Master's Degrees in Golf Course Management

Read on to learn more about how a master's degree program in golf course management can teach you business and turfgrass management skills to support your work as a golf course superintendent. Get program information and see about prerequisites and online learning. Schools offering Landscape Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Would I Study for a Degree in Golf Course Management?

Specific courses vary between institutions and your chosen emphasis, but most golf course management programs include in-depth training in turfgrass management. These courses teach you to maintain well-kept greens by providing the right nutrients, correctly applying herbicides and caring for diseased plants. A master's program would also educate you on how to select appropriate plants to encourage ecological diversity and create a scenic course.

You'll learn how to keep insects and pests to a minimum on the course. This program also offers coursework in maintaining healthy aquatic environments so you can manage your course's water hazards. Business courses are sometimes included to help you manage employees and projects, create budgets and follow employment law. Most programs also require a research project, a thesis or an oral examination.

Learning ObjectivesTurfgrass management, green maintenance, herbicide application
Average Salary (2017)$93,176* (for golf course superintendents)
$111,250,* (for certified golf course superintendents)
Admission RequirementsBachelor's degree in related field, GRE results, work experience may be required
Online AvailabilityCoursework for the degree may be completed online, though work on an actual golf course may be required

*Source: Golf Course Superintendents Association of America

What Can I Do with This Degree?

This graduate training could allow you to advance your career as a golf course superintendent or administrator. You would be qualified to take on administrative responsibilities, such as human resources, project management, budgeting, quality management and customer service. Your expertise in turfgrass management will be helpful in improving and maintaining a pleasant environment with quality greens.

Based on a 2017 survey by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), the average base salary for golf course superintendents was $93,176 ( This is a 4.5% growth from the 2015 data. Certification through the GCSAA can increase earnings, with a 2017 average base salary of $111,250 for certified superintendents. This certification process includes a portfolio, an examination and an evaluation of the facility that you manage.

What Prerequisites Are Necessary?

Because this is a graduate-level program, you must hold a bachelor's degree, preferably in a related field, such as biology or turfgrass management. Many programs also require a qualifying score on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). Work experience at a golf course is necessary for some master's programs. Online programs, especially, are meant for current golf course workers because they want you to be able to practice what you're learning online.

Are Online Programs Available?

Although online master's degree programs in golf course management are rare, they do exist. An online golf course management program may be designed especially for those of you who are already employed at a golf course. While coursework may be completed online, you may still be required to complete an individual research or capstone project at a golf course facility.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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