Business Administration

As the most popular degree program at the College, business administration offers you a solid background in the major functional areas of business — accounting, management, marketing, finance, business information systems and economics.

As a business administration major, you'll be fortunate to have many opportunities to gain realistic business experiences through programs, such as brand management and promotion management simulations, the Fed Challenge, an academic competition sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, the Innovation Challenge, for which students develop a comprehensive business plan for a new product innovation, and the Student Managed Fund, which puts students in charge of investing and managing $1 million in the real stock market.

We offer a major in business administration. 

Inside a real business

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“I think I’m learning a lot more in this class because it’s hands-on.” Danny Lopez, Business Administration major

For the fourth consecutive year, The Princeton Review has named Roanoke College to its list of the top 36 great schools for business/finance majors.

Sample Course Offerings:

  • BUAD 218: Information Systems
  • BUAD 233: Marketing Management 
  • BUAD 322: Student-Managed Fund 

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Students manage $1 million investment fund 

Imagine a class where students are in charge of investing a million dollars in the stock market. That's exactly what's happening at Roanoke College in a course titled the Student Managed Fund. Students actually decide the structure of how the class is set up. It has a main manager, elected by the students, who is in charge of the fund, and one person is in charge of each of nine industry sectors. 

Keith Petrus '06, former manager of the fund, said the class provided him with invaluable learning experiences that helped him find his first job. "I discovered that I spent nearly half of my interviews with employers discussing the dynamics of the student managed fund," he said.

Dr. Larry Lynch, who originally founded the class, is pleased with the fund's performance. "The students have outperformed the benchmark, but more importantly, they are learning about the real world of investing," he said.

Our students intern at great companies

Alumnus co-founds business that creates affordable, stylish sunglasses

Tyler Puckett '05 says he always had an interest in starting a company from the ground up.

In 2013, with two friends, Puckett launched Fed Thrill, a business that creates and sells quality, affordable polarized sunglasses. He balances overseeing Fed Thrill's social media and marketing with a full-time job as account executive for membership sales with the Washington Nationals MLB team in Washington, D.C.

At Roanoke, Puckett says he gained significant leadership and business skills through student positions on the College's Campus Activities Board and with Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

"Roanoke's environment helped develop my ability to communicate with different people, which is a core characteristic of owning a business," he says. 

Center for Leadership and Entrepreneurial Innovation

The "Pitch" Business Contest

This provides aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to develop a business plan and present it to a team of outside reviewers from the business community. The business concept deemed the best wins "seed capital" to help with start-up costs for the business.

The "Spirit" Lecture Series

Successful entrepreneurs are invited to campus to share their experiences with students, faculty, staff, alumni and the general public. This series focuses on current entrepreneurial topics, such as women and entrepreneurship, starting a business as a result of adversity and social entrepreneurship.

Main Street Maroons

This is a community outreach initiative where qualified Roanoke students help local small businesses with meaningful projects, such as the development of a marketing plan. 

Entrepreneur in Residence

Each year a successful entrepreneur is awarded the title of Entrepreneur in Residence. This individual engages with Roanoke College students in a variety of ways from speaking to mentoring.

Sound Board Sessions

All students who have a business concept are encouraged to contact David Robertson, director of the Center for Leadership & Entrepreneurial Innovation at Roanoke, to arrange a "sounding board" meeting to help gauge the concept's viability.

Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO)

This student organization is focused on helping like-minded future entrepreneurs connect and share ideas.

Our grads work at great organizations, and some start their own.

Certificate program gives students edge with Fortune 500 companies

Roanoke College offers a unique two-year certificate program that teaches students software skills attractive to top companies around the world.
It's called the Data and Econometric Analysis Joint Certificate Program with SAS, which stands for Statistical Analysis Software. The program teaches students to use SAS software, which is employed by major businesses and government institutions, including 93 of the top 100 listed on the 2014 Fortune Global 500, according to SAS. It provides the kind of real world learning that students need to compete for top jobs. SAS is a key word on resumes and is likely to draw immediate attention from employers. Jay Laramore '10, an analytical training consultant at SAS, helped Roanoke economics professor, Dr. Allie Kassens, implement the certificate program. "I think Roanoke could be a model on how to do it," said Laramore, explaining that SAS instruction typically is offered in graduate-level programs.   

Shell Oil Co. internship gives Kelsey Dever '16 experience in the world of big business

During the summer of 2015, Kelsey Dever '16 interned at Shell Oil Co. in Houston, where she cemented a major life goal—She hopes to one day work globally for a Fortune 500 company. 

"My true passion is working with other cultures," Dever said. "I really want to work in a big company so I can see how little pieces of multiple cultures combine to form what the corporation stands for."

Dever tested and helped launch a new mobile payment application called CurrentC, as well as verified and updated the precise geographical location of Shell Oil's stations. The business administration major with concentrations in global business and marketing was thrilled to play a small but vital role in Shell's operations.  

"My goal in life is to be successful and to stay humble by remembering the foundations of where I came from," said Dever, who is from Spring, Texas.

Read more about Dever's internship here.