Firsthand Learning

Learning occurs in many places other than the classroom. In the Environmental Studies Program, students have a multitude of opportunities available from college and departmental programs as well as work in the Roanoke Valley and beyond.

Research and Independent Study projects in Environmental Studies can be mentored by faculty in any department that participates in the program.  Students should discuss possible projects with the faculty member closest to their interests. 


Traditional internships, while valuable, usually involve on-the-job training assignments, but some Roanoke internships incorporate a strong research component. Here is the application to apply for an Internship in Environmental Studies. The application must be APPROVED before you can start working your internship hours and by the third day of classes in the term in which you will receive credit, so start the process of working on this early.

Independent Study and Research

Independent studies provide students with a practical application of their particular majors or more specialized study in a particular area. You can propose a project based largely on your own ideas or participate in a research project sponsored by a faculty member.  Here is the application for Independent Study in Environmental Studies.  The application must be APPROVED by the third day of classes, so start the process of working on this early.

Honors in Major

Rising seniors with a major gpa and overall gpa of 3.4 or higher are encouraged to complete a research project that qualifies for Honors in Environmental Studies.  The requirements are very similar to those of a regular research project except that you must have the minimum 3.4 gpa, complete the work in your senior year, and achieve at least an A- on the project.  The "Honors in Environmental Studies" notation will appear on both your transcript and diploma.  Here is the application for Honors in Environmental Studies.  The application must be APPROVED by the third day of classes for the term in which you plan to start your work.  Start talking with faculty early to line up a mentor and a project that is right for you.

Undergraduate Research Assistants Program (URAP)

URAP is a program unique to Roanoke College where students work as research assistants with a member of the Roanoke College faculty on an original research project of interest to both the URAP scholar and to the faculty mentor.

Summer Scholars

The Summer Scholars Program at Roanoke College is a grant program that enables qualified students to conduct intensive, independent research for eight to twelve weeks during the summer.

May Term

May Term is a three week period during which students can participate in a wide array of Intensive Learning opportunities, including travel courses as well as on-campus courses.

Study Abroad

Roanoke College offers many study abroad programs that allow students to earn academic credit while outside the United States. 

Washington Semester

Want to study away, but going abroad isn't right for you.  Consider taking Washington Semester.  Live in DC.  Take two classes and complete a two-unit internship in our nation's capital.

Nature and Culture

Dr. Daniel Sarabia is the book review editor for the journal Nature and Culture. This connection can provide a unique student collaboration opportunity.

College Garden

Follow the progress of our garden, a joint project of several groups and classes, by following our garden blog at


From the classroom to city hall: Students propose green changes for Roanoke buildings

From the classroom to city hall: Students propose green changes for Roanoke buildings

Roanoke College students hope the results of a green roofs study would reduce rainwater runoff at some of downtown Roanoke's buildings and save energy costs for the city.

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"When I researched various options for college, Roanoke's environmental program was light years ahead of what other schools offered. The professors were wonderful. So much of my time was spent outdoors; it really opened up my mind for different ways of learning."

-Whitney Sorge, Park Ranger, Kerr Lake State Recreation Area


Classic Conversion: Roanoke students transform 1939 Pontiac into electric-powered vehicle

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