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Academic Majors

 


Sports and Urban Turfgrass Management 

Turfgrass management is quickly becoming a profession requiring highly skilled personnel that can respond to individual clientele needs in a home landscape situation or, more commonly, in managing a turfgrass surface in a sports facility. Expertise in turfgrass management is an essential part of operations with college and university athletics, city parks systems and golf courses, and professional teams. Managers are responsible for maintenance and grooming of football, soccer, softball and baseball fields, as well as parks and golf courses. A manager must be competent in turfgrass and soil science, proper irrigation practices, pest control, budgeting of resources, personnel management and diplomacy. The demands are rigorous, but the rewards usually match such demands. Currently, there is an unsatisfied national demand for graduates with these skills and interests.

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The Program

The Department of Plant Sciences offers a four-year curriculum in sports and urban turfgrass management. The degree requires that students participate in at least one internship experience. These internships are an enriching process to the academic education and skills that students develop at North Dakota State University and greatly enhance their job opportunities after graduation.

Career Opportunities

Golf Course Superintendent -- Nationally, between 200 and 300 golf courses are constructed each year in the United States and its territories. This pace is expected to continue throughout this decade and well into the next. Starting as an assistant, it is possible for a graduate to become a full-fledged golf course superintendent in three to five years. Starting salaries range from $28,000 to $35,000, with the national average of head superintendents reaching more than $80,000. When the course is a private country club, usually a generous benefit package is included along with a house on the course property.

Sports Turf Management -- There are approximately 16,000 high school, 2,200 college/university and 800 professional sports facilities providing numerous job opportunities for turf managers. According to the Sports Turf Manager's Association (STMA), their membership exceeds 2,000. The average salary of sports turf managers is about $44,000. Sports fields include baseball, football, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, lawn bowling and cricket.

Lawn Care Operator -- Lawn care operators comprise the largest single group of potential career opportunities for the graduate with more than 6,000 companies in the United States servicing millions of American lawns at the residential, commercial and institutional levels. The most current estimate of expenditures in this area of turfgrass management is pegged above $17 billion. Often these companies are known as turn- key operations where the company is involved in property design, installation, landscape construction and landscape maintenance. Several companies at this capacity operate nationally, while others operate on a regional basis. Finally, for the entrepreneur, opportunities abound to establish one's own business.

Facility Managers -- The curriculum is inclusive enough for the graduate to move into facility management if the desire or opportunity arises. Golf course superintendents could move into managing a resort where golf courses, swimming pools and tennis courts are inclusive along with a dining facility.

Scholarships

Although no specific scholarships have yet been designated for sports and urban turfgrass management, the student enrolled in this program would be eligible for some of the scholarships the department currently has under endowment. As interest and demand increase for this new program, additional scholarships are expected. Contact the Department of Plant Sciences or the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources for more information.

Turf Club

The goals of the Turf Club are to provide students with opportunities to share information, connect with the turf industry, gain real world experience and broaden their knowledge. The club organizes field trips, topic discussions and presentations by guest speakers. Other activities include attending regional and national turf conferences, community service and fundraising.

High School Preparation

Turfgrass management requires the ability to work with others as well as independently, and also requires good organizational and communication skills. Additionally, a very good understanding of basic math, chemistry, physics and plant biology is essential in this field. Computers are used in all walks of life, and sports and urban turfgrass management is no exception. Comfort working with computers and a range of software is needed.

The Facilities

Loftsgard Hall, a state of the art facility, houses the Department of Plant Sciences, which includes classrooms, research labs and student learning centers. Other facilities include a greenhouse newly constructed to be used for turfgrass research and teaching, as well as a variety of trial plots on the NDSU campus and at Research and Extension Centers in Dickinson and Williston.

Sample Curriculum

General Education Requirements

Credits

_____________________________________________________

First Year Experience

  Agri. 189 - Skills for Academic Success

1

Communication

  Comm. 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking

3

  Engl. 110, 120 - College Composition I, II

3, 3

  English Upper Level Writing Course

3

Quantitative Reasoning

  Stat. 330 - Introductory Statistics

3

Science & Technology

  Chem. 121, 121L - General Chemistry I and Lab

3, 1

  Plsc. 315, 315L - Genetics and Lab

3, 1

  Science and Technology Elective

3

Humanities & Fine Arts

6

Social and Behavioral Sciences Sciences

  Econ. 201 - Principles of Microeconomics or
   Econ. 202 - Principles of Macroeconomics

3

  Social and Behavioral Sciences Electives

3

Wellness

2

Cultural Diversity

-

Global Perspective

  Econ. 201 - Principles of Microeconomics or
   Econ. 202 - Principles of Macroeconomics

-

Total

40

Major Requirements

Credits

_____________________________________________________

PlSc. 210, 211 - Horticulture Science and Lab

3, 1

PlSc. 323 - Principles of Weed Science

3

PlSc. 341 - Land Bid and Contracting

2

PlSc. 375, 375L - Turfgrass Management and Lab

3, 1

PlSc. 381 - Sports Turf Operations

3

PlSc. 468 - Golf Course Irrigation I

2

PlSc. 469 - Golf Course Irrigation II

1

PlSc. 491 - Seminar

1

PlSc. 496 - Field Experience             

2

PPTH 324 - Introductory Plant Pathology

3

PPTH 457 - Landscape Plant Pathology

3

Total

29

Related Requirements

Credits

_____________________________________________________

Agri. 150 - Agriculture Orientation

1

Acct. 102 - Fundamentals of Accounting

3

AgEc. 242 - Introduction to Agriculture Management or
     AgEc. 244 - Agriculture Management

4 or 3

Biol. 150, 150L - General Biology I and Lab

3, 1

Bot. 380 - Plant Physiology

3

Ent. 350 - General Entomology

3

Math. 103 - College Algebra

3

Soil. 210 - Introduction to Soil Science

3

Soil. 322 - Soil Fertility and Fertilizers

3

Plant Science Electives

5

Total

33-34

Recommended Requirements

Credits

_____________________________________________________

ADFH 140 - Introduction to Hospitality Industry

3

ADFH 141 - Tourism and Travel Management

3

ADFH 151 - Design Fundamentals Studio

3

ASM 373 - Tractors and Power Units

3

ASM 374 - Power Units Lab

1

LA 351 - Landscape Design

3

Phys. 211, 211L - College Physics I and Lab

3, 1

Phys. 212, 212L - College Physics II and Lab

3, 1

PlSc. 150 - Introduction to Horticultural Therapy

3

Soil. 217 - Introduction to Meteorology and Climatology

3

Total

17-18

CURRICULUM TOTAL

128

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Loftsgard Hall
Room 166


Loftsgard Hall is located near the center of campus on Albrecht Boulevard, just west of Visitors Lot E (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Department of Plant Sciences
Dr. Richard Horsley, Head
North Dakota State University
Loftsgard Hall 166
Dept. 7670, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-7971 / Fax: (701) 231-8474
E-mail: Louise.Heinz@ndsu.edu
Web:www.ag.ndsu.edu/plantsciences/

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept 5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Email: NDSU.Admission@ndsu.edu
Web: www.ndsu.edu/admission/


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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU WebMaster

Last Updated: Thursday, May 08, 2014 2:16:39 PM