Turfgrass Management Golf Course


For more information about this program or to schedule a campus visit, contact:

John N. Rogers, III, PhD
Program Coordinator
Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences
160A Plant and Soil Sciences Building
East Lansing, MI 48824
Office: 517-353-0136

Gainful Employment Disclosure

Program Description

The certificate program in Turfgrass Management with a golf course emphasis directs toward preparing students for a rewarding career as a golf course superintendent or other career options in the golf industry. With well over 15,000 golf courses in the United States, there is a high demand for technically trained personnel to manage and service public and private golf courses.  The program in Golf Turf Management provides students with a solid background in plant science along with the specific expertise and skills needed for a career in golf course supervision and management. Students will be studying at a university with an international reputation in turfgrass research and turf education.


This 18-month technical training program consists of two 15-week semesters and two 10-week semesters, totaling 54 credit hours of instruction.  Students will take coursework in soil and landscape science, turfgrass management, plant biology, turfgrass irrigation, pesticide and fertilizer application, turf design and construction, golf course design & construction, and landscape maintenance. Electives in communication, leadership, design, and safety are available based on the student’s background and interests.

To see courses required for this program, visit the Turfgrass Management (Golf Course Emphasis) certificate listing in the MSU course catalog.


Most of the academic programs occurs at the Plant and Soil Sciences Building, equipped with the latest in technology and laboratory equipment. The academic component pairs with hands-on field experiences at the 160- acre Horticulture Teaching and Research Center on MSU’s South Campus.  The entire Golf Turf Management program model provides students with the diverse educational experiences needed to excel in this competitive field.


A critical component to the Golf Turf Management Program is a professional internship at one of the 15,000 golf courses throughout the country. From April to August students apply their skills and face new challenges at a facility of their choice.  More information on the required Internship program.

Student Clubs and Organizations

Michigan State University offers over 600 Clubs and Organizations to round out the experience on campus. The Michigan State Turfgrass Club has a full schedule of social, golf and professional activities to help students grow personally and professionally.

Career Opportunities in Golf Turf Management

Michigan boasts over 900 public and private golf courses that are seeking well-prepared graduates to meet the challenges in today’s marketplace. MSU has consistently seen the demand for graduates from the Golf Turf Management program exceed the supply.  Starting salaries range from $35,000 to $55,000 and the entry point ranges from senior crew member to assistant superintendent or even superintendent, depending on experience level.

Admission Requirements

For admission to the program students must be able to demonstrate academic preparation and a passion for the turf industry.  A high school diploma with at least a 2.00 GPA in traditional subjects (Math, English, Science, and History) is required. Test scores such as the ACT or SAT will be used as needed in the admission process.



Last Updated: 2/3/23   by LAD