Addiction Counseling

Certificate of Graduate Study (C.G.S.) in Addiction Counseling

There is a great need for qualified counselors to assist individuals who experience substance use disorders. Reports in both the media and professional sources highlight the pressing need to expand substance abuse treatment programs and services – to prepare the counselor to treat not only the substance abuse, but also the related challenges that these individuals often face, including struggles with depression, anxiety, interpersonal or relationship difficulties, lack of social support, communication difficulties, and other similar challenges.

The C.G.S. in Addiction Counseling is breaking the mold of traditional substance abuse treatment programs, with a curriculum that emphasizes evidence-based interventions and a skills-based model.  The program prepares students to “treat the whole person” with a focus on helping students develop the practical skills that can be used to assist individuals who struggle with alcohol or drug abuse problems. Students will learn to help clients develop assertion and communication skills to reduce interpersonal conflict (which is a common trigger for drug or alcohol use), or practical strategies to cope with depression, anxiety, or boredom (common triggers for substance use). The program will also teach students how to assist clients in learning how to turn down or refuse offers to drink or get high. 

The curriculum was developed in collaboration with community partners who are experts in substance abuse and behavioral health, resulting in a program that develops the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for when hiring new employees or staff. 

Curriculum Structure

The Certificate in Addiction Counseling requires 18 credits (six 3-credit courses). The program includes two internship courses and four content courses. The curriculum is an integrated, skills-based sequence that emphasizes the integration of two evidence-based counseling interventions: Motivational Interviewing and Marlatt’s cognitive-behavioral therapy Relapse Prevention intervention. The program will prepare students to be eligible to apply for the CADAC credential.

The intention of the C.G.S. program is to raise the standard for the educational preparation of addiction counselors. In contrast to other programs that require that students have a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e., GED), this program requires students to have completed a bachelor’s degree. This requirement will elevate the classroom experience, ensuring students are learning and collaborating with their peers and advancing at the same pace.

The program offers a fall semester start and for students who take 2 courses a term, the program can be completed in one calendar year.

Prerequisites: B.A. or B.S.

Application requirements

In addition to the online application you must submit:

  • an application fee (waived for Assumption students and alumni)
  • all official college transcripts
  • three professional letters of recommendation
  • current resume
  • 600-word personal statement

International candidates need to also provide official TOEFL scores and transcript evaluations.