According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, professional golf course designers and other landscape architects typically have at least a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture (www.bls.gov). Students may find classes in golf course design in landscape architecture programs, as well as turfgrass science programs, through the architecture or landscaping departments of 4-year colleges and universities.
10 Top Schools with Landscape Architecture or Turfgrass Science Programs
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2018-2019)*|
|Ohio State University-Main Campus||Columbus, OH||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$10,726 for in-state/$30,742 for out of state (undergraduate), $11,560 for in-state/$34,064 for out-of-state (graduate)|
|Texas A&M University||College Station, TX||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's||$11,870 for in-state/$37,495 for out-of-state (undergraduate), $6,552 for in-state/$17,904 for out-of-state (graduate)|
|California State Polytechnic Institute||Pomona, CA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$7,353 for in-state/$19,233 for out-of-state (undergraduate), $7,176 for in-state/$16,680 for out-of-state (graduate)|
|Cornell University||Ithaca, NY||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's||$55,188 (undergraduate), $29,500 (graduate)|
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||Blacksburg, VA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$13,620 for in-state/$31,908 for out-of-state (undergraduate), $13,310 for in-state/$26,825 for out-of-state (graduate)|
|Louisiana State University||Baton Rouge, LA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||$11,950 for in-state/$28,627 for out-of-state (undergraduate), $9,132 (graduate)|
|University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, Private||Master's, Postgraduate certificate||$34,882|
|Kansas State University||Manhattan, KS||4-year, Public||Master's||$10,061 for in-state/$22,709 for out-of-state|
|Purdue University||West Lafeyette, IN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$9,992 for in-state/$28,794 for out-of-state|
|University of Georgia||Athens, GA||4-year, Public||Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$11,830 for in-state/$30,404 for out-of-state (undergraduate), $8,704 for in-state/$24,692 for out-of-state (graduate)|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Important considerations for choosing a program centered around golf course design include:
- Look for programs containing specific classes in golf course planning as well as construction methods and styles for fairways, greens, sand traps, and tees.
- Turfgrass degrees may offer courses in golf course design and construction, covering things like the cultivation of turfgrass and the various types of turfgrass used in construction.
- Some schools may have their own golf courses or partnerships with local courses to provide practical experience.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Landscape Architecture
A 4-year landscape architecture degree program typically combines ecology, urban studies, and design. Students may create a golf course concept for their design portfolios. Many B.S. in Landscape Architecture programs offer coursework in golf course design, landscape architectural design, and environmental design
Bachelor of Science in Turfgrass Science
Interdisciplinary degree programs like turfgrass management usually include courses in the fundamentals of golf course design and construction. Internship opportunities at turfgrass production companies or golf clubs may be required. Program content may address agricultural sciences, agronomy, soil science, plant pathology, and business management
Master of Landscape Architecture
Students may choose to earn a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA). The MLA is a professional degree that prepares students for licensure. Graduate seminars and independent thesis research are usually required. Aside from studio classes, coursework may include, landscape theory, design software, and advanced techniques in landscape design
Three of the most common degrees to earn in order to become a golf course designer are the B.S. in Landscape Architecture, B.S. in Turfgrass Science, and Master of Landscape Architecture. These degrees, along with other programs like certificates in related disciplines, provide students with the skills to competently design golf courses and manage the resources that go into it from both architectural and environmental standpoints.