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COVID-19 Update: The University of Minnesota will offer online, or alternative, instruction through the end of summer term 2020. Read CCAPS's operational updates or visit the Safe Campus website for the University's operational updates.

Master of Professional Studies in Addictions Counseling

Adele Gonzaga

New Accelerated Pathway Available!

You may be eligible to earn the MPS in Addictions Counseling (ADDC) in as quickly as five terms by opting into the ADDC Accelerated Cohort. Students who take the Accelerated Cohort for fall 2020 will progress quickly through the program, develop deep connections with their fellow cohort students, and receive a tuition discount over the course of their program. 

What You'll Learn in the ADDC Program

The ADDC program 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 strong theoretical and practical foundations 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.

    Accelerated Cohort

    The ADDC Accelerated Cohort is intended for students who have the capacity to attend daytime, evenings, or weekend courses full-time for five terms, in both in-person and online environments. The Accelerated Cohort admits for fall start only, and admitted students who are unable to take the courses as scheduled would simply be moved to the traditional ADDC program to complete the degree at their own pace. 

    Course Schedule*
    Year Term Courses Term Credits
    Year 1 Fall ADDS 5011 (2 cr)
    ADDS 5021 (3 cr)
    ADDS 5071 (2 cr)
    Year 1 Spring ADDS 5031 (2 cr)
    ADDS 5041 (2 cr)
    ADDS 5051 (2 cr)
    Year 1 Summer ADDS 5091 (3 cr)
    ADDS 5061 (3 cr)
    ADDS 5121 (1 cr)
    Year 2 Fall ADDS 5996 (2 cr)
    ADDS 5081 (3 cr)
    Year 2 Spring ADDS 5996 (2 cr)
    IBH 6XXX elective (3 cr)
          30 total

    * For course titles, see Requirements and Courses

    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 notes 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 2028 (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 2020 Semester Application Deadline: July 1

    Spring Semester Application Deadline: 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 sent within four to six weeks after the application deadline. (There is no separate application for the Accelerated Cohort.)


    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).

    1. First, access the online application.
    2. Attach all required application materials electronically to your application.

    Applicant Statements

    • Professional 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.
      • If you are interested in opting in to the ADDC Accelerated Cohort, indicate this in your professional statement. 
    • Diversity statement: Optional.
    • Extenuating Circumstances statement: If your undergraduate GPA is below 3.0, please 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 is due on submission.

    You may be able to transfer up to 10 credits of graduate-level coursework completed prior to admission, with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

    Transfer coursework requirements:

    • Taken at the University of Minnesota or another accredited institution 
    • Completed at the graduate level and listed on a graduate transcript
    • Earned a grade of B or better
    • Completed no more than five years prior to admission to the program 

    Transfer Coursework Taken as an Undergraduate

    You may be able to transfer up to six of the ten transfer coursework credits taken as an undergraduate, with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies and the Associate Director for Graduate Programs.

    Prebaccalaureate transfer coursework requirements:

    • Completed as a prebaccalaureate student pursing an undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota and listed on your undergraduate transcript
    • Taken at the graduate level
    • Earned a grade of B or higher
    • Completed no more than five years prior to admission to the program
    • Not counted toward completion of a bachelor’s degree

    In order to transfer your graduate-level credits completed as a prebaccalaureate student, submit:

    1. A petition form, signed by an undergraduate program advisor, confirming credits were not used toward an undergraduate degree 
    2. Syllabi from courses, preferred
    3. Full APAS report

    The DGS and the Associate Director for Graduate Programs will review the information and jointly decide on the use of the credits in your graduate program.

    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 nondegree graduate student and pay graduate-level tuition.

    Follow these steps to register:

    1. Download and submit a Registration Request for Graduate Credit for Nondegree Students Form. Registration for nondegree 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 nondegree students.

    To browse or find courses, visit the U of M Schedule Builder.

    Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

    We want to ensure you have access to the education you want. Find out more about financial aid or talk to our scholarship advisor.

    Let's Connect

    You can learn more about the Addictions Counseling program in a way that works for you. Enrollment Advisor Steve Wicks is here to help.

    Steve Wicks

    Or you can ask Steve a question at ccapssteve@umn.edu or 612-301-6127.

    Do you have a more detailed question or want to tell us a little bit about yourself before the meeting? Fill out this brief questionnaire.

    Meet Steve

    Steve works with prospective students who are interested in one of our graduate programs or certificates. He is happy to answer your questions about our degrees, admission requirements, and the application procedure. In his free time, he can usually be found in the woods or on the water, or cheering on all the Wisconsin sports teams. 

    Stay Informed

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