Certificate in Addiction Counseling

The purpose of the Addiction Counseling Certificate program is to prepare professionals for specialized clinical work with clients suffering from substance use disorders (e.g., alcohol or drug abuse/dependence, sometimes termed addictive behaviors or chemical dependency). The program is intended for individuals who already have some background in a counseling-related field

The 18-credit program is designed to be completed in one academic year and is a precursor to obtaining certification or licensure as an addiction, substance abuse, or drug and alcohol abuse counselor. Courses are offered in the evening, following the 8-week “module” format. Students typically attend classes on two evenings per week. Enrollments permitting, accepted students will be able to begin either in late August/early September or in late January. Those beginning in August/September may graduate the following May; those beginning in January should graduate in December.

The curriculum guides students from the basic science of drug action, through the roles played by drug and alcohol use and abuse in society, to the essential elements of clinical practice: all the way from understanding receptor mechanisms of chemical dependency to deciding what next to say to a troubled client. The clinical emphasis is on empirically supported treatments.

Upon completion of this program, students will have completed all educational requirements for certification or licensure as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor in the State of Connecticut as well as certification by the Connecticut Certification Board (CCB), an affiliate of the IC&RC. Licensure (LADC) is available only to persons holding an appropriate master’s degree; those with lesser academic credentials may, however, pursue certification. Supervised experience in the field and a passing score on the International Certification Examination are also necessary before licensure or certification may be conferred.

Admissions Standards

Students meeting either of the following standards may be admitted:

  • Students holding an earned master’s degree in a relevant field are eligible. Relevant fields include counseling, social work, family therapy, psychology, human services, expressive arts therapies, public health, and nursing. Graduate-level coursework in counseling theories, counseling techniques, and psychopathology is required, either as part of the master’s degree program or separately. Applicants who hold an appropriate degree, but lack one or more of these courses, may (with the approval of program director and department chair) be permitted to complete that coursework as part of the certificate program. This would increase the total number of credits required for program completion.
  • Students lacking a master’s degree must meet all of the following criteria:
    • An earned bachelor’s degree with a major in psychology, social work, or a closely related field and a cumulative grade-point average (G.P.A.) of 3.30 or higher;
    • Completion of at least 9 graduate-level credits (courses in counseling theories, counseling techniques, and psychopathology) with grades of “B” or above in each course. These could be taken at Albertus Magnus concurrently with some Addiction Counseling certificate courses, but admission to the certificate program would be provisional until they were successfully completed.
    • At least 1,000 hours’ employment (e.g., one year as a half-time employee) as a direct care provider in a facility that serves clients diagnosed with substance use disorders.

Students in the latter stages of relevant master’s degree programs at this school (i.e., the M.S. in Human Services and M.A. in Art Therapy programs) may be admitted provisionally prior to degree completion if their schedules make this feasible.

Admission is competitive, and the entire application will be considered. Meeting the basic standards does not guarantee admission. Conversely, students falling slightly short of the preferred standards may be able to qualify based on other achievements.

Admission Requirements

  • A completed application and a $50 non-refundable application fee
  • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges attended
  • For non-native English speakers, minimum TOEFL score of 550 paper-based, 80 internet-based, or 213 computer-based
  • Proof of immunization in accordance with Connecticut State requirements
  • For applicants who intend to use Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Educational Benefits
    • Military, university and college transcripts
    • Certification of Eligibility letter or, for reservists, Notice of Basic Eligibility
    • Veteran’s Intent to Register form
  • A personal statement describing the candidate’s reasons for pursuing this credential. This statement should be between 250 and 500 words (i.e., 1– 2 pages) in length.
  • A resume or C.V
  • Two letters of recommendation from persons who can judge the applicant’s suitability. Ideally, one of these will be from a current or former professor, the other from a current or former supervisor, but having both come from the same type of source is also acceptable.

Application materials should be sent to:
Albertus Magnus College
Division of Professional and Graduate Studies
700 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511-1189