Minor in Counseling


Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential for a variety of careers. Our Minor in Counseling will provide you with both the academic and experiential preparation necessary for working with diverse populations in a variety of fields. The curriculum provides an overview of the theory and practice of human relations skills and strategies; the counseling profession; multiculturalism and diversity; and career preparation; while equipping you with the basic helping skills. Additionally, the minor complements a wide range of academic majors to better prepare you for professional and personal success post-graduation. It will prepare you to work in social services, mental health agencies, businesses and management settings. It also will give you a strong foundation for entry into graduate studies in counseling or other helping professions.

Learning Outcomes

During your program of study, you will:

  • Gain foundational knowledge of the theory and practice of human relations skills and strategies
  • Gain fundamental knowledge of common core areas in counseling
  • Demonstrate general dispositions toward self-reflection, being nonjudgmental and openness to diversity
  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of essential communication skills and introductory helping skills
  • You must complete 18 semester hours for this minor.
  • Elective courses for the minor are chosen to complement your background, interests and career plans.
  • Complete the Minor in Counseling Program Plan Form (PDF).
  • Set up a minor declaration meeting with the CAHE academic counselor at dmiesbauer@niu.edu

Our counseling minor provides both academic and experiential preparation for you in planning your career that will work with diverse populations in diverse settings. The minor is designed to complement a wide range of academic majors and to provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary for professional and personal success postgraduation.

Graduates will be prepared to work in social services, mental health agencies, and virtually any business setting in which strong communication or interpersonal skills are needed. This minor also prepares you for graduate studies in counseling, psychology, social work or related helping professions. This minor does not lead to a license to practice professional counseling or licensure in any other professional helping field.

Coursework Focus

The courses in the minor will present an overview of the counseling profession, exploration of multiculturalism and diversity, development of communication skills and introductory helping skills, and career preparation skills.

The counseling minor is appropriate for undergraduate students with interest in a wide range of careers, including school counseling; rehabilitation counseling or mental health counseling; counseling psychology; clinical psychology; social work; or related fields.

Required Courses (12)

  • COUN 211: Career Planning (3)
  • COUN 400: Exploration in the Counseling Profession (3)
  • COUN 425: Human Relation Skills and Strategies (3)
    • or REHB 493: Counseling in Rehabilitation Services (3)
  • SCL 100: Foundation of Social Change Leadership (3)
    • or SCL 200: Applications of Social Change Leadership (3)

Elective Courses (6)

  • COUN 490: Counseling and Pop Culture (3)
  • COUN 490: Creativity in Counseling (3)
  • COUN 493: Crisis Counseling (3)
  • HDFS 230: Child Development (3)
  • HDFS 280: Human Development, the Family and Society (3)
  • HDFS 284: Introduction to Family Relationships (3)
  • HDFS 477: Domestic Violence and Trauma in the Family (3)
  • HDFS 487: Overview of Marriage and Family Therapy (3)
  • PSYC 102: Introduction to Psychology (Gen Ed) (3)
  • PSYC 225: Lifespan Development (3)
  • REHB 200: Disability in Society (3)
  • REHB 300: Psychiatric Disability in Society (3)
  • REHB 327: Introduction to Rehabilitation Services (3)
  • REHB 493: Counseling in Rehabilitation Services (3)

You may inquire about relevant elective substitutions for department review and approval.


Contact Us

Kimberly A. Hart, Admissions Coordinator
Inquiries about Minor in Counseling

To declare the minor please contact:
Danae Miesbauer
CAHE Academic Counselor

Department of Counseling and Higher Education