Sports and Commercial Turf Management

Program 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 517-355-0271 ext. 1136
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Gainful Employment Disclosure

Program Description

This certificate program is an 18-month undertaking with 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, designed for you to launch a rich and rewarding career.  Courses receive undergraduate credit that allows students an opportunity to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree at Michigan State University.


The coursework comprises 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 commence on the MSU main campus in East Lansing, most within the same building. 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

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 will work with some of the most successful people in the turf industry during your internship experience. These are paid internships, lasting 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 will need to take back when you return to school in the fall.

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


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 created 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 considered for admission to the program, students must have a high school diploma or equivalent and at least a 2.0 GPA or higher.  Admission personnel evaluate ACT or SAT scores 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.  (Contact the Program Coordinator if you need assistance gaining access to grounds crew employment.)