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Certificate Program In Substance Abuse Studies

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Substance Abuse Certificate Program Disclaimer:

Courses in this Certificate Program have been approved by NC Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board (NCSAPPB).  Non-degree seeking students and degree seeking students that are not pursuing the Master of Social Work (MSW) may need additional courses and/or may have supervision requirements for licensure by the Board.  Completion of this Certificate does not imply that a student meets all the educational requirements of the NCSAPPB.  MSW students must ensure that they are enrolled in and complete the appropriate related courses and field placement(s) to satisfy the educational component of the Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist certification as prescribed by the NCSAPPB.  It is the responsibility of all students seeking this certificate to refer to the NCSAPPB website at to review the licensure process.



The mission of the Certificate Program in Substance Abuse Studies is to provide behavioral health professionals knowledge and skills that will enhance their abilities to provide quality care for individuals and families adversely affected by substance misuse, substance abuse, and substance dependence.



This graduate certificate program provides structured and applied instruction that is directly related to the needs of individuals and families suffering from the devastating effects of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Other Drugs (ATOD). The program also provides professional development opportunities to train social workers, psychologists, school social workers, counselors, and educators on the dynamics of substance misuse, substance abuse and substance dependence, particularly in terms of its impact on marginalized populations and military families. It will benefit persons that work in fields of mental health, family services, youth services, faith-based agencies, veteran centers, hospitals and health agency settings. Students take a confluence of courses in areas related to substance abuse and substance dependence treatment, programs and services as well as courses addressing knowledge, skills and attitudes specific to clinical social work practice with families struggling with substance related disorders. The program benefits a person with an undergraduate degree who is not in the position to pursue a master's degree thereby accelerating the number of persons trained in this field. Course work may be used as continuing education credit toward professional licensure or as possible course electives towards graduate degree completion.  This program enhances persons' marketability in finding employment with organizations that serve these vulnerable populations.


  • Social workers
  • Mental and behavioral health professionals
  • Human service professionals
  • Educators
  • Persons with an undergraduate degree who are not in the position to pursue a master's degree


The Certificate Program in Substance Abuse Studies requires participants to successfully complete 12 hours of required graduate courses.



  • Must have a graduate degree and be a mental health professional who serves or plans to provide services to substance dependent individuals and/or their families.


  • Must be a graduate student pursuing degrees in social work, psychology, counseling or sociology.


  • Must have an undergraduate degree in social work, psychology, counseling or sociology.



  • SWRK 625 Social Work Practice with Chemically Dependent Families
  • SWRK 626 Substance Abuse Intervention
  • SWRK 631 Alcohol, Tobacco, & Other Drugs: Biomedical Basis
  • SWRK 632 Alcohol, Tobacco, & Other Drugs: Social Work Practice with Culturally Diverse Populations


ENROLLMENT (Non-degree Seeking Students)

Individuals seeking to enroll in graduate courses for the purposes of self-improvement must submit each of the following:

  • A completed graduate admission application
  • A $40.00 nonrefundable application fee
  • An official baccalaureate degree transcript and official transcripts from all other universities/colleges attended.
  • 3 Recommendation Forms (Please click to print the form)
  • Personal statement

Enrollment in graduate courses as a professional development student is subject to the following conditions:

  • Admission as a professional development student does not ensure admission to a graduate degree.
  • Applicants admitted as professional development students who decide to seek admission to a degree program must submit another application for admission.
  • No more than twelve credits earned as a professional development student may be applied to a graduate degree program.
  • Professional development students are not eligible for any type of financial aid, including scholarships, grants, loans, or work-study.

ENROLLMENT (Degree Seeking Students)

Applicants for admission to master's degree programs are evaluated on the basis of their potential to engage successfully in graduate study as reflected in the overall academic record, letters of recommendation, and official scores on the GRE, MAT, or GMAT. Applicants should consult the program descriptions for specific requirements regarding grade point average (GPA), test scores, and other considerations. A complete application for degree-seeking applicants consists of the following:

  • A completed graduate admission application
  • A $40.00 nonrefundable application fee
  • An official baccalaureate degree transcript (and official transcripts from all other graduate study)
  • 3 recommendation forms from persons qualified to evaluate the applicant's abilities to pursue graduate study; please see desired program description for required number of letters.
  • Official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). 
  • Written Statement - Required by some programs; see specific program for guidelines.


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