Turfgrass Management

Graduate Program HeadBenjamin McGraw
Program CodeTURFM
Campus(es)World Campus (M.P.S.)
Degrees ConferredMaster of Professional Studies (M.P.S.)
The Graduate Faculty


The Master of Professional Studies in Turfgrass Management is a terminal master’s degree program that emphasizes a systems approach to turfgrass management. The program balances theory and practice. Courses taught in the program use web-based lessons, quizzes, exams, and team projects and exercises to provide a balance between individualized study and interactive learning. Individuals who currently work as managers of turfgrass facilities, including golf courses and professional sports complexes, would benefit from this program.

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

Applicants must submit a letter of professional introduction in which they describe their professional experiences and education, delineate their career goals, and discuss how the program will enable them to meet their objectives. Applicants must also provide two letters of reference and recommendation. The best-qualified applicants will be accepted up to the number of spaces that are available for new students.

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. English proficiency test scores (TOEFL/IELTS) may be required for international applicants. See GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Degree Requirements

Master of Professional Studies

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies.

The professional master’s degree requires 30 credits at the 400, 500, or 800 level, including a final integrative project. A total of 18 credits must be 500 or 800 level, with at least 6 credits of 500-level course work; this Graduate Council requirement is met through the required courses, the capstone project, and at least one 500-level elective course. 

Required Courses
TURF 850Turfgrass Physiology3
AEPS 851Applied Plant Population Biology3
TURF 852Turfgrass Health Management3
TURF/PPATH 853Interpreting Turfgrass Science Literature3
In consultation with their adviser, students also take an additional 15 credits of elective coursework from a list of approved elective courses maintained by the graduate program office to focus on their particular interest within turfgrass facility management.15
Culminating Experience
AGRO 596Individual Studies (Capstone Project)3
Total Credits30

The program culminates with a capstone project which is completed while the student is enrolled in AGRO 596 Individual Studies. In this integrative capstone project, the student demonstrates the capability to integrate and apply concepts, principles, analytical techniques, and interpretation skills learned in the program to a real problem faced in turfgrass facility management.

Transfer Credits

If students have successfully completed courses from another institution that are equivalent to the elective turfgrass courses, these can be applied toward satisfying the M.P.S. degree requirements, subject to restrictions outlined in GCAC-309 Transfer Credit.


A graduate minor is available in any approved graduate major or dual-title program. The default requirements for a graduate minor are stated in Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies and GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies, depending on the type of degree the student is pursuing:

Student Aid

World Campus students in graduate degree programs may be eligible for financial aid. Refer to the Tuition and Financial Aid section of the World Campus website for more information.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Turfgrass (TURF) Course List

Learning Outcomes

  1. KNOW: Graduates will demonstrate a working knowledge of the core concepts and major scientific issues related to turfgrass science. Graduates will exhibit breadth and depth of understanding in their discipline via courses completed in the M.P.S. program and through their final project.
  2. APPLY/CREATE: Graduates will demonstrate the ability to apply scientific concepts and significant research findings to real-world problems. They will be able to integrate research findings and practical knowledge of turfgrass science and design appropriate methodologies to address problems in the field. The demonstration of these skills will include frequent essay exams where newly acquired concepts must be applied to a unique set of circumstances. This set of skills will also be demonstrated in the student’s final project which requires a broad analysis of a particular issue facing the industry.
  3. COMMUNICATE: Graduates will able to inform the decision-making process by effectively communicating the application of particular scientific concepts, technical knowledge, and research findings. Graduates will be able to effectively convey this information to lay persons and peers in the discipline.
  4. THINK: Graduates will be able to define, conceptualize, and critically analyze a turfgrass management problem and possible solutions considering the scientific, economic, and political circumstances using knowledge and practice gained in the program.
  5. PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE: Graduates of the program will demonstrate the ability to collaborate in a collegial manner and demonstrate high ethical standards, values, and best practices. This will be demonstrated through varying group projects and open discussions surrounding controversial issues in turfgrass science.


Campus World Campus
Graduate Program Head Benjamin A McGraw
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Benjamin A McGraw
Program Contact

Dianne Marie Petrunak
116 ASI Building
University Park PA 16802
(814) 863-0139

Program Website View