be a focus on both the aesthetic quality and functionality of these turfgrass sites and the interrelationship of the concepts.

effective spring 21:  Prerequisite:  TURF 235; Recommended Preparation: SOILS 101

3 credits
Turfgrass Edaphology TURF 434

Characterization of soil physical properties for the establishment and maintenance of sports turf, includes root-zone construction.

effective spring 21:  Prerequisite:  TURF 235; Recommended Preparation: SOILS 101

3 credits
Turfgrass Nutrition TURF 435 Study of turfgrass nutrition and growth; emphasizing constructed and mineral soil fertility, nutrient uptake and function, and fertilizer use efficiency.

effective spring 21:  Prerequisite:  TURF 235; Recommended Preparation:  SOILS101
4 credits
Case Studies in Turfgrass Management TURF 436W

Case study and discussion considering integrated management of selected turfgrass sites; emphasis on problem analysis, principle application, and decision making.  

effective spring 21:  Prerequisite: TURF 235 and (TURF 434 or TURF 435): Recommended Preparation:  TURF 238 and TURF 425

3 credits
Colloquium TURF 490

Oral presentations developed by students in consultation with the course instructor.

Prerequisite:  seventh semester standing

1 credit
Internship TURF 495

Supervised off-campus, nongroup instruction including field experiences, practical, or internships.  Written and oral critique of activity required.

Prerequisite:  prior approval of the proposed assignment by instructor

3 credits
Additional Courses (13 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Biology:  Basic Concepts and Biodiversity BIOL 110 A study of the fundamental concepts of biology including the evolution of the major groups of organisms.  This is the first biology course taken by students who intend to major in biology.  It provides a foundation in the basic concepts that govern life, including the evolutionary processes that have led to the biodiversity seen today. 4 credits

Introduction to Plant Biology

or

Horticultural Science

BIOL 127

or 

HORT 101

Cellular structure, organization, and metabolism; plant anatomy and physiological processes; plant reproduction and development; genetics and evolution; relationships and features of plant groups.  Students who have passed BIOL 240W may not schedule this course. 
or 
Introduction to horticulture with an emphasis on plant domestication, morphology, classification, world food crops, commodities, gardens, propagation, and agrochemicals. The course content deals with the fundamental concepts and specialty areas, which contribute not only to the science and technology involved in horticulture but also to the art.

4 credits

Effective Writing: Technical Writing

or

Effective Writing: Business Writing

ENGL 202C 

or

ENGL 202D 

Writing for students in scientific and technical disciplines.
or 
Writing reports and other common forms of business communication.

(A student may take only one course for credit from ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, AND 202D.)

3 credits

Introductory Meteorology

or

Understanding Weather Forecasting

METEO 003

or

METEO 101

Nontechnical treatment of fundamentals of modern meteorology and the effects of weather and climate
or
Fundamental principles of synopic and physical meteorology, satellite and radar imagery, and data analysis in the setting of midi-latitude weather forecasting

3 credits
Additional Courses: Require a Grade of C or Better (3 credits)
Description Abbreviation Description Credits

Chemical Principles I

or

Introduction to General, Organic, and Biochemistry

CHEM 110

or

CHEM 130

CHEM 110 is the first semester of a two-semester, comprehensive general chemistry course which introduces students to the basic principles of chemistry with an emphasis on the relationships between the microscopic structure and macroscopic properties of matter.

Enforced Prerequisite at Enrollment:  Completion of or placement beyond MATH 22
or 
This course is a one-semester rigorous college level introductory Chemistry course covering the fundamental principles of general, organic, and biochemistry.  One year of high school chemistry is strongly recommended. Enforced Prerequisite at Enrollment:  completion or placement beyond MATH 21. 

15 credits

Select credits from each of the two categories under supporting courses to fulfill the requirements: 

Supporting Courses (27 credits)
Description Credits
Professional Management and Economics 15 credits
Professional Agriculture 12 credits
General Education (45 credits**)
Description Credits
Arts – GA 6 credits
Humanities – GH 6 credits
Health and Wellness – GHW 3 credits
Natural Sciences – GN 9 credits
Social and Behavioral Sciences – GS 6 credits
Writing and Speaking – GWS* 9 credits
Quantification – GQ* 6 credits
Integrative Studies (6 credits)***

*A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

**12 credits are included in the requirements for the major.

***This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. 

Electives (4 credits)

Listed prerequisites may be waived by the course instructor if you can demonstrate the required level of competency.

Note: Among the above degree requirements, students should incorporate at least 3 credits in US cultures, 3 credits in international (IL) cultures, and 3 credits in writing across the curriculum courses. The above course list includes only courses offered by World Campus. An official degree audit or the recommended academic plan for this program may include additional course options and detailed requirements. All students are expected to complete at least 36 Penn State credits to earn this degree. Please consult an academic adviser for details.

Course Availability

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.