Counseling and Mental Health Graduate Admissions School of Health Professions and Human Services Top Stories

New Program in Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling

The School of Health Professions and Human Services is expanding its graduate counseling programs with a new advanced certificate in addiction and substance abuse, beginning in spring 2019.  

The new certificate program allows students to meet the educational requirements of the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) to become a credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselor (CASAC). 

“Counselors trained in substance use disorders can help identify problems across the life span in various settings such as elementary schools, high schools, universities, treatment centers, and correctional settings,” said Genevieve Weber, PhD, associate professor of Counseling and Mental Health Professions. “The CASAC is a respected and powerful credential when applying for jobs, and Hofstra’s skilled faculty, impressive counseling lab facilities, and extensive community connections prepare highly trained counselors for a competitive job market.”

Students are prepared to work with individuals, families, and groups in many settings focusing on mental health, substance abuse, and addiction. The six-course program includes study of the principles and practices of addiction counseling,theories and principles of counseling, counseling practice in contemporary society, group counseling, drug/alcohol abuse counseling, and understanding psychopathology in counseling.  

Those who earn the advanced certificate are eligible to register for the CASAC designation, having completed the educational component, and are then qualified to move onto the clinical experience component of full CASAC certification.

The advanced certificate can be completed either after a bachelor’s or master’s degree, or as part of a current master’s program.  Students with a bachelor’s degree who have earned the advanced certificate must then complete 4000 hours in the field at an OASAS-certified substance abuse program, and pass a state examination to be credentialed as a CASAC. Graduate and post-graduate students must complete 2000 hours. Students who are already enrolled in Hofstra’s MSEd in Counseling program or MA in Mental Health Counseling can meet CASAC educational requirements through electives that focus on addictions.

The advanced certificate in addiction and substance abuse is offered on evenings and can be completed in as quickly as a year’s time (classes in spring, summer,fall). Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and prerequisite work in psychology or behavioral sciences. For more information, contact Daniel Sciarra, PhD, LMHC,NCC, director of counseling programs, at, or visit

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