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Graduate Certificate in Addiction Studies

The Graduate Certificate in Addiction Studies program is designed to provide graduate level counseling skills in the area of chemical dependency and addiction. The focus of the program is to develop professionals able to provide individualized services informed by evidence-based practices integrating a variety of models, theories, and research-based approaches to diverse cultural and sub-cultural populations.

With this program, students will gain an understanding of the inter-relatedness of addictions and chemical use and dependency on individuals, families, and society. A goal of the program is to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to be able to recognize and treat individuals with chemical and co-occurring concerns. A variety of treatment approaches will be studied with an emphasis on chemical health. Through their coursework and practicum experiences, students will be expected to develop competency in the following twelve core functions of an alcohol and drug counselor:

  • Screening
  • Intake
  • Orientation
  • Assessment
  • Treatment planning
  • Counseling
  • Case management crisis management
  • Crisis intervention
  • Client education
  • Referral
  • Reports and record keeping
  • Consultation with other professionals regarding treatment and services

Working As An Alcohol and Drug Counselor

Upon completion of the Graduate Certificate in Addiction Studies program and obtaining licensure from the State of Minnesota, students may find themselves working in a hospital, private practice, or treatment center, or perhaps they may be providing Chemical Health assessments for employers or the court system. Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors perform a variety of duties that require academic as well as practical experience.


The curriculum is based on the requirements outlined in the requirements for 2008 licensure in the Minnesota 2007 Statutes for Alcohol and Drug Counselor Licensing. Licensure applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree with 18 semester credits of alcohol and drug coursework followed by an 880-hour practicum. All courses within the certificate program are aimed at higher level thinking focusing on analyzing and synthesizing providing graduates the depth and breadth of knowledge needed to succeed in today’s chemical health workforce.

Dual Program Option: M.A. in Counseling and Psychological Services and Graduate Certificate in Addiction Studies

Saint Mary's new Dual Program Option prepares students to work in the field of mental health counseling as well as alcohol and drug treatment. The program is designed to help students meet the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy's educational requirements for licensure as Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors (LADC), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC).

The emphasis of this dual program option is an integration of both mental health and substance use theory and skills to be applied to the profession. Students in the dual program have the opportunity to develop skills academically and experientially to work in mental health, chemical health, dual-disorder, criminal justice, hospital, assessment, detox, residential, and outpatient settings.

This option combines the requirements of the M.A. in Counseling and Psychological Services and the Graduate Certificate in Addiction Studies in as few as 60 credits. An Integrated Practicum of 880 hours is based on the requirements of the State of Minnesota's practicum requirements for licensure as a LPC/LPCC and LADC.

Degree Requirements

Gainful Employment Information

Effective July 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education requires institutions with non-degree programs defined as “Gainful Employment programs” to disclose certain information about these programs.

Graduate Certificate in Addiction Studies Gainful Employment Report


Daniel Lawrence  | |  612-238-4529