Public Policy

The public policy program at Roanoke provides students with tools for how to craft meaningful, ethical policies. This happens both in and out of the classroom.

In addition to fascinating classes taught by engaging professors, students will complete the Public Policy Practicum, which put students out in the real world to get a first-hand look at how policy works. This could take the form of an internship that will help students develop practical experience or an independent research project that allows students to apply skills developed in their policy-related coursework.

Even before the existence of the public policy concentration — which began in the fall of 2021 — Maroons have gone on to study policy at top-ranked graduate schools and to earn high-level jobs in state and national government.

We offer a concentration in public policy.

Students gain valuable, real-world experience through Washington Semester internships

Despite uncertain times this semester, five Roanoke College students have taken the opportunity to study and intern in the nation's capital.

Student Feature | Casey Wilson '21

Casey WilsonAs Casey Wilson ‘21 did research and writing for U.S. Senator Mark Warner, D-Va., she realized that public policy was her calling. She was in the nation’s capital as part of Roanoke’s annual Lutheran College Washington Semester, which connects dozens of Maroons to exciting internships in the heart of Washington, D.C. 

“I interned in the U.S. Senate, which was amazing. I got to see it firsthand and that really sold it for me,” Wilson said. 

Wilson, who majored in political science at Roanoke, took that interest and has carried it on to the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia where she’ll pursue a master’s in public policy. Through her real-world experiences  both in the U.S. Senate and during her studies at Aberystwyth University in Wales as part of the Fulbright Summer Institute  and the public policy classes she took at Roanoke, Wilson feels armed with the expertise she needs to succeed at the next level. 

“Roanoke College overall is always able to prepare you for anything,” Wilson said. “I’m very confident that I have a really good background going into grad school.” 

Sample Course Topics:

  • Dr. Parsons speaking to students at at teach-inPolitics and Power in American Policymaking
  • Ethics and Public Policy
  • Environmental Public Policy
  • Inequality in Criminal Justice
  • Health Economics
  • Global Health

Elderscholar Program

The Elderscholar Program is in its 37th year of offering lectures for adults 55 and older. The program features Roanoke College faculty and guests speaking on areas of their expertise. This fall, the program will be both in-person and virtual. Participants can choose to attend the live lecture with lunch afterwards, or watch live with Zoom from the safety and comfort of their home.  Registration is required. 

Learn more

Date | Time: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 | 12:00 PM
Location: Live: Colket Center Ballroom & Virtual: Zoom Webinar

Elderscholar Program

The Elderscholar Program is in its 37th year of offering lectures for adults 55 and older. The program features Roanoke College faculty and guests speaking on areas of their expertise. This fall, the program will be both in-person and virtual. Participants can choose to attend the live lecture with lunch afterwards, or watch live with Zoom from the safety and comfort of their home.  Registration is required. 

Learn more

Date | Time: Tuesday, October 12, 2021 | 12:00 PM
Location: Live: Colket Center Ballroom & Virtual: Zoom Webinar