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Public Affairs

The Public Affairs Department 

The Public Affairs Department offers programs devoted to developing each student's ability to think critically and apply their knowledge of politics, governance, and responsible citizenship in practical settings ranging from the local to the global. For specific requirements, see the Curriculum page. Visit these links for general information on the programs and where they can take you after graduation:

Areas of faculty teaching and research expertise include gun control and policy, mass media polling, Ugandan politics, American and Western political theory, politics and the imagination, American public policy, political networks, environmental diplomacy, the death penalty, and constitutional law .

Want to know more about events we sponsor on campus? Like us on Facebook: Roanoke College Department of Public Affairs. Our students also have a page: Roanoke College Public Affairs Society.

Special Opportunities

The Washington Semester Program is for students interested in gaining experience and contacts in our nation's capital. Recent placements have included the White House, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Congress as well as judicial offices, law offices and various interest groups and service agencies. The program also includes coursework in Washington. Want specifics about applying, see Washington Semester or contact Dr. Todd Peppers.

Our department hosts the Henry H. Fowler Program, which bring internationally renowned speakers to campus and supports students with interests in public policy.

The Roanoke College Institute for Policy and Opinion research is housed in the Public Affairs Department. Dr. Harry Wilson directs the institute.

The Turk Pre-Law Program provides students interested in careers in the law with opportunities for shadowing, internships, and advising to help them reach their goals.

Many of our students complete research projects or internships as part of their major program. 

Students can get involved outside of the classroom and connect with students who have similar interests through many campus organizations that are relevant to public affairs students, including honorary societies.

  • Public Affairs Society
  • Amnesty International
  • Model United Nations Club
  • Pi Sigma Alpha, the honor society for political science students
  • Alpha Phi Sigma, the honor society for criminal justice students
  • Sigma Iota Rho, the honor society for international relations students

Political Science and Criminal Justice double major Chris Besse