Mini Courses

Chocolate 101

Chocolate 101

belly dancing

Belly Dancing

Drink and Draw

Drink and Draw

Summer 2018 Mini Courses

This summer we will have fewer Mini Courses due to the shortened summer hours of the Norris University Center. But don't worry - Mini Courses will be back in full force in the fall.

Check out our list of Summer 2018 Mini Courses below, as well as a list of all Mini Courses we have run over the past two years and could offer in the fall!

  • Beginning Ceramics
  • Ceramic Sculpture
  • Introduction to Latin Ballroom
  • Introduction to Sketchbook

Time, dates, and descriptions will be found in the category pages listed on the left.*

Summer 2018 Registration:

Regular Registration May 29 - June 22

Late Registration June 23 - 28 and ends 24 hours before the first class meeting.

*Please note that courses cannot be joined after the first class meeting.

  • Over the Phone: Email Mini Courses at to set up an appointment to register over the phone.
  • In person: Please visit the ARTica Studios (located at Underground Floor of Norris) to register for your Mini Course.

Past Mini Courses

Stay tuned to see if past Mini Courses will be back in Fall 2018. Descriptions of past mini courses may be viewed under the category pages listed on the left or in the table below.

Arts & Crafts       


Beginning Ceramics
Ceramic Sculpture
Intermediate Ceramics
Advanced/Raku Ceramics
Beginning Knitting
Intermediate Knitting
Costume Design
Creative Design with Monotype Printing
Exploring Watercolor
Intro to Black & White Darkroom
Native Beading
Ojibwe and Cree Basketmaking
Sketchbook I: Graphite and Charcoal
Sketchbook II: Mixed Media

Belly Dancing Dance Exercise
Hip Hop Dance
Intermediate Hip Hop Dance
Latin Ballroom Dance
Intermediate Latin Ballroom Dance

Digital Canvas

Food & Drink

Basics of Graphic Design
Digital Video Editing
Introduction to Adobe Photoshop
Introduction to Digital Photography
Smartphone Photography
Baking Fundamentals
Cake Decorating
Wine Appreciation
Wine O'Clock


Mind & Body

American Sign Language
Beginning Arabic Part 1
Beginning Arabic Part 2
Cherokee Language Learners
English as a Second Language
Beginning French
Italian for Food Lovers
Beginning Korean
Conversational Spanish for Beginners
Intermediate Spanish

Martial Arts and Self Defense
Massage: Shiatsu Acupressure for Everyone
Medical Hypnotism
Movement Mindfulness: Introduction
to the Alexander Technique
Nighttime Yoga
Vinyasa Yoga
Yang-Style Tai Chi Quan

Music & Games

Words & Images

Billiards for Beginners
Beginning Guitar
Intermediate Guitar

Academic Networking
The Art of Public Speaking
Acting and Character Creation
Cartoon Storytelling
Creative Writing
Introduction to Poetry Writing
Spoken Word


Office Location

Underground Floor of Norris (map)

Directions to Norris Center

About Mini Courses

The Norris Mini Course program offers a wide variety of non-credit, recreational, classes for adults four times a year, beginning in October, January, April, and July. Established in 1973, the program continues to offer over 30 recreational courses. Our classes offer intense individual attention while operating in a relaxed, informal environment. Registration is open to the Northwestern community and the public. We welcome students from Chicago, Skokie, Wilmette, Evanston, or anywhere in the Chicagoland area!

Most classes take place once a week in the evening, in an attempt to provide an escape from the daily academic or work routine. These classes are a fantastic way to unwind, make new friends, and learn something new, all at the same time. Most Mini Courses are held inside the Norris University Center, located on Northwestern University’s beautiful Evanston campus.

Interested Instructors

Spring 2018 Mini Course Instructor applications are now closed. Keep on the lookout for applications for Fall Mini Courses Instructors to open in a few months!

This is what some Mini Course students have to say about their classes:

“The environment is casual and fun – filled with laughter and sharing of ideas…”

“The instructor is amazing! There is a very good balance of simple and advanced techniques so that there is something for everyone at every level.”

“I loved this course so much–I can’t believe how much I learned–all so practical, all fun, it’s been absolutely awesome!”

“He is a great, inspirational instructor and he breaks down steps so they’re easy to follow.”

“…Life-changing curriculum.”

“It was the perfect end to a stressful Monday and we were able to really learn some great dance moves.”

“I really appreciated the freedom that our instructor granted us…Students can work at their own pace and level.”

“We learned a lot in such a small time frame.”

“I liked how much the instructor knew and wanted to teach. He was entertaining and very vivacious.”

“Great value and great instruction.”

“The atmosphere was really relaxed and the content was really well explained.”

“Taking the course was an escape from the academic week while still learning something new.”

Letter of Enrollment and Completion

Should you require or desire a letter certifying your participation in and successful completion of a Mini Course, please submit a request TWO weeks prior to the last session of your class. You will receive your letter 7-14 business days after your submission.

Mini Courses is a recreational, non-credited leisure learning program. We cannot offer credit or grades for our Mini Courses or Workshops.

Click to request your Letter of Completion

Subsidies for Mini Courses

Norris Mini Courses offers subsidies to reduce the cost of Mini Course programs for students in need and non-exempt staff on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline for Fall Mini Courses subsidies will be in October. All are encouraged to apply!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Pick a class (note: subsidies may not be used toward Food & Drink courses or One-day Mini Workshops).
  2. Fill out the application and submit to with the subject line “Subsidy Request.” Applications are due by the specified due date.  No exceptions!
  3. Subsidies will be awarded on a rolling first-come, first served basis. No proof of income is required.
  4. Subsidies are awarded from a finite pool of funds. Applicants are able to designate a subsidy amount between $10 and $30. We encourage applicants to ask for only exactly what they need to participate in our programs, so that funds can be used to support more people.
  5. Subsidy recipients will enroll over the phone with the Norris Mini Courses Office or given a special code by Norris Box office.
  6. Northwestern staff and the Evanston community is not eligible for subsidies.

Payment Methods

MasterCard, Visa, American Express, cash, and check (payable to “Northwestern University”). We only accept checks drawn on a U.S. bank and payable in U.S. funds.