Associate of Science in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling

Available Online

The Associate of Science in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling is designed to meet California state standards for certification of alcohol and drug abuse counselors. This associate’s degree in counseling program is approved by CAADAC's education foundation CA Foundation for Advancement of Addiction Professionals. This program may not meet the requirements for certification in other states. For complete information on the CAADAC certification, or to order a CAADAC handbook, visit or call (916) 368-9412.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Establish professional relationships with diverse clients with alcohol and drug abuse and/or dependence issues.
  • Demonstrate entry level counseling skills in working with individuals, groups, and families relative to alcohol and drug abuse and/or dependence issues.
  • Assess and diagnose clients using DSM IV-TR alcohol and drug abuse and dependence criteria.
  • Develop a treatment plan based on a biopsychosocial assessment of the individual’s strengths, weaknesses, problems, and needs.
  • Develop case management plans for clients that bring services, agencies, resources, or people together with a planned framework of action.
  • Provide client education to individuals, groups, and families on alcohol and drug abuse and dependence.
  • Interact with counselors and other professionals in regard to client treatment and services.
  • Adhere to established professional codes of ethics and standards of practice.
  • Integrate knowledge of cultural diversity into chemically dependent clients' treatment plans.


To receive the degree, students must complete at least 90 quarter units, 31.5 of which must be taken in residence at National University, a minimum 34.5 units of General Education, and complete a 255 hour practicum experience working with clients at an approved practicum site. Students are urged to meet English requirements as early as possible in their college career to avoid serious difficulties in other course work. Refer to the section on undergraduate admission requirements for specific information regarding admission and evaluation. All students receiving an undergraduate degree in Nevada are required by State Law to complete a course in Nevada Constitution. Upon application, students must sign the ADC Student Agreement before beginning their coursework. Students must obtain malpractice insurance prior to beginning their work with clients. Students attend live practicum classes one Saturday a month during the seven month clinical practicum at a National University campus. Students must attend live Internet class sessions. Students will have their choice of attending either the live Internet session or reviewing the recording of the session afterwards. Students must have a headset with a microphone that plugs into the USB port on the computer.

Recommended Preparation for the Major (5 courses; 19.5 quarter units)
Prerequisites for the Major (2 courses; 9 quarter units)
Requirements for the Major (9 courses; 40.5 quarter units)
Core Requisite(s):