Master of Professional Studies in Addictions Counseling

U of M Addictions Counseling student

The Master of Professional Studies in Addictions Counseling (ADDC) prepares counselors new to the profession, as well as those with an allied license (MSW, LP, LPC, LMFT, LPCC), to treat clients with substance use disorders by providing a strong theoretical and practical foundation in evidence-based treatment modalities, clinical skills, professional and ethical responsibilities, and client advocacy. You will experience a cutting-edge curriculum that addresses the biological, social, and psychological factors of addiction.

Why Choose the ADDC Program?

You will benefit from:

  • A faculty of distinguished educators, clinicians, and public policy advocates
  • A case-based learning approach to enhance understanding of counseling theories and techniques
  • A curriculum that integrates co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders
  • Course content that addresses the counseling needs of a diverse society
  • An inclusive, welcoming student environment


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To earn the Master of Professional Studies in Addictions Counseling, complete 30 credits. You have up to five years to complete the degree.

Course Course Number Credits
Foundations in Addiction Studies ADDS 5011 2
Introduction to Evidence-Based Practices and the Helping Relationship ADDS 5021 3
Applied Psychopharmacology ADDS 5031 2
Methods & Models I: Motivational Counseling ADDS 5041 2
Methods & Models II: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ADDS 5051 2
Foundations of Group Work ADDS 5061 3
Foundations of Co-occurring Disorders ADDS 5071 2
Multicultural Foundations of Behavioral Health ADDS 5081 3
Assessment and Treatment Planning I ADDS 5091 3
Professional Seminar I ADDS 5121 1
Internship in Behavioral Health I ADDS 5996 4

Electives to be determined with adviser (3 credits).

For course descriptions, visit the University Catalog.
For course details (date, time, instructor, etc.), visit the Class Search

The required ADDS 5996 Internship Seminar serves as a capstone experience where students apply the knowledge and skills learned in their previous courses in a clinical setting. Students receive close supervision from both site and faculty supervisors, participate in formal on-campus clinical supervision meetings, and actively engage in weekly required postings and practice assignments.

Upon completion of the internship, each student undergoes an extensive formal written and oral evaluation process to ensure ethical and competent clinical practice.

Career Outlook

A Growing Field

Fact: During the 2016 legislative session, the Commissioner of Human Services was directed to reform the treatment continuum for individuals experiencing addiction disorders.

Fact: The Minnesota Department of Human Resources decreed 2017 to be the year of addiction treatment transformation.

“Currently, there is a shortage of addictions practitioners in the state of Minnesota,” says Debra Wamsley, Director of Graduate Studies. “Our degree effectively prepares future clinicians to successfully practice in this rapidly changing landscape.”

Furthermore, she continues, the Commissioner’s proposal will promote greater access to assessment, treatment, and recovery, and a more robust set of prevention and recovery services.

A Thriving Job Market

The job outlook for substance abuse counselors is excellent, according to the US Department of Labor. Employment of substance abuse counselors is expected to grow 22 percent through 2024 (US Department of Labor, Dec. 17, 2015).

This demand is expected to be strong for a variety of reasons.

  • As society becomes more knowledgeable about addiction, more people may choose to seek treatment.
  • Drug offenders are increasingly being sent to treatment programs rather than jail.
  • Many counselors are reaching retirement age.
  • More employers are offering employee assistance programs (EAP) that provide alcohol and drug abuse services.

Visit Career and Internship Services for more alumni data, job search and internship resources, and employment listings.

Connect with other U of M students and alumni to share job, internship, and volunteer information on GoldPASS.


Fall Semester Application Deadlines: March 1

Spring Semester Application Deadlines: October 1

Admission to the ADDC program is competitive and all applications are reviewed holistically by committee to ensure a good fit for academic success. Notification of admission decisions is made within four to six weeks after the application deadline.


The following items are required for admission:

  • a bachelor's degree from an accredited post-secondary US institution, or its foreign equivalent
  • an undergraduate GPA of 3.0*

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required.

* In exceptional circumstances, promising applicants with lower GPA may be considered for the program. An explanation for GPA and evidence that academic success at the graduate level is achievable must be addressed in the application (extenuating circumstances).

Transferring Credits

You may be allowed to transfer up to 12 credits of previous graduate-level course work (credits must appear on a graduate transcript) from other institutions or the University of Minnesota, as determined by the ADDC Director of Graduate Studies.

  1. First, access the online application.
  2. For the question “What is your proposed major and degree objective?” choose: Addictions Counseling - MPS under “Twin Cities Campus Programs.”
  3. Attach all required application materials electronically to your application.

Applicant Statements

  • Statement 1: Your personal statement (two to three pages, double-spaced) should address pertinent aspects of your background and academic qualifications, and should demonstrate a strong interest in substance use disorders, including documentation of any relevant training or employment.
  • Statement 2: This statement is optional.
  • Extenuating Circumstances: If your undergraduate GPA is below 3.0, you must provide an explanation.

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required. Letters should be solicited from individuals who can provide a candid assessment of your abilities (including strengths and weaknesses), personality, character, and potential for graduate-level academic success and professional achievement.


Unofficial transcripts or academic records for each institution (even if you didn’t receive a degree) should be uploaded directly to the online application. International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English. If possible, make sure the institution has put your name on the transcript/record.

Resume or CV

Submit a current resume or CV.

GRE Scores

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required.

Application Fee

A nonrefundable application fee of $75 ($95 for international) is due on submission.

If your native language is not English, please submit scores from the TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS English proficiency examination. Read more about required scores.

  • Required TOEFL scores are 84 or above, with section scores of at least 21 on writing and at least 19 on reading.
  • Required IELTS score is 6.5, with section scores of at least 6.5 for both writing and reading.
  • Required MELAB score is 84.

International students interested in the Master of Professional Studies in Addictions Counseling should contact the International Student and Scholar Service for information on visa status.

Credit courses taken before admission may be applied toward this degree. You can take a graduate-level course before being admitted if:

  • the course is graduate-level (4xxx-level or above), and
  • you register for credit as a non-degree graduate student and pay graduate-level tuition.

Follow these steps to register:

  1. Download and submit a Registration Request for Graduate Credit for Non-degree Students Form. Registration for non-degree students is not available online.
  2. Send the form to the department offering the courses for authorization. Use this form each term until you are admitted to a program.
  3. Upon authorization, the department offering the graduate course will forward the form to the registrar or provide you with further instructions.
  4. You will receive confirmation and payment instructions by email.

More information can be found on the One Stop page for non-degree students.

For course descriptions, visit the University Catalog.

For course details (date, time, instructor, etc.), visit the Class Search

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Contact Us

612-624-4000 or 800-234-6564 |

20 Ruttan Hall, 1994 Buford Ave, Saint Paul, MN 

In-Person Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Phone Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.