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Certificate of Graduate Study in Drug and Addiction Studies

AOD CertificatePageIndustry, education, social services, criminal justice, treatment centers, and research institutes increasingly demand staff trained in drug and addiction studies. To meet this need for qualified personnel, USC offers the Certificate of Graduate Study in Drug and Addiction Studies.

The Certificate of Graduate Study in Drug and Addiction Studies provides post-baccalaureate students with opportunities to develop broad competencies in preparation for employment in a range of fields addressing alcohol and drug-related problems.

The Program is interdisciplinary, involving faculty and courses from several academic departments, including criminology and criminal justice, public health, medicine, social work, and psychology. The Program’s faculty is composed of professionals and researchers prepared to provide students with a range of knowledge in the areas of education, prevention, treatment, and enforcement, both in traditional classroom and experiential contexts.

The Program is designed for completion of 18 hours of credit in three to four academic semesters. During this time, students gain a broad perspective on the alcohol and drug field through the core curriculum and then specialize in one of three areas of emphasis: counselling, research, or prevention.

Curriculum Requirements
All students are required to take:

  • SOWK 758: Dynamics of Substance Abuse

Students are required to take two of the following:

  • SOWK 752: Social Work Intervention in Substance Abuse
  • HPEB 742: Alcohol, Drugs, and Public Health Policy
  • HPEB 540: Drug Prevention
  • HPEB 542: Tobacco Prevention and Control in Public Health
  • PSYC 503: Psychology of Drug Use and Effects
  • NPSY 760: Addictions Rehabilitation
  • NPSY 761: Dual Disorders

Please Note: Not all courses are offered at any given time. Please consult with the department in which the course is listed. You may also check the Master Schedule Online through the registrar’s office to see what semesters courses were offered in the past.

In addition, students will take two approved electives. Half of the courses taken for the Certificate must be at the 700 level or higher.

The College of Social Work administers the Certificate of Graduate Study in Drug and Addiction Studies. Students may pursue the Certificate independently or in conjunction with another graduate course of study.

Admissions Criteria
Admission to the program is on a selective basis and determined by the academic preparation and personal qualifications. The applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and a cumulative 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) from the bachelor's (undergraduate) degree institution. An applicant who has not attained the required GPA and does not possess a graduate degree or significant work experience may be required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Successful applicants typically have a score of "4" on the analytical writing portion of the GRE. The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) may be substituted for the GRE.

How to Apply
To be admitted to the Certificate of Graduate Study in Drug and Addiction Studies, the applicant must submit the following to the Graduate School:

  • graduate application form
  • two letters of reference from professors or employers
  • an official transcript from each college or university previously attended

If the student has already applied or been admitted to a graduate program at USC, previously submitted materials will be accepted. MSW students can request concurrent enrolment by emailing the Program Director (Dr. Nancy Brown).

Applications should list “Certificate of Graduate Study in Drug and Addiction Studies” on the application form under degree pursued. The Program accepts applications on a rolling basis. Students may begin the Program in Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters.

To learn more about tuition and fees, please click here.

Application Deadline
While the Certificate does not have a specific application deadline, in order to ensure that we can process your application in a timely manner, we suggest that all documents should be received (including official transcripts from all educational institutions) at least one month prior to the desired term of enrollment.   

For additional information, contact:

Dr. Nancy K. Brown
Certificate of Graduate Study in Drug and Addiction Studies
College of Social Work
University of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina 29208
Phone: (803) 622-2573
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click here to read the Gainful Employment Disclosure related to this program.

Click here for the Graduate School General Information Gainful Employment page.

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