Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Addiction Counseling (Alcohol and Drug)

Psychology Department

Pamela O'Brien, Dean, School of Arts, Sciences and Business
Maria Mouratidis, Psy.D., Chair
Natasha Tonge, Ph.D.

Degrees offered



Main Campus

The post-baccalaureate concentration objectives of the initiative at Notre Dame of Maryland University is directly informed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Addiction Counseling Competencies.

Post-Baccalaureate Concentration in Addiction Counseling Objectives

  1. Students will acquire a transdisciplinary foundation of the complex contributions and underpinnings of addiction and demonstrate content knowledge by being able to explain the nature, characteristics, and mechanisms of addiction across the lifespan informed by current evidenced based scientific literature from a transdisciplinary perspective.
  2. Students will demonstrate readiness for practice in the assessment and intervention techniques consistent with a bachelor’s level certification training in providing clinical services to persons in need of addiction treatment.
  3. Students will demonstrate a working understanding of substance abuse, mental health, and legal systems, will demonstrate skills in effectively navigating these systems in order to access and provide coordinated addiction services for clients, and will demonstrate the ability to work as a member of an interdisciplinary team.
  4. Students will become proficient in the necessary knowledge, skill, and abilities to academically qualify to take the state certification examination to pursue state certification as a certified associate counselor – alcohol and drug (CAC-AD).

Learning Objectives

  1. Students will demonstrate competence in using clinical interviewing in conducting a biopsychosocial assessment and demonstrate skill in the use of clinical assessment instruments in assessing substance related use and abuse disorders.
  2. Students will demonstrate competence in making differential diagnoses and an ability to diagnose co-occurring disorders.
  3. Students will demonstrate competence in developing an integrated treatment plan for treating addiction and co-occurring disorders that may include individual counseling, group counseling, family counseling, and other evidenced based treatments such as 12-step programs.
  4. Students will demonstrate cultural competency and sensitivity to gender in the assessment and treatment of addiction.

Notre Dame of Maryland University will provide the necessary courses consistent with the COMAR regulations in the state of Maryland for students to complete the academic requirements to take the state certification examination. In addition to the completion of academic requirements, per Maryland State regulations, students must complete supervised clinical hours for which the student will be responsible for arranging and completing. The university does not award a degree or certificate in addiction counseling. The State of Maryland awards the professional certificate once the student has satisfied all the academic and supervised experience.

Assessment of learning objectives will be completed through measuring how well students achieve the learning objectives of the required courses. Although some student may decide not to pursue the supervised training required to take the certification examination, the ultimate measure of program effectiveness would be the percentage of students who complete the NDMU program who successfully become a certified associate counselor – alcohol and drug (CAC-AD).

Post-Baccalaureate Concentration in Addiction Counseling (Alcohol and Drug)

1. Student will have already been awarded a Bachelor’s degree in a human service field

2: Requires minimum of 33 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree

     PSY-207 Psychopathology (3 credits) 

     PSY-306 Theories and Techniques of Counseling and Psychotherapy (4 credits) 

     PSY-350 Ethics that includes Alcohol and Drug Counseling Issues (3 credits)

     PSY-450 Group Counseling (4 credits)

     PSY-451 Addictions Treatment Delivery (4 credits)

     PSY-452 Medical Aspects of Chemical Dependency (Pharmacology) (3 credits) 

     PSY-461 Practicum I (4 credits)

     PSY-462 Practicum II (4 credits)

     Choice of 3 of the following:

          PSY-233 Human Development (3 credits) 

          PSY-411 Topics in Substance Related and Addictive Disorder (topic rotates) (3 credits) 

          PSY-453 Family Counseling (4 credits)

          PSY-454 Treatment of Co-occurring Disorders (3 credits) 

3: Have completed not less than 1 year with a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinically supervised experience in alcohol and drug counseling approved by the Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists.

4: Must pass the International Certification Reciprocity Consortium (ICRC)/Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) Examination and the Maryland Law Test