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Online Graduate Certificate in Addiction Studies

Bring hope and healing to those with addiction.

Help individuals get a fresh start and introduce the healing process for families. Our online certificate program is designed for individuals holding a bachelor’s degree in a healthcare-related discipline who aspire to provide advanced counseling skills in areas of chemical dependency and addiction. You’ll be prepared to provide individualized services rooted in evidence-based practices and learn how to apply various models, theories, and research-based approaches to diverse cultural groups.

Through this intensive two-year online certificate program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, you’ll learn from practitioner-led faculty, delving into a comprehensive understanding of addiction, chemical use, and dependency. Learn about their profound impact on individuals, families, and communities. As a graduate of our program, you’ll gain the confidence to identify and address those with chemical and co-occurring issues.

Explore diverse treatment approaches with an emphasis on chemical health. Through immersive coursework and practicum experiences, you’ll develop competencies to pursue a career as an alcohol and drug counselor.

Rooted in our Lasallian Catholic identity, Saint Mary’s fosters a transformative journey toward ethical lives of service and leadership. This mission, ingrained in our daily actions, will serve as a compass as you help underserved and underrepresented communities.

Here, the journey of hope begins, and your professional career thrives. Join our program to start making a difference in the lives of others — and in your own life.

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per credit


start dates

2 years

completion time





per credit


start dates

2 years

completion time


Program Highlights

  •  Expand your career opportunities by pursuing the Dual Track: M.A. in Counseling and Psychological Services and Addiction Studies Graduate Certificate program option. This unique pathway allows you to train simultaneously as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPC/LPCC) and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC), equipping you with the specialized skills needed to address mental health and addiction challenges.
  • Gain hands-on experience and make a positive impact in the community during a comprehensive 880-hour practicum. Develop practical skills while helping individuals with addictions, alcohol and drug abuse problems, and co-occurring mental health concerns. Practicum sites include those specializing in serving historically underserved populations, allowing you to focus on an area of passion.
  • Discover scholarships available through our partnerships with several regional and national employers. See if your employer is part of our Trusted Partnership Program. Learn more.

What You'll Learn

  • Theories and models of chemical dependency
  • Counseling techniques focusing on family, systems, and socio-cultural factors
  • The 12 core functions of drug and alcohol counseling for treatment
  • Effective methods of treatment for clients from culturally diverse backgrounds
  • Chemical dependency counseling, integrating awareness and discernment
  • Ethical and professional counseling practices
  • Financial aid may be available for this program, helping to ease the stress of paying for courses so you can focus on what matters most.


Ready to apply? Learn about taking the next steps.

    • Applicants may apply for admission to graduate programs at any time during the year. 
    •  Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of less than 2.75 will be considered for conditional admission.
    • Applicants may complete an interview with a program administrator as part of the admission process.

  • Students with transcripts from universities located outside of the United States or a waiver country listed here are required to take and pass English Proficiency testing.

    Saint Mary’s accepts:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 72
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.0
    • Michigan Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) with a minimum score of 74%
    • International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP) with a minimum score of 4.0 or Pearson Test of English with a score of 51
    • Duolingo with a minimum score of 100. Please see our academic catalog for a list of all approved waiver countries.

  • Your application must include the following items:

    • A completed application form
    • An official transcript(s) issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. 
    •  All applicants must submit a personal statement that includes:
      • brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
      • statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and their reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
      • description of the areas the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
      • personal information the applicant wishes to share.
    • Three letters of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability.
    • A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.

    Official Transcripts should be sent to Office of Admission

    Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
    2500 Park Avenue
    Minneapolis, MN 55404

    Or electronically:

    Please reach out with any questions about the application process.

    Phone: (612) 728-5100

    Toll-free: (866) 437-2788


    • Spring 2024: Friday, Dec. 1, 2023
    • Summer 2024: Friday, April 5, 2024
    • Fall 2024: Friday, Aug. 2, 2024

    • Spring 2024: Jan. 8
    • Summer 2024: May 6
    • Fall 2024: Sept. 2

  • You can expect to be notified about your acceptance approximately two weeks following your application completion date.

Tuition & Fees

We help you find ways to finance your education. Talk to your Enrollment Counselor about scholarships, loans, and other ways to make your education affordable.

Course Catalog

You’ll take courses such as: 

  • Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Addiction Services 
  • Multicultural Aspects of Addiction
  • Families and Addictive Related Issues Across the Lifespan
  • Individual & Group Counseling & Case Management

The course catalog provides complete information about course requirements.

Career Outlook

Upon completion of this program and licensure from the State of Minnesota, pursue a career as a mental health or chemical health counselor, treatment program supervisor, in-patient mental or chemical health treatment provider, or intensive outpatient treatment provider. Seek a career in private practice, hospitals, or treatment centers.

Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in Minnesota

$60,589 per year*

Addiction Counselor

$48,520 per year*

Related Programs

Advance your career with flexible programs designed for busy professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • At Saint Mary’s, we want you to succeed, and we help you do so, inside and outside of the classroom: 

    Student Central: Your one-stop for student services.

    Library: Resources and services are available 24/7 to all students.

    Writing Center: Offers virtual and face-to-face services to support students. 

    Career Services: Can help you develop your career-readiness skills at any point in your education. 

  • If you are in a degree-granting program and enrolled at least half time, you may be eligible for financial aid.

    Learn more here.

  • Life gets busy. Whether you’re raising a family, pursuing your career, or playing an active role in your community, we know you want to keep up with what you love while you take the next step in your career. That’s why Saint Mary’s online programs are flexible and designed to fit your demanding life.

    Learn more here.

  • Saint Mary’s offers a dual program option to prepare you for work in the field of mental health counseling as well as alcohol and drug treatment. The program is designed to help you 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).

    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.

    The emphasis of this dual program option is an integration of both mental health and substance use theory and skills that can be applied to the profession. You’ll have the opportunity to develop skills academically and experientially to work in various settings:

    • Mental health
    • Chemical health
    • Dual-disorder
    • Criminal justice
    • Hospital 
    • Assessment
    • Detox
    • Residential
    • Outpatient settings

News from the School of Health and Human Services


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors, at (visited Sept. 23, 2023).

Indeed, Licensed professional counselor salary in Minneapolis, MN at–MN (visited Sept. 28, 2023).