A family business is a commercial organization owned or controlled by members of a single family or extended family, including relatives related by blood, marriage, or adoption. Family controlled companies are a dominant form of enterprise worldwide. Due to the inextricable link between family and the business, family firms must grapple with unique challenges in that the business decisions are often intertwined with family dynamics, as in the case of succession planning and corporate governance. The purpose of this minor is to provide insight and understanding of the distinct challenges, opportunities, and practices of family/owner-controlled companies.

The minor covers family and business issues of family firms, including family values and culture, managing conflict, sibling rivalry, entitlement, hiring family and nonfamily employees, management of the family business, facilitating growth and change, and succession planning. This minor is intended for those contemplating a career in a family business and for those who plan to consult or provide professional services to family businesses. It will present both a theoretical framework for understanding the family form of business and a practical perspective on working for, or consulting to, a family/owner-controlled business.

This minor is available to non-business majors only. If you're a business major and are interested, you should check out the Undergraduate Concentration in Family Business.

Family Business Minor Curriculum

Below you will find a sample curriculum for the Undergraduate Minor in Family Business. You can find the full set of Family Business Minor requirements in Northeastern's Course Catalog. Please consult the Course Catalog appropriate to your class year and your academic advisor to ensure your coursework is on track.

Required Course

ENTR 2301. Innovation!. 4 Hours.

Designed for students across the entire University who wish to learn about innovation—the creative process, the different types of innovation, how innovations are created, and how innovations can be transformed into commercial reality either as new products or new services and either in startups, existing corporations, and nonprofit entities. Offers students an opportunity to obtain the fundamental insight needed to understand the innovation process and to become a player in it.


Complete three courses, one of which may be chosen from the additional electives list:

ENTR 2215Understanding Family Enterprise
ENTR 3302Managing and Growing the Family Business
ENTR 3401Consulting Operations Growth in SMEs
ENTR 4503Advanced Studies in Family Business

Additional Electives

ARTG 1250Design Process Context and Systems
ARTG 3462Experience Design 1
CS 4500Software Development
CS 4520Mobile Application Development
CS 4550Web Development
ENTR 1201The Entrepreneurial Universe
GAME 2010The Business of Games
GE 1110Engineering Design
GE 5100Product Development for Engineers

Interested? Next Steps

To declare a minor in the D'Amore-McKim School of Business, students should complete the online minor registration form:

Students will be required to log in using their MyNortheastern credentials. Once the form has been submitted, the student will receive a confirmation email to their Northeastern email account and the student record will be updated within 10-14 business days.

To declare a minor, students must have a 2.0 GPA and be a full-time undergraduate student at Northeastern. To graduate with the minor, students must attain a 2.0 GPA in the courses taken for the minor. No classes for the minor may be taken for a pass/fail grade. The minor is posted on the official transcript within one month of graduation.

Other Minors at D'Amore-McKim

The minor in emerging markets introduces students to the challenges and opportunities that face companies in countries that are rapidly developing into more developed world economies.