Graduate Addiction Counseling Certificate

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Graduate Addictions Counseling Certificate Program

General Information:

The Brandon Whitten Institute (BWI) and the Human Resources Department are proud to offer a 15-hour Graduate Certificate in Addictions Counseling. The objectives of the program are as follows.

Participants in the Graduate Addiction Counseling Certificate program will:

  1. Acquire knowledge of the psychological, social and physiological aspects of substance addictions.

  2. Gain knowledge concerning the effects of substance abuse on individuals, relationships and society.

  3. Learn effective intervention and treatment strategies to help those impacted by and at risk of substance abuse disorders.

  4. Demonstrate basic skills of documentation, treatment planning and other services in regards to assessing and treating substance abuse disorders.

  5. Learn skills to provide culturally competent treatment that reduces barriers to participants accessing services.

Current Course Rotation:

Even years in May


HURES 5483 Family Therapy & Addictions

Even years in Summer


HURES 5183 Addictions Theory

Odd years in May


HURES 5083 Concepts in Addiction Counseling Practice

Odd years in Summer


HURES 5283 Psychopharmacology & Substance Abuse

Odd years in December


HURES 5383 Family Systems & Addiction


An applicant may be admitted to the Graduate Addictions Counseling Certificate program if the applicant:

  1. Has earned a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent and

  2. Has earned at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) and

    1. Through the semester in which the last 60 credit hours of letter-graded undergraduate bachelor’s degree coursework occurred at an accredited college or university or

    2. Over a minimum of 12 hours of letter-graded graduate work from an accredited college or university

  3. Has been admitted to the ECU School of Graduate Studies and

  4. Has made application to the Certificate program.

To Apply:

  1. Please visit

  2. Click on the orange Admissions tab.

  3. Click on the Graduate Admissions link.

  4. Review the first box labeled “School of Graduate Studies-Apply!”

    1. Fill out and submit the Graduate School Application, found in this box under #1.

    2. Submit your official transcripts at the link found in this box under #2.

  5. Now scroll down to the bottom of the page to review the requirements for the Addictions Counseling Certificate.

  6. Click on each of the following 3 links to complete your application.

    1. Addictions Counseling Certificate Resume: You will NOT be uploading a resume, this is a “fill-in-the-blank” type form.

    2. Addictions Counseling Certificate Student Reference: Completing this form will generate an email to the reference person you have identified. They will then be able to click a link and complete the reference form. You will need to do this 3 times since 3 references are required. It is your responsibility to make sure you are providing good email addresses and that your references are aware of this email that will be sent to them. Your application is NOT complete until all 3 references are completed.

    3. Addiction Counseling Certificate Essays: Click on the link provided and answer the essay questions in the box provided or upload a document. You may submit the same responses used for your application to the Human Resources Clinical Rehabilitation & Clinical Mental Counseling Program if you already applied to that program and your answers are relevant for this certificate as well.

  7. Once you have completed the steps listed above you may enroll in classes for your first semester. However, you must be admitted to the Certificate program before you will be allowed to enroll in subsequent semesters.

Successful Completion of the Program:

An applicant may be awarded the Graduate Addictions Counseling Certificate if the applicant:

  1. Maintains a letter-grade of ‘B’ or higher in all coursework and

  2. Completes all program requirements within six years.

To be awarded the Certificate and have this appear on your transcript, a student will need to apply for graduation in the same manner that they would for a Master’s degree.

  1. During the semester before your graduation you will need to complete the steps below. For example if you planned to graduate in Summer 2017, you will complete this application during the Spring 2017 semester.

  2. Visit

  3. Click on the orange Student tab.

  4. Scroll down until you find “Masters Degree Application” in the list of links on the left and click on this link.

  5. Complete this application and select the Addictions Counseling Certificate as your major.

  6. Submit the application.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Am I eligible for financial aid for the certificate program?

All financial aid questions need to be directed to the ECU Financial Aid Office. They can be reached at 580-559-5243 or in the Administration Building Room 101A. You can also visit their website at Typically, financial aid is NOT available for certificate students. However, only Financial Aid staff are qualified to address these issues.

Are any of the five addiction courses offered at other times than the official course rotation?

Not at this time.

Am I allowed to walk in the graduation ceremony when I complete my certificate?

No. Awarded Certificates are listed in the graduation program but these students do NOT participate in the graduation ceremony. This does not preclude you from participating in the ceremony if you are also completing a separate Master’s program.

Do you still accept paper applications to the program?

No. You need to follow the above steps to apply to the program online.

Should I take the Addictions Counseling Certificate classes at the same time as my Master’s classes or wait until I am done?

This depends on each student and the current program they are enrolled in. It is suggested that you take these courses at the same time as your other Master’s courses (if you are enrolled in a separate program). The main reason for this is the current course rotation. As you will see above, each Addictions Certificate course is only offered every other year. Thus, if you wait to start these courses until your Master’s degree is complete you will be taking courses for approximately 1.5 more years. Also, as noted above, these courses are offered in intersession and online summer formats in an attempt to not interfere with your other courses.

Can I return to school to take only these certificate courses?

Yes. Please note a few things though:

  1. You may not eligible for financial aid if you are only pursuing a certificate. Please discuss this with the ECU Financial Aid Office if you have questions.

  2. Taking ONLY these certificate courses does NOT make you eligible for the Oklahoma Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor (LADC) credential. You will also need to possess a Master’s degree in a clinical counseling field and you will need to provide a transcript that shows the 10 additional classes required by the Oklahoma LADC Board (OBLADC). Information about the current requirements of the OBLADC can be found at:

If I already have my Master’s degree, can I take these certificate courses in order to become eligible for the Oklahoma Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor credential?

It depends. First and foremost, the only entity that can address your eligibility for the LADC credential is the Oklahoma LADC Board (OBLADC). You can find more information on their website at Currently Oklahoma LADC rules/statutes state that you must have a Master’s degree in clinical counseling (and meet the course requirements among other things) to be eligible to apply for the LADC.

Thus for example, if you have a Master’s degree in Human Resources Administration and take these certificate courses along with all other required LADC courses, you will NOT be eligible for the LADC because you do not have a clinical counseling degree.

However, if you have a clinical counseling degree and take these certificate courses along with all other required LADC courses, you SHOULD meet academic requirements for the LADC credential. But remember, this is at the discretion of the OBLADC and subject to their review.

If I am in both the ECU Human Resources Clinical Rehabilitation & Clinical Mental Health Counseling program & the Graduate Addictions Counseling Certificate program, am I taking all of the courses needed to apply for the Oklahoma Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor credential?


The current academic requirements listed by the OBLADC on their website ( are as follows:

  • three courses in foundational knowledge, including one course in alcohol and drug addiction, one course in drug and alcohol counseling theory, and one course in the pharmacology of drugs of abuse.

  • three courses in assessment and treatment of alcohol and drug problems, which may include group dynamics, individual and family counseling skills, specific counseling approaches, assessment methods, community resources and referral, or other courses primarily related to the assessment and treatment of alcohol and drug problems.

  • one course in human development.

  • one course in psychopathology.

  • one class in multicultural and cultural competency issues.

  • one course in family system theory.

  • one course in addiction in the family theory.

  • one course in addiction in the family counseling

  • one course in ethics, which includes established ethical conduct for alcohol and drug counselors.

  • one course in research methods.

  • one three-hour practicum/internship in the field of drug and alcohol counseling of at least three hundred (300) clock hours.

As noted above, 3 different family courses are required to meet academic requirements of the OBLADC. If you review the current required courses for the ECU Human Resources Clinical Rehabilitation & Clinical Mental Health Counseling program & the Graduate Addictions Counseling Certificate program, you will that only two family courses are required.

Thus a student needs to also take an additional family course.  HURES 5363 Theories of Marriage and Family Counseling is the recommended course to satisfy this requirement.

Please contact Holli Witherington, BWI Director, with any questions at 580-559-5815 or