Turfgrass Management Diploma

Length of Program:  2 Year DiplomaProgram Intakes:  Winter Intake (January program start)January 2020


Turfgrass Management Diploma

Applications Open: February 1

Length of Program: 2 Years

Program Status: Open

Olds College offers a Turfgrass Management Diploma where students study renovation, construction, irrigation, design and water management through collaboration with faculty experts. During the two on-campus portions of this program, students will experience hands on learning in our impressive facilities. 

The unique Landscape Construction Pavilion will ensure students experience hands-on bunker or irrigation construction irrespective of the weather.  The computer controlled greenhouses and living labs enable applied turfgrass research with the support of industry partners who  supply the latest service equipment.  

Students will complete three field schools (6 months in total) and three Internships (6 months in total) to put into practice their knowledge and gain valuable hands-on experiences in the Turfgrass Industry. Once you complete the Turfgrass Management Diploma, you have the option to continue for two more years to earn the Bachelor of Applied Science - Golf Course Management.

What will you learn?

Students will be on campus from January to May in each year of this program and will be studying one subject at a time in a three week schedule that allows for a deeper integration of each subject. In May, students will go into the industry where they will participate in a minimum six month field school/internship. This is where the program will really separate itself from traditional educational offerings. You will be paid employees in the industry, performing duties at the golf course while also completing courses. While enrolled in the field school/internship, you will work in collaborative groups with your fellow students and will draw on the experience and knowledge of many of the golf course superintendents to complete their course work.

Along with completing three field schools, you will learn about:

  • Managing Agronomic Environments
  • Procuring Pesticide Certification
  • Implementing Environmental Systems for Golf Courses
  • Evaluating Irrigation Environmental Efficiencies
  • Applying Golf Course Construction Techniques
  • Evaluating Professional Standards
  • Managing Golf Course Soils

View Program Outline

Program Details

Credential: Diploma

Length of Program: 2 Year Diploma

Method of Delivery: On-Campus Delivery

Directed Field Study/Work Term/Practicum: 3 Field Schools are completed at the end of year one, and 3 Internships are completed at the end of the program.

Program Intakes: Winter Intake (January program start)

Program Dates: Please visit our Dates & Schedules page to confirm start and end dates of your desired program and confirm campus closures.  

Applications Open: February 1 for the Winter Intake

Selection Process for Admission: First Qualified, First Accepted

Tuition, Mandatory Fees, Books, and Supplies: Please refer to the current Fee Schedule for details

  • Year 1: Tuition: $5,020 / Fees: $1,170 / Books & Supplies: $700
  • Year 2: Tuition: $5,020 / Fees: $1,180 / Books & Supplies: $700

* Please note that international students pay 3.5 times the domestic tuition amount. These fees are provided as estimates only for the purposes of budgeting. All students should refer to the Fee Schedule for the most accurate information and all fees are subject to change.*

Admission Requirements

  • 50% or better in English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2
  • 50% or better in Math 20-1 or 20-2
  • 50% or better in two of Biology 20, Chemistry 20, Science 20, OR One of Biology 30, Chemistry 30, Science 30
  • Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement

Academic Upgrading and High School Applicants: Applicants currently in high school or who are completing academic upgrading must submit proof of enrollment and any available interim/midterm marks. Final marks must be submitted within one month following the completion of the course(s) and no later than one month prior to the program start date.

Alternate Admission Option: Alternate Admission status may be offered to applicants who have not or will not complete one of the academic admission requirements. To be considered under Alternate Admission Status, applicants will be asked to provide the following:

  1. (Required) Transcript(s) showing any completed high school and post-secondary courses
  2. (Required) Letter of Introduction and Intent, outlining the following:
    • Introduce yourself
    • Indicate why you wish to enrol in the program
    • Elaborate on your career goals
    • Detail your experience relevant to this program and the industry
  3. (Required) A resume of your work history, extracurricular activities, volunteer service, etc. for the last 5 years
  4. (Optional) Include copies of any tickets and/or certificates you currently hold (e.g.: first aid, safety tickets, etc.)
  5. (Optional) Letter(s) of reference from current or past employers/coaches/etc. (maximum of two letters)

*Submitting Alternate Admission material does not guarantee admission*

Out of Province Applicants: Please refer to the Provincial Equivalency Chart for course equivalencies.

International Applicants

Olds College welcomes applications from international applicants and those who have completed their high school education outside of Canada. Please note, it is still necessary to meet all of the noted admission requirements, including English Language Proficiency. Further information can be found on our website under International Students

International Students in this program will require a Co-Op Permit, a Study Permit and a Social Insurance Number for this program. Learn more on the International Students page.

Career Opportunities

Olds College has a solid reputation working with employers in the industry! This directly translates into jobs for our graduates. Opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Superintendent at a smaller operation/property
  • Second assistant at a larger operation/property
  • Foreman in a municipality
  • Foreman in a Parks and Recreation operation/property

Visit ALIS to find Occupational Profiles with current wages, industry trends and more!

ALIS Occupational Profiles

Admitted Student Information

Program Dates

Find out when your term start and end dates are, so that you know when you are expected to be in attendance. For more information, please review the Program Dates & Fee Schedule.

Class Registration: You will be registered into your classes automatically. This will happen approximately 1 month prior to the start-date for your program. You will be notified once you have been timetabled into your courses. You will be able to see your class schedule in your My Olds College account. If you need to make any changes to your class registration, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Technology Recommendation

It is strongly recommended that you come to Olds College with the following technology:

  • A laptop is preferred (Mac or PC)

As part of your student accounts, all students have access to Office 365 for the duration of their time with Olds College. To access this you just need to follow these steps:

  • Go to portal.office.com
  • Enter your Olds College email address and password
  • Once logged in there is a button on the right that says "Install Office Apps"

This will give you access to the full Office suite on your computer, for both Windows and Mac based platforms.

Materials & Supplies:

The following items are required to be purchased prior to the start of your program:

  • Pair of steel-toed boots
  • Work gloves
  • Shop/lab coat
  • Pair of good quality safety glasses

Information on other required textbooks and any further supplies will be provided as you attend each class. All books and supplies will be available during the first few weeks of classes in the College Campus Store.

Other Important Information:

  • Time Requirements: Students are typically in class or on field trips for up to 3-6 hours a day Monday through Friday, with normal in-class hours running from 9 am to noon. Occasionally, overnight trips may be necessary. You will also be expected to complete numerous assignments outside of regularly scheduled classes that will vary in terms of their demands upon your time. This amount of time will vary with each course that you take, but a reasonable estimate would be 50 hours per week of effort inclusive of class time.

  • Student Clubs: It is recommended to join the Turf Club and become a CGSA member (if you have not already done so). There are also a number of college sports teams, some of which participate at the inter-collegiate level while others are purely recreational.

  • Additional Skills: Basic computer skills are recommended for all and it is certainly beneficial to have some prior experience with computers before you arrive at the College. A familiarity and comfort in use of Google Docs, word processing, spreadsheet and e-mailing software will be a definite asset.

  • Lockers: All you need to do during your first few days at Olds is to select one without a lock and it’s yours for the duration. I strongly recommend that you select a locker in the first week of classes because of high demand. You are required to provide your own lock.

  • Dress Code: Most students prefer to wear casual clothing to class, but it is recommended you bring semi-formal clothing with you so that you are prepared for employment interviews and other industry opportunities that may present themselves.

Ready to apply?

Visit our Admissions page for more info or go to Apply Alberta to submit an online application!

  • "Turf Management is a science nowadays, and a lot more goes into it than people think. An education is the first stepping stone to becoming involved in a turf career. My Olds College experience was great, it got the ball rolling in my golf career and now has lead me to Wimbledon, the pinnacle for sports turf. Everyone knows what Wimbledon is and the rich history it holds. I never thought I would end up in tennis but Olds College and golf got me started."
    • Grant Cantin, Olds College Class of 2000, Head Groundsman, The All England Lawn Tennis Club