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The turf management major, part of the integrated plant sciences degree program, prepares students who wish to specialize in golf course supervision, grounds maintenance, sod production, and similar recreation positions involving turfgrass management techniques and personnel relations.
- Signature courses & program information
All the majors in the bachelor of science in integrated plant sciences degree — including field crop management — share a common set of core courses. All students will take a year of chemistry, a year of biology, and a statistics course, in addition to the core courses specified for the degree and major.
Some of the courses you could take as a turfgrass management major:
- HORT/CROP_SCI 102: Cultivated Plants
- HORT/CROP_SCI 202: Crop Growth & Development
- SOIL_SCI 201: Soil: A Living System
- IPM 201: Introduction to Pest Management in a Quality Environment or IPM 452: Pesticides & Environment
- ENTOM 340: Agricultural Entomology or Entom 343: General Entomology
- CROP_SCI 411: Crop Environment Interactions
- PL_P 429: General Plant Pathology
- SOIL_SCI 441: Soil Fertility
- CROP_SCI 301: Turfgrass Management
- AGTM 315: Irrigation Systems and Water Management
- CROP_SCI 401: Turfgrass Science
- CROP_SCI 305: Ecology and Management of Weeds
- ECONS 350: Introduction to Farm and Ranch Management or ECONS 352: Business Management Economics
See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Scholarships and financial aid
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs.
For all students at WSU
Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
To get all the financial help WSU can provide, start by doing these two things:
- Complete the University's general scholarship application so you can be eligible for scholarship consideration.
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so WSU can consider you for aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) based on financial need.
For turf management majors
Turf management students may be eligible for scholarships from the Department of Crop and Soil Science.
In addition, the WSU College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) annually awards roughly $550,000 to students. For more information on these scholarships, see the CAHNRS scholarship page.
- Strengths of the program
- Since 2006, all turfgrass management majors have found turf-related positions following graduation.
- WSU provides the only 4-year turfgrass degree program in Washington State, as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. The turfgrass management major has been offered since 1955 and is one of the longest-running programs of its kind in the western USA.
- The program is an excellent blend of science based courses and applied courses.
- Graduates of the program form a strong alumni network (WSU Friends of Turfgrass Management) that helps WSU graduates find both summer internships and permanent employment.
- Campus organizations and activities
The WSU Turfgrass Management Club is registered WSU student organization and is a student chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. =
The Turf Club holds regular meetings throughout the academic year, has industry guest speakers, performs community service, does hands on projects, and has an annual spring break turf tour. The club also sends student teams to compete in "Turf Bowl" competition at national meetings of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the Sports Turf Managers Association.
Turfgrass management career opportunities include golf course management, sports field and recreational facilities management, lawn care, sod production, grounds maintenance, and technical sales.
Graduates also qualify for careers in agribusiness, corporate and technical farm management, professional consulting, research, and more.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the beginning salary in 2012 for graduates with a bachelor's degree in plant and soil sciences was $33,456.
The average salary for golf course superintendents rose from $81,044 in 2011 to $82,573 in 2013, a 1.9% increase during the 2-year period. For assistant golf course superintendents, the average base salary rose to $40,138 from $39,660 in 2011, representing a 1.2% increase (Golf Course Superintendents of Association of America).