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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.



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.

Meet the Staff

Linda Luk | Program Managerlinda-luk.jpeg





Student Supervisors

Kayd Bhagat

Ashley Burwell

Student Attendants

Amina Dayisi

Savannah Alexis Abdul

Helen Pacheco

Isabella Candal





1 session courses are nonrefundable.

Withdrawal deadline: 2 business days before the start of your registered course

Students who withdrawals before the deadline must pay a $15.00 withdrawal fee to obtain a full refund.

For withdrawals after the deadline, there is no withdrawal fee and no refunds will be given. 

To withdraw, please go to the Norris Box Office website and purchase a cancellation fee.

The Mini Courses Program does not issue full or partial refunds for lack of attendance or indifference to the course curriculum. 


We reserve the right to cancel a class at any time for any reason. Should a course be canceled, all registered students will be notified via the email address provided during registration. Full refunds will be provided for any canceled class.


All wine and liquor Mini Course participants must present valid ID that shows they are at least 21 years old at the start of each class session. You will not be permitted into the session without a valid ID.

To buy more than one ticket for a wine or liquor course, or if the billing name is different than the participant’s name, you must enter the name of the person taking the class in the “Recipient’s name” field when registering online. Only this person will be able to use this ticket. If there is no name on the ticket by the first day of class, it will be refunded to the purchaser.

Mini Course participants may not switch into different sessions of wine and liquor courses after registration.


Unless otherwise noted in the class description, courses are limited to patrons 15 years of age and older. Wine and liquor classes are limited to persons 21 years of age or older with a valid photo ID.


Any returned check will incur a $35.00 returned check fee, which must be paid immediately in addition to the original course payment.


Due to increased vigilance nationwide, campus security may be tight, particularly during the evening hours. If you are not a member of the Northwestern community, please note that your enrollment in a Mini Course guarantees you access only to the building in which your course is held and the Norris Center and only during class time. While we welcome you to campus for Mini Courses, campus security personnel are trained to recognize persons who are not students. Please carry a photo ID at all times, and should you be approached, simply state that you are a registered participant in Mini Courses. The Mini Course Office, located on the Underground level of the Norris University Center, (call 847-467-7112 or email will be available to verify your enrollment in the evening hours if necessary.


All dates, times, prices, and other information are subject to change. Please visit our website and social media pages for up-to-date class information (there may have been changes that are not reflected in our print advertisements). If there is a change in schedule, all registered students will be contacted by email and will have the option of receiving a full refund.


We cannot prorate course fees or provide partial refunds if you miss any class session.

Attendance at the first two weeks of the Ceramics Mini Courses is required. If a student fails to attend the first and second scheduled Mini Course (week 1 and week 2) the Mini Course office will drop the student from the course for the rest of the quarter. 

Should you miss a class, you are encouraged to contact the Mini Courses Office for access to missed course material.


An email noting the room location will be sent to the class prior to the first day.

Due to the busy nature of the student center, classes may change location throughout the quarter. We will email students to notify them of a classroom change as soon as possible. Room locations are also listed on the Norris Center's event schedules, located on the TVs near the elevators, and at the Center Desk on the first floor.

Current Instructors

See all current instructor's biographies here



Call for Mini Courses Proposals

Norris Mini Courses is currently accepting proposals from the Northwestern community for Mini Courses for Spring 2023! The Norris Mini Courses program offers a wide variety of non-credit, recreational, classes for the Northwestern and Evanston community. We are looking for new and innovative Mini Courses that appeal to the local community. If you have teaching experience and are a content expert in a subject, consider proposing a Norris Mini Courses.  Below are some topics that do well with Mini Courses.  Please check out our current course offerings online.

  • Introductory language courses
  • Arts (drawing, painting, and photography)
  • Crafts (quilting, crochet, DIY)
  • Music (instrument lessons, songwriting, producing)
  • Food workshops
  • Technology-based workshops (podcasting, video editing, etc)
  • Gaming (chess, mahjong, board game strategy)

Most Mini Courses are taught at Norris University Center on the Evanston campus. Mini Courses offers both 4 - 6 weekly evening courses and one-day workshops. For Spring 2023, most courses will start in the first week of April and conclude in mid-May. This is a great opportunity for faculty, staff, and graduate students to share their knowledge and get paid to do so. Compensation varies. Please complete this online form to propose your course by Monday, Feb 13, 2023, for consideration.

Questions? Email Norris Mini Courses,  

Applications for subsidies for Spring 2024 opens on February 19th, 2024. 

The Norris Mini Course subsidy program is designed to provide financial aid to those who are interested in enrolling but are facing financial barriers. Anyone interested in enrolling in a Norris Mini Course may apply to the subsidy program.  Funds are limited and will be granted on a first-come first served basis. 

Subsidies are given from $10 - $30 and Mini Courses do not require any proof of income to qualify for one. We have a finite funding course, so we rely on an honor system to ensure that funding is granted to those who need it.

If you are approved for one, the subsidy is applied to the Regular registration fee for an unregistered course. Subsidies are not given on courses that students have registered for and are requesting a subsidy portion refund.


  • Subsidies may not be used towards 1 session workshops and any wine courses.
  • Subsidies are not granted to students who have already registered for a course.
  • Subsidies may not be used in combination with any other discount.
  • Subsidy if approved, is good for 1 course per person per quarter.
  • The deadline for subsidy for wheel throwing courses is 9 AM on Friday, February 23rd.  Applicants will be notified before registration starts on Monday, February 26th

Withdrawal and Cancellation 

Fees and policies are still applicable on all subsidy assistance registrations.

How to Apply

Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional Students – SES One Form

  1. The SES One Form is a two-step process.
  2. Complete the Basic Profile.
  3. Complete the Mini Courses Subsidy Fund application.

Faculty, staff, and community members – Click here for the online application

If you are granted a subsidy, you are responsible for registering for the course. Please email if you have any questions.