Turfgrass and roots side view

Associate in Science inTurfgrass Science and Management

Program summary

Learn to plan and implement projects, communicate effectively, conduct training programs, and manage finances in this online degree program designed for those interested in or already working in the turf industry.

Application deadline

Apply by June 30 to start August 26

Credits and costs

61 Credits$626/$671 per credit

Gain Valuable Hands-On Experience

Receive real-world experience through an internship.

Gain the Skills Needed to Manage Turfgrass Operations

  • Devise methods of inquiry to distinguish cause and effect and to solve relevant problems in turfgrass management.

  • Interpret and make scientific decisions related to managing turfgrass under various conditions using the fundamentals of plant and soil sciences.

  • Comprehend and draw appropriate inferences from numeric data and quantitative models.

  • Demonstrate proficiency in the primary turfgrass cultural practices including mowing, fertilization, and irrigation and the secondary practices including cultivation, pest management, and soil modification.

Study in a Variety of Online Courses

This 61-credit associate degree includes courses in biology, chemistry, and ethics, along with core curriculum courses such as turf and ornamental weed control, turfgrass insect pest management, and turfgrass pesticides.

Requirements for the Major (61 credits)

This includes 15 credits in General Education courses:

  • 6 credits in GN courses
  • 3 credits in GQ courses
  • 3 credits in GWS courses
  • 3 credits of GH courses

A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better in all courses required for the major.

Prescribed Courses (31 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    An introduction to fundamental biological topics (including cells, energy transduction, genetics, evolution, organismal structure/function, ecology) for non-majors biology-related fields.

    • GN

      The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Natural Sciences (GN) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to organic chemistry, with emphasis on the properties of organic compounds of biochemical importance.

    • Prerequisite

      CHEM 101 or CHEM 106 or CHEM 110 or CHEM 110H or CHEM 130

  • 3
    credits

    An intensive, rhetorically based experience in reading and writing that will prepare you both to understand the communications that surround you and to succeed in your own communication efforts.

    • Prerequisite

      ENGL 4 or satisfactory performance on the English placement examination

    • GWS

      The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Writing/Speaking (GWS) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

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

    • Prerequisite Concurrent

      TURF 235

  • 3
    credits

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

    • Prerequisite

      MATH 4 or satisfactory performance on the mathematics placement examination.

  • 3
    credits

    Ethical theory about virtue, duty, autonomy, and life quality applied to moral problems, including character, violence, oppression, abortion, and suicide.

    • Prerequisite

      ENGL 15 or ENGL 30

    • GH

      The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Humanities (GH) requirement.

  • 3
    credits

    A study of soil properties and processes and relationships to land use, plant growth, environmental quality, and culture.

    • GN

      The credits earned in this course may be applied toward the Natural Sciences (GN) requirement.

  • 1
    credit

    Covers chemical toxicity, formulations, environmental fate, labels, MSDS, calibration, IPM, safety, handling, storage, and Pennsylvania certification and regulations.

  • 3
    credits

    Characterization of the primary plant species used for sports, lawn and utility turf; includes turfgrass morphology, environmental adaptation, and cultural requirements.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to the development of integrated weed management strategies utilizing a variety of cultural and chemical methods.

  • 3
    credits

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

    • Prerequisite

      Prior approval of proposed assignment by instructor.

Additional Courses (select 3 credits)

    • 3
      credits

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

      • Prerequisite

        Completion of or placement beyond MATH 22

    • or:
      3
      credits

      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.

      • Prerequisite

        Completion or placement beyond MATH 21

Supporting Courses (18 credits)

General Education Requirements

Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Arts (GA): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 3 credits
  • Quantification (GQ): 3 credits
  • Any General Education course, including Integrative Studies (Inter-domain or Linked courses): 3 credits
  • United States Cultures (US), or International Cultures (IL) or combined designation (US; IL): 3 credits
    May be satisfied by designated courses that also meet other degree or General Education requirements.
  • Writing Across the Curriculum (W, M, X, Y): 3 credits
    May be satisfied by designated courses that also meet other degree or General Education requirements.

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.

Start or Advance Your Career

Two business professionals reviewing work on a tablet in an office setting

This program was created for golf course and sports field professionals who want to earn a college degree. 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.


Job Titles Related to This Degree

As a student in this associate degree program, you can earn credits while working toward advancement in a variety of areas, including:

  • Grounds Crew Supervisor
  • Grounds Foreman
  • Groundskeeper
  • Integrated Pest Management Technician (IPM Technician)
  • Lawn Service Supervisor
  • Lawn Technician

Employment Outlook for Occupational Fields Related to This Degree

Estimates of employment growth and total employment are provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and are subject to change. While these occupations are often pursued by graduates with this degree, individual outcomes may vary depending on a variety of factors. Penn State World Campus cannot guarantee employment in a given occupation.

Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers

3.5%
employment growth (10 years)
914,230
total employment

First-Line Supervisors of Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping Workers

2.6%
employment growth (10 years)
122,910
total employment

Pesticide Handlers, Sprayers, and Applicators, Vegetation

2%
employment growth (10 years)
22,740
total employment

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

Student having a virtual meeting on a laptop with a career counselor

From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

Ready to Learn More?

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.

* required1/3

I agree to be contacted via phone, email, and text by Penn State World Campus and affiliates. I understand my information may also be shared with select providers to offer ads that may be of interest to me.Privacy Policy. reCAPTCHA protected. Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Learn more about this program

Download Program Brochure All my programs

Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State associate degree?

Apply by June 30 to start August 26. How to Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

Learn about this program's tuition, fees, scholarship opportunities, grants, payment options, and military benefits.

Costs and Financial Aid

Undergraduate Tuition

Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State.

Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$626 per credit$671 per credit
12–19$7,602 per semester$8,206 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$632 per credit$678 per credit
12–19$7,678 per semester$8,288 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

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.

To view the detailed list of cost of attendance elements, select “World Campus” as the location on the tuition site.

Earn a Valuable Credential along the Way

A figure walking on a path that includes a certificate part of the way through their progress

Show mastery of specific subjects before your degree is complete. Thanks to shared courses across programs, students can often earn a certificate along with their degree in less time than if they earned them separately.

Certificate Program Related to This Degree

Some of the courses earned in the basic and advanced certificates will apply toward satisfying the 31 major course credits requirement in the associate degree, but it is not possible to earn either certificate completely within the associate degree.

Progress toward the following certificate can be earned while completing this degree program:

Build upon your existing skills and explore more advanced turfgrass topics, such as pest management, turfgrass cultural systems, turfgrass edaphology, and case studies in turfgrass management with this certificate.

Learn more about the Undergraduate Certificate in Turfgrass Management, Advanced

A Head Start toward a Bachelor’s Degree

A figure standing halfway up a set of stairs leading towards a graduation cap

Not only can this program help create opportunities in your career, it can also give you a solid head start toward a full bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor's Degree Program Related to This Associate Degree

Some or all credits earned for this certificate can be applied to the following Penn State World Campus degree program:

Begin your career in turfgrass management with a comprehensive education in pest and disease identification and management, soil science, and other horticultural processes. Learn the fundamental operations of golf courses, athletic fields and sports turf, parks, and other related turf industries.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Turfgrass Science

Who Should Apply?

If you have an interest in the turf industry or already have work experience — whether at golf courses, sports facilities, turf management, or other venues — the Associate in Science in Turfgrass Science and Management can give you the skills and advantage you need to move your career forward.

Set Your Own Pace

Adult student doing course work online while a child plays nearby

Whether you are looking to finish your program as quickly as possible or balance your studies with your busy life, Penn State World Campus can help you achieve your education goals. Many students take one or two courses per semester.

Our online courses typically follow a 12- to 15-week semester cycle, and there are three semesters per year (spring, summer, and fall). If you plan to take a heavy course load, you should expect your course work to be your primary focus and discuss your schedule with your academic adviser. 

To Finish Your Degree in One to Two Years

  • Take 4–5 courses each semester

To Finish Your Degree in Three or More Years

  • Take 2–3 course each semester

 

Convenient Online Format

This program's convenient online format gives you the flexibility you need to study around your busy schedule. You can skip the lengthy commute without sacrificing the quality of your education and prepare yourself for more rewarding career opportunities without leaving your home.

A Trusted Leader in Online Education

Penn State students wearing caps and gowns at their commencement ceremony

Penn State has a history of more than 100 years of distance education, and World Campus has been a leader in online learning for more than two decades. Our online learning environment offers the same quality education that our students experience on campus.

Information for Military and Veterans

Four sergeants major in the Army pose for a photo with Army uniforms and military honor cords

Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or a military spouse? Please visit our military website for additional information regarding financial aid, transfer credits, and application instructions.

How to Apply to Penn State

A new student holding a sign that reads, We Are Penn State and #PennStateBound

Apply by June 30 to start August 26

Application Instructions

Deadlines and Important Dates

Complete your application and submit all required materials by the appropriate deadline. Your deadline will depend on the semester you plan to start your courses.

  • Fall Deadline

    Apply by June 30 to start August 26
  • Spring Deadline

    Apply by October 31 to start January 13
  • Summer Deadline

    Apply by March 15, 2025, to start May 19, 2025

New students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by March 1. Please visit the Office of Student Aid website for more information about applying for financial aid and recommended deadlines.

Steps to Apply

  1. To apply for this program, you must be a high school graduate, or have completed your GED.

  2. You will need the following items to complete your application:

    High school transcripts or GED transcript — First-year applicants are required to submit Self-Reported Academic Records (SRAR) when applying. Official high school transcripts for first-year applicants will only be required at the time a student accepts an offer of admission to Penn State.

    Transfer international students will need to submit their high school transcript before their application can be reviewed.

    Official college or university transcripts and/or official military transcripts (if applicable) — All college or university transcripts are required regardless of the length of time that has passed, the grades earned, or the accreditation of the institutions attended. Acceptance of transfer credit toward your degree is subject to final approval by the academic department. For detailed information, see the Transfer Students page.

    Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation.

    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 Language Proficiency section on the Undergraduate Admissions International Requirements page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

  3. To begin the online application, you will need a Penn State account.

    Create a New Penn State Account

    If you have any problems during this process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

    Please note: Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application or create a new Penn State account. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.

  4. Accessing MyPennState

    The MyPennState Portal provides access to our online admissions services. Before accessing MyPennState, you must have a Penn State account that will be used to access all Penn State systems. After creating an account, you will receive a unique Penn State User ID. You will need to enter your User ID followed by @psu.edu when signing in to MyPennState and other Penn State sites. For example, you should be entering something like '[email protected]' in the Sign In field.

    The application consists of six sections:

    1. Application Setup
    2. Program of Study
    3. Citizenship and Residency
    4. Academics and Experience
    5. Miscellaneous
    6. Review and Submit
    Application Setup
    • Be sure to select "Online" for the "How would you like to complete your degree" question if you plan to attend Penn State World Campus.

    • The rest of this section will ask some basic questions about your education experience and military affiliation.

    Program of Study
    • You will choose the degree type and then the starting semester.

    • Your starting campus will be selected as Penn State World Campus by default as long as you picked "Online" in your Application Setup. Click Continue.

    • On the Choose a Program page, select your intended major from the list.

    • Review your selection on the summary screen and click Continue to move on to the Citizenship and Residency section.

    Citizenship and Residency
    • Complete the series of questions about your citizenship status, demographic information, Pennsylvania residency status, and family history.

    Academics and Experience
    • You will need to enter academic experience information about your high school and any attempted courses at a college or university after high school.

    • The Education Gap Statement offers a place to explain any time that has elapsed between your high school graduation and your anticipated enrollment at Penn State. Please provide a summary of why that gap occurred. Some examples that would explain a gap in your education include work, family, attending another college or university, etc.

    Miscellaneous
    • In the Miscellaneous section, you will provide any program-specific requirements (e.g., a personal statement), information about activities, and financial aid information.

    Review and Submit

    Review your information, digitally sign your application, and provide payment for the application fee ($65 domestic or $75 international).

    High School Transcripts and Academic Record
    • After your application is completed, you will also need to self-report your high school course work before the application deadline. You will be directed to fill out the Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR). It is helpful to have a high school transcript available when completing this section. In the third section, you'll select your program of study and campus.

    • Official high school transcripts or GED transcript, along with records from high school, are required, regardless of the length of time that has passed.

    • Include any college/university transcripts (required), military transcripts, and Proof of English Language proficiency (if applicable). SAT/ACT scores are not required if you are identified as an adult learner or transfer student.

    All official documents should be sent to: 

    Undergraduate Admissions Office
    The Pennsylvania State University
    201 Shields Building
    University Park, PA 16802

    You can also have your transcripts sent electronically through Parchment, eScript-Safe, or the National Clearinghouse directly to Penn State from the college/university where course work was attempted.

    Acceptance

    After receiving your application, application fee, and all required materials, your application will be evaluated for admission. You can check your application status online. This will provide the most up‐to‐date information about the status of your application and is updated once daily, before 8:00 a.m. (ET). Once a decision has been made regarding your application, it will be available to you through the MyPennState portal.

    For information on when you can expect an admissions decision, visit the Dates and Deadlines page of the Undergraduate Admissions website. Make sure you click the "+" sign to see these dates for World Campus Applicants (First-Year and Transfer).

  5. 5. Complete the application.

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

Contact Us

Customer service representative wearing a headset

Have questions or want more information? We're happy to talk.

To learn more about the Associate in Science in Turfgrass Science and Management, please contact:

World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: 814-863-5386
[email protected]

Learn from the Best

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 and an undergraduate major, we built a solid foundation for the online turfgrass courses that we offer today.

Faculty

  • Michael Fidanza

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Agronomy, University of Maryland
    • Degree
      M.S., Agronomy, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.S., Agricultural Science, Penn State

    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.

  • David Huff

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Genetics, University of California, Davis
    • Degree
      M.S., Genetics, University of California, Davis
    • Degree
      B.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.

  • Brad Jakubowski

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Agronomy, Penn State, in progress
    • Degree
      M.S., Soil Science, Colorado State University
    • Degree
      B.S., Comprehensive Environmental Geography, University of Nebraska
    • Degree
      A.A.S., Printing Technology and Industry, Central Community College

    Brad Jakubowski is an instructor of golf course irrigation and drainage, landscape irrigation and water management, and turfgrass management. He is experienced in water management, irrigation management, turfgrass management, and soil. As a Ph.D. candidate, he is studying impact attenuation on natural and synthetic athletic turfgrass fields.

  • Benjamin McGraw

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Entomology, Rutgers University
    • Degree
      M.S., Entomology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    • Degree
      B.S., Animal Science, University of Maine

    Dr. Benjamin McGraw's main teaching foci at Penn State are general turfgrass management (TURF 235, 496a) and entomology courses (ENT 317, 952a). His research program focuses on understanding the biology and ecology of turfgrass insect populations to improve current management practices and develop novel, more sustainable management and monitoring programs. 

  • Max Schlossberg

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Agronomy, University of Georgia
    • Degree
      M.S., Agronomy, University of Georgia
    • Degree
      B.S., Agronomy, Texas A&M University

    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.

News


Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State associate degree?

Apply by June 30 to start August 26. How to Apply 

Chat with an Admissions Counselor

Chat with an Admissions Counselor

Recaptcha

or Chat