Graduate Professional Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling can help you advance in your current clinical role or pursue a new career path in the field of addiction counseling and treatment.

Earning a Graduate Professional Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling provides students with a comprehensive background in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders. Students will gain essential knowledge and skills preparing them for the challenges of this demanding role. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors work with people dealing with alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, or other behavioral health problems. They provide treatment and recovery support options to help the client recover from addiction or modify problem behaviors.

Courses in the certificate program focus on psychological and chemical dependency counseling, group counseling, advanced addictions counseling, psychopharmacology, and co-occurring disorders, with an emphasis on application.


The USF Graduate Professional Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling is accredited by the Illinois Certification Board. Students completing the program will have fulfilled the educational requirements to become a Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC) and are ready to take the CADC certification examination.


The certificate program in Substance Abuse Counseling is designed for people with master’s degrees seeking additional accreditation.

  • $399 a credit hour
  • On-campus in Joliet, Illinois and cohort sites by arrangement
  • Small classes led by experienced faculty/counselors
  • Designed to prepare for the CADC exam

Graduate certificates are designed to enhance your credentials if you are interested in taking your career to the next level, and are looking for new professional opportunities.

Professional Certificate

The faculty at USF are focused on a mission of service to others with respect, integrity, and compassion, well situated to help you prepare for the different career pathways in substance abuse counseling.

The certificate program courses and internships are designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills to pursue employment or career advancement as an addiction professional.

Getting Started

You will need to have earned a master’s degree in counseling, social work, nursing, education (elementary, middle, or secondary levels), or criminal justice. Start with our free application online, provide an official transcript of your bachelor’s degree, and then register for courses during our fall, spring, or summer registration periods.

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