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Certificate in Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Certificate Level: Graduate
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree
Certificate Type: Post-baccalaureate
Number of Credits to Completion: 18.0
Instructional Delivery: Online
Calendar Type: Quarter
Maximum Time Frame: 1 year
Financial Aid Eligibility: Not aid eligible


This certificate is designed for individuals with bachelor's degrees in psychology, social work, nursing, or other allied health professions who want to advance their knowledge of substance use disorders treatment and supervision practices. It is being offered through the Behavioral Health Counseling Department within the College of Nursing and Health Professions of Drexel University, and is designed for individuals working in health care settings serving people with substance use disorders. The certificate requires the completion of six online courses for a total of 18.0 quarter credits. Completion of this certificate does not in and of itself certify clinical expertise. The required coursework can also be applied toward a specialty focus area for students in the Innovations and Intra/Entrepreneurship Advanced Practice Nursing Track.

Each course focuses on a core competency needed to facilitate recovery from substance abuse. Students will acquire knowledge concerning the etiology of substance use behavior; the bio-psycho-social nature of addiction; substance use patterns across the lifespan and; recovery and relapse prevention. Students will also develop skills related to motivational enhancement, cognitive / behavioral change and workforce supervision.

Program goals

The goal of this certificate program is for students to:

  • Gain an understanding of the bio-psycho-social dynamics of substance use;
  • Develop evidence-based treatment competencies;
  • Gain educational training hours to either obtain or maintain a credential as a drug/alcohol counseling professional.

In and of itself, this certificate does not take the place of supervised, clinical training, but rather serves as one of several possible components required to obtain a professional certification or clinical license to practice.


The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a compliance process that may be required for every student. Some of these steps may take significant time to complete. Please plan accordingly.

Visit the Compliance pages for more information.

Admission Requirements

A baccalaureate degree from an accredited university

Standardized Tests:

Official transcripts must be sent directly to Drexel from all the colleges/universities that you have attended. Transcripts must be submitted in a sealed envelope with the college/university seal over the flap. Please note that transcripts are required regardless of number of credits taken or if the credits were transferred to another school. An admission decision may be delayed if you do not send transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.

Transcripts must show course-by-course grades and degree conferrals. If your school does not notate degree conferrals on the official transcripts, you must provide copies of any graduate or degree certificates.
If your school issues only one transcript for life, you are required to have a course-by-course evaluation completed by an approved transcript evaluation agency
Use our Transcript Lookup Tool to assist you in contacting your previous institutions
If you attended a Diploma School of Nursing and the school was affiliate with a college/university, the official transcript must be submitted from the college for any non-nursing courses for which you received credit.



Personal Statement/ Essay:


Resume highlighting continued professional development.


Clinical/Work/Volunteer Experience:
Clinical experience is recommended, but not required.

International Students:
International applicants, as well as immigrants to the United States and U.S. permanent residents whose native language is not English and who have not received a bachelor's degree or higher in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom, must show proficiency in English speaking as well as listening, writing and reading. American citizens born on U.S. military bases abroad may be waived from the TOEFL requirement after providing documentation of this status. Otherwise, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

If you take the TOEFLiBT exam, you must have:
a minimum combined score for listening, writing, and reading sections of 79 plus a speaking section score of 26 or higher.
a minimum score of 550 or higher and a Test of Spoken English score (TSE) of 55 or higher.

Tuition and Fee Rates:
Please visit the Drexel Online Graduate Certificate in Substance Use Disorders tuition page

Application Link (if outside organization):


For students interested in certification as addictions counselors, all program courses are accredited by the Pennsylvania Certification Board.