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
  • 45 or more General Education credits (18 of the 45 are included in the requirements for the major)
  • 4 or more elective credits

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.

Requirements for the Major: 89 credits (This includes 18 credits of prescribed General Education courses: 3 credits of GWS courses; 6 credits of GQ courses; 9 credits of GN courses.)

Prescribed Courses (49 Credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Introduction to Plant Biology BIOL 127 Cellular structure and organization; physiological processes; classification; reproduction and development; relationship of plant groups. Students who have passed BIOL 240W may not schedule this course. 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. 3 credits
Introduction to Spreadsheets and Databases CMPSC 203 Design, use, and programming of spreadsheets and data bases with applications from a range of disciplines. 4 credits
Turfgrass Insect Pest Management ENT 317 Introduction to entomology and management of insect pests of cool- and warm-season turfgrass.

Prerequisite: TURF 235, CHEM 101, or CHEM 110
3 credits
College Algebra I MATH 021 Quadratic equations; equations in quadratic form; word problems; graphing; algebraic fractions; negative and rational exponents; radicals. 3 credits
Turfgrass Disease Management PPEM 412 Introduction to biology of turfgrass pathogens and management of cool- and warm-season turfgrass disease.

Prerequisites: TURF 230; TURF 235; CHEM 101 or CHEM 110; BIOL 127
3 credits
Introductory Soil Science SOILS 101 A study of soil properties and processes and relationships to land use, plant growth, environmental quality, and society. 3 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.

NOTE:  PLANT 217 may not be substituted for TURF 307 for prescribed course credit.

3 credits
Turfgrass Cultural Systems TURF 425 A study of turfgrass maintenance practices and how their interrelationships can be utilized to develop management systems.

Prerequisite: SOILS 101, TURF 235 (or equivalent) Recommended: TURF 238, TURF 297, ENT 317, PPATH 412
3 credits
Turfgrass Edaphology TURF 434 Characterization of soil's physical and chemical properties for the establishment and maintenance of sports turf; includes root zone construction.

Prerequisite: SOILS 101, TURF 235 (or equivalent)
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.

Prerequisites: SOILS 101, TURF 235
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.

Prerequisites: TURF 230 (may be taken concurrently), TURF 235 (or equivalent)
Recommended: TURF 495, TURF 425
3 credits
Colloquium TURF 490 Presentations developed by students in consultation with the course instructor.

Prerequisite: seventh-semester standing

Students should have completed approximately three-quarters of their 120-credit degree requirements before enrolling in TURF 495 (internship-summer term), immediately followed by TURF 490 (seminar-fall term).
1 credit
Internship TURF 495 Supervised off-campus, nongroup instruction including field experiences, practicums, or internships. Written and oral critique of activity is required.

Prerequisite: prior approval of proposed assignment by instructor

Students should have completed approximately three-quarters of their 120-credit degree requirements before enrolling in TURF 495 (internship-summer term), immediately followed by TURF 490 (seminar-fall term).
3 credits
Additional Courses (13 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Biology:  Basic Concepts and Biodiversity BIOL 110 A study of the evolution of the major groups of organisms including the fundamental concepts of biology.  

Note that BIOL 011 (3 credits) and BIOL 012 (1 credit) can also be taken to meet this 4-credit biology requirement.
4 credits
Introductory Chemistry CHEM 101 Selected principles and applications of chemistry.

Prerequisite: MATH 021
3 credits
Effective Writing: Technical Writing


Effective Writing: Business Writing


Writing for students in scientific and technical disciplines.
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


Understanding Weather Forecasting


Nontechnical treatment of fundamentals of modern meteorology and the effects of weather and climate.
Fundamental principles of synoptic and physical meteorology, satellite and radar imagery, and data analysis in the setting of mid-latitude weather forecasting
3 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)

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

Please 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.