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Frequently Asked Questions – GreenKeeper University

What is GreenKeeper University?

GreenKeeper University is an online educational program that offers online courses in the field of turfgrass science. GreenKeeper University is an educational option intended for people who want a more in-depth training than is traditionally offered by short course and other non-degree options, but do not have the resources or means to achieve a university degree in turfgrass science.

We created this program for turfgrass professionals who may have a job and/or a family and are unable to make the sacrifice that a university degree demands. We also considered the people who may already have a degree in an unrelated field but want to switch careers. We hope GreenKeeper University allows these people to begin or advance their careers despite a lack of a traditional university education in turfgrass science. We do not intend for GreenKeeper University to compete with or replace the many outstanding options for associate’s and bachelor’s degrees at accredited universities.

Is the GreenKeeper certificate affiliated with a university?

No. While GreenKeeper University courses are taught by top turfgrass specialists with many years of experience teaching accredited university courses, the courses are not affiliated with an accredited university. Despite this, the courses are designed to be rigorous and useful to advancing the careers of turfgrass professionals.

The GreenKeeper University registration form asks about my experience with introductory turfgrass courses or online courses. Are these necessary?

No, but they are strongly recommended. GreenKeeper University does not offer an introductory turfgrass management course. Many excellent, affordable turfgrass short courses exist. GreenKeeper University is designed for students that want to go beyond the introductory material. For example, the Great Lakes School of Turfgrass Science spends two weeks on turfgrass fertilization and soil management (including two, two-hour lectures, a handful of readings, an activity, and two quizzes). At GreenKeeper University, you can take a course that focuses on turfgrass fertilization and soil management that lasts for 12 weeks.

We prefer that GreenKeeper University students take an introductory course prior to enrolling so they are aware of the basics and understand the common language of turfgrass science. We prefer that GreenKeeper University students have some experience with online learning, so that they know if it is right for them or not.

If you manage cool season grasses, and do not have an introductory course or experience with online education, we suggest you take the Great Lakes School of Turfgrass Science before enrolling in GreenKeeper University.

How do I earn a GreenKeeper University Certificate?

You earn a certificate by obtaining a passing grade in eight courses.

How long do I have to complete my certificate?

No time limit exists for certificate completion. Take as many or as few courses as you like. However, you must complete course work for each class by December 15th of the year it is offered.

Do I need to take all the courses?

No. Take as many or as few as you like. You will receive a completion certificate for each course you complete, and a GreenKeeper University Certificate after eight courses are completed.

How much does it cost?

Each course costs $595, with a $95 discount for early registration (before November 15th). Tuition is non-refundable.

How many courses does GreenKeeper University offer?

Currently, we are offering four courses for 2020:

  1. Understanding the weather and how it relates to turfgrass growth, stress and pest management (with Dr. Bill Kreuser)
  2. Integrated pest management and responsible pesticide use (with Drs. Jim Kerns and Paul Koch)
  3. Turfgrass disease identification and management (with Drs. Jim Kerns and Paul Koch)
  4. Turfgrass fertilization and soil management (with Dr. Doug Soldat)
The courses* we have planned for 2021 are:
  1. Turfgrass irrigation and drainage
  2. Turfgrass weed management
  3. Turfgrass business management and communications
  4. Turfgrass insect management

* as of now, but subject to change. Additional courses will likely be added in future years as GreenKeeper University expands and grows.

When are classes offered?

Classes start in early January and run through the end of March. Each week, a new round of material will be released by the instructor.

Can I work Ahead?

No. New material is released weekly by instructors, and weekly “e-Sessions” will be an important part of the curriculum. For these reasons, students will not be able to work ahead.

Do you assign grades?

GreenKeeper University students will not receive traditional grades (A, B, C, etc.), but each student’s performance will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis.

Do I have to stay on track every week?

No, but staying up to date with course work is strongly encouraged. In our experience with other online course, students who fall behind rarely complete the course. Students have until December 15th to complete the work to earn credit. Student access to the courses will be closed on Dec. 15th of the calendar year in which they were offered, any incomplete work will be converted to zero points.

Can I fail a course?

Yes. While these courses are not designed to be unnecessarily taxing, every class has weekly tasks that must be completed to demonstrate competence in the subject material. Course instructors will communicate the expectations for passing at the beginning of each course. If those expectations are met (i.e. 70% of of total course points are earned), then the student will pass the course. Students not passing the course can take the course again to achieve a passing grade that will count towards the certificate.

How much time will each course take?

The amount of time a student puts into the course will vary depending on the student’s abilities and commitment level. However, GreenKeeper University courses are designed to take a typical student about four hours per week (48 hours of work over the course).

What computer requirements do I need?

You need a laptop or desktop computer and a high-speed internet connection. Tablets and smart phones won’t work as replacements for a laptop or desktop in GreenKeeper University courses. The courses are run through a courses management software package called Moodle. Moodle is used by many colleges and universities worldwide. You don’t need to download anything special. The Moodle site for this is

I registered and paid my invoice, now what?

You will receive an email from your instructor(s) in mid-December with information on how to login in and get started. Classes begin on January 6th, 2020.

Other questions?

Feel free to email for additional questions or clarification.

Or to register for our current course offerings, please click here.