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Turfgrass Management Program
Program Objectives
Graduation Requirements
Related Facilities
Career Opportunities

karlThe Turfgrass Management program is designed to provide students with basic and applied knowledge in turfgrass science and management.  Formal and informal learning settings offer students the opportunity to gain a great deal of hands-on experience and design a unique educational experience, with exposure to all aspects of the industry.  Students complete course work in turfgrass management and other related fields, such as soil science and fertility, pest control, ornamental horticulture, landscape design, environmental science, and business management.  Internships arranged with landscape or lawn care businesses, golf courses, athletic facilities, and municipal, state or federal agencies allow students to gain practical experience and engage in career networking. The Turfgrass Management program in the Ratcliffe Hicks School is offered by the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. The department undertakes comprehensive teaching, research and outreach activities.

Program Objectives

The goal of the program is to prepare students for employment in residential and commercial landscaping, golf courses, athletic and recreational fields, and parks and recreational land management.

A graduate of the program should be able to:
  • Understand basic fundamentals of plant growth
  • Understand relationships between soil and plants
  • Understand plant water relationships
  • Understand Integrated Pest Management related to plant management
  • Understand plant/environment interactions
  • Understand how plant management practices/strategies effect water quality and the environment
  • Identify and describe insect, disease, and physiological problems of plants and develop control strategies
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  • Demonstrate skills in accessing information
  • Demonstrate mathematical skills utilized by today’s Green Industry
  • Understand how cultural practices influence the growth and quality of turfgrass
  • Understand how environmental conditions influence the growth and quality of turfgrass
  • Recognize important pests (weeds, insects, diseases) of turfgrass and understand how to develop environmentally responsible control programs for these pests
  • Understand how soil chemical and physical properties influence the growth and quality of turfgrass
  • Demonstrate a professional attitude in relationships with employers, customers, fellow employees, and professional peers.
  • Understand the importance of professional development, continuing education, and life long learning as components of a successful career Understand the biology, ecology, and taxonomy of cool-season turfgrass

The Department of Plant Science offers a wide range of courses in Turfgrass Management providing both academic and applied educational opportunities. Descriptions of all of the courses in the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog.  Highly qualified, experienced and dedicated faculty members provide an excellent educational environment.

turfclubThe Department of Plant Science has an active Turf Club which organizes field trips to golf courses, athletic and recreational fields, important landscape areas, and other venues of interest related to turf.  The Turf Club also invites guest speakers from academia and the turfgrass industry and travels to turfgrass-related regional and national meetings.

Students are encouraged to participate in student organizations offered within the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, as well as other student activities offered by the University (visit: getinvolved.uconn.edu).

Graduation Requirements

Students who complete the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture Animal Science program earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Horticulture and Turfgrass Management. In order to earn the AAS degree, students must fulfill all requirements as outlined on the current RHSA Plan of Study and also in the RHSA section of the Undergraduate Catalog.

In order to complete 64 credits in four semesters, students need to average 16 credits per semester. Students meet with advisors regularly to discuss appropriate registration, academic concerns, and their individual interests and goals. It is the student's responsibility to ensure they complete graduation requirements. View a suggested four-semester sequence for students in the Turfgrass Management program.

Related Facilities

Excellent laboratory and field facilities, high-tech classrooms, and computer facilities support the Horticulture program. They include:

  • Plant Science Teaching and Research Facility: This 150 acre farm includes greenhouses, shaded areas, and field plantings used for research and teaching in turf, crops, floriculture, nursery, soils, and vegetables. Students have access to turf plots and both field and greenhouse space for classes and independent turfgrass projects.
  • Ratcliffe Hicks/C.R Burr Teaching Nursery: Five-acre nursery operation with greenhouses, hoop houses, capillary beds and field plots for both container and field production of nursery crops.
  • University Campus/Arboretum: Extensive grounds with an impressive collection of woody plant materials used in teaching.
  • Plant Biotechnology Facility: Includes a commercial laboratory and is used for micropropagation and other tissue culture projects.
  • Landscape Computer Aided Design Laboratory: Microcomputer laboratory set up with AutoCAD and LANDCADD for classroom and individual use.
  • Floriculture Greenhouses: Six greenhouses with about 17,000 square feet available for teaching, research and production.

Career Opportunities
After completing the Turfgrass Management program, our graduates apply their skills to turf related careers, such as residential and commercial landscaping, golf courses, athletic and recreational fields, and parks and recreational land management. Many graduates have continued their education in baccalaureate and graduate programs.

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©University of Connecticut, Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
1376 Storrs Road, U-4090
Storrs, CT 06269
(860) 486-2920
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