Sport & Commercial Turf Management


Program Contact

Dr. John N. Rogers, III
Program Coordinator
Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences
160A Plant and Soil Sciences Building
East Lansing, MI 48824
Office 517-355-0271 ext. 1136

Gainful Employment Disclosure

Program Description

This certificate program is a 19-month undertaking with a new students entering in the Fall Semester.  It has a nationwide reputation as being the best turf management program not geared directly towards golf. This program has a very challenging curriculum and is designed to enable you to successfully launch a rich and rewarding career.  Courses receive undergraduate credit that allows students an opportunity to then pursue a Bachelor’s Degree at MSU.


The coursework is comprised of 54 credits and typically takes four semesters to complete. Many of the instructors are world-renown experts in their particular areas of research. All courses are taught on the MSU main campus in East Lansing, most within the same area of each other. This, along with our reputation and expertise, enables MSU’s competitive advantage in the field of turf management education.

For more information visit the Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences.

Open the following document for the Sports & Commercial Turfgrass Management Curriculum

Sports Turf Program Curriculum_102613.pdf

To see courses required for this program, visit the Sport and Commercial Turfgrass Management certificate listing in the MSU course catalog. 


Between your first and second years, you’ll have the opportunity work with some of the most successful people in the turf industry during your internship experience. These are paid internships that last for approximately five months. Many of the instructors are graduates of the program and know well what you will be learning in your courses and what you’ll need to take back when you return to school in the fall. They also have each been through an internship themselves and enjoy giving back to MSU by offering you the best experience they can.

Examples of Previous Internship Locations

- Baltimore Orioles - Baltimore Ravens - Boston Red Sox
- Detroit Lions - Detroit Tigers - Dicks Sporting Goods Park
- Gary South Shore Rail Birds - Green Bay Packers - Indianapolis Indians
- Lansing Lugnuts - Los Angeles Dodgers - Louisville Bats
- Minnesota Twins - Philadelphia Phillies - San Francisco Giants
- Texas Rangers - West Michigan White Caps - Winston-Salem Warthogs
- Albion College - Michigan State University - Northwestern University
- Northern Michigan University - University of Michigan - University of Notre Dame
- Arbor Lawn
- Davey Sports Turf
- DeBuck Sod Farm
- Grand Traverse Resort
- Spartan Irrigation
- Tender Lawn Care
- The Brickman Group
- The Home Depot Center
- Turfgrass America

Who Should Enroll?

This program offers the education and training needed to secure a job in today’s green industry.  For many years the need for college-educated turfgrass specialists was restricted mainly to golf courses. However, the horizons have expanded with exciting positions now being created for and filled by those having a formal turfgrass education:

  • Professional baseball groundskeepers
  • Professional football and soccer sports-turf managers
  • Turf specialists in lawn-care and
  •  landscape-maintenance companies
  • Licensed irrigators
  • Sod-production managers
  • Sales and marketing professionals
  • Sports-turf managers at universities and other schools as well as at parks and recreation facilities

Admission Requirements

The Sport & Commercial Turf Management certificate program is for students who have a high interest in sports and enjoy working outdoors. To be considerd for admission to the program, students must have a high school diploma or equivalent and at least a 2.0 GPA or higher.  ACT or SAT scores are used as needed in the admission process.  Students must have previous work experience on a grounds crew and a letter of recommendation from the supervisor is required at the time of application for admission.