UC San Diego Extension Certificate Programs
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Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Certificate

UCSD Extension's Professional Certificate Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling provides the comprehensive course work and training needed to succeed in a very challenging and demanding career in the healthcare field. The program is designed for individuals interested in getting started in the field, as well as those working in it. NOTE: Individuals entering the program should have at least one year of sobriety, if applicable. Having less than that will make it very difficult to secure a practicum site, which could significantly delay or prevent completion of the program.
The program covers the essential areas of

  • Psychopharmacology
  • Recovery
  • Treatment team coordination
  • Counseling
  • Community services
  • Group leadership

A practicum is also required to earn the certificate. In order to participate in it, you must have minimally completed and passed (C- or better) the following courses (preferably all courses should be completed first):

  • Chemical Dependency I
  • Chemical Dependency II
  • Law and Ethics for Addiction Professionals
  • Applied Skills for Group Dynamics and Facilitation
  • Case Management

The practicum consists of 255 hours of field work during which you also accrue 45 hours of instruction by attending workshops and other educational opportunities as directed by the practicum coordinator.

You may begin the practicum in any quarter. Contact the program representative, 858-534-9265, to get started. You are responsible for obtaining a practicum site; however, the practicum coordinator can provide suggestions. In addition to the guidance provided by the coordinator, you will also work under a site supervisor. You have one year to complete the requirements, although most students complete in much less. To extend completion time beyond one year requires students to enroll again for the full fee.

UC San Diego Extension Certificate Programs

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Certificate Course Matrix
Course Title Course Number Units FA WI SP SU
Required Courses (All courses are required.)
Cultural, Social, and Historical Overview of Alcohol and Drug Related Problems
L   O  
Introduction to Counseling Models
L,O O    
Chemical Dependency I: Disease, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Pharmacology, Recovery
Chemical Dependency II: Intervention, Treatment, Management, Patient Health Promotion, and Recovery
Case Management: Assessment, Orientation, and Treatment
Applied Skills for Group Dynamics and Facilitation
Dual Diagnosis: The Synergism of Chemical Dependency and Psychiatric Illness
Prevention and Public Consequences of Substance Abuse
Advanced Intervention
    U U
Law and Ethics for Addiction Professionals
Schedule Varies
Crisis Intervention: Theory and Practical Skills
L     L
Basic and Advanced Counseling Skills and Characteristics
Practicum for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor
L=La Jolla M=Mission Valley O=Online U=University City X=Location TBA
Certificate Programs

To Apply for the Certificate Program

From the 'Apply Now' button, login to your student account, complete the online application, and pay the application fee if applicable. It is preferable that you create an account before proceeding if you have not already done so.

Candidates are encouraged to apply in the certificate program as early as possible to take advantage of program benefits. See Certificate FAQs for more information.

Application Fee: $0 Apply Now!
Contact: Healthcare & Behavioral Sciences, 858-534-9262
Email: unexhealthcare@ucsd.edu
Please note: Upon acceptance into the program, there will be a $60 certificate fee.

Conditions for Admission

CCAPP does not have an academic degree requirement related to associate-level certification, which Extension’s certificate program prepares individuals for. Therefore, Extension doesn’t have academic prerequisites related to the certificate, with the exception of a high school diploma or equivalent.

Complete the application and pay application fee.

Certificate Guidelines

To earn the certificate you must complete 33 (quarter) units of study consisting of 13 required courses including a practicum.

To receive credit toward CCAPP certification you must enroll in courses for a letter grade. For the certificate, a grade of C- or better is required in all courses. Of course, As and Bs are looked upon more favorably by CCAPP during the portfolio review.

In addition to meeting Extension's unit requirement to earn the certificate, the course work/practicum must also meet the educational and training requirements of the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) to obtain the Registered Alcohol and Drug Trainee II (RADT-II) designation (see below).

Next Steps Experience

Connect your classroom education with real-world experiences through a Next Step Experience course. These specially designed classes allow students to gain hands-on experience by working closely with instructors and/or peers on real-world projects.

In the Advanced Intervention course, students learn how to run effective intervention sessions. The instructor, one of Southern California’s leading intervention specialists, guides students through the history of the field, helps them view the family as a dynamic interpersonal system complete with a myriad of enabling behaviors, and teaches them the functions and modalities of treatment. This course culminates in a series of mock interventions that give students direct experience on both sides of the substance abuse counseling line.

State Requirements

To become a Registered Alcohol and Drug Trainee II (RADT-II), you must successfully complete the certificate program and pass the portfolio review and written examination of the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP). The first step in earning the RADT-II designation is to download the certification manual, which contains the academic requirements, procedures, forms, portfolio and examination schedules, and fees. To download the manual, go to the CCAPP website: www.ccapp.us and click on "Forms/Docs."


Al Feliciano, M.A., CADC
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Jerry Synold, M.A., CADC, CCS
Deputy Director
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