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Substance Abuse Counselor Certificate Program

Application Deadline Now Closed for the July 2014 Cohorts.

Apply Now for the Jan. 2015 Online Cohort!

The Substance Abuse Counselor Certificate Program is designed to help individuals acquire the skills and certification necessary to counsel those who suffer from the effects of substance abuse.

The program meets the educational and training requirements established according to regulations from the State of California, Department of Health, Division of Alcohol and Drug Programs. It was developed by the Center for Professional and Continuing Education (CPCE) in conjunction with professionals and experts in the field of substance abuse.

Participants completing this program will be prepared to apply for certification from CAADAC, CAARR, Breining, or other State approved providers. Resources may be provided to assist students in locating counseling internships and counselor positions.

Scope of Training

The program is designed to provide participants with the skills necessary to counsel clients in the recovery process in as little as one year. Topics and skills include assessment, treatment planning, individual and group counseling, case management, crisis intervention, client education, and community resources.

The program consists of 16 total units or 360 hours of instruction. Both in-class and online cohorts will be offered. In-class sessions meet on weekday evenings, Monday - Thursday, 6:00pm - 10:00pm. Online courses will have set dates but will allow students to work at home at their own pace. There may be established times of interactive participation. Courses run for 6 weeks.

In addition to coursework, the program also requires 255 hours of supervised internship in the 12 core functions.  Though State certification only requires 160 hours of internship, our extended hours should meet all qualifications for whatever certifying board you ultimately choose to join, including CAADAC, CAARR, or Breining. Previous internship or experience cannot be counted toward these hours. We recommend the internship be completed in six months.

Admission to the Program

For information on admission to the Substance Abuse Counselor Program, request an application packet. You can download the documents from our website in the Downloads section below, call to request one be mailed to you, or stop by and pick one up in person.

The application process must be completed at least two weeks prior to the start of the program. Grades are issued on a letter basis (A-F). Students must earn a “C” or better in each course. If you do not pass a class, your admission will be suspended until the following cohort when you can retake the course. Detailed information is contained in the application packet. Official transcripts of grades may be requested from the Registrar’s Office at University of the Pacific.

Program Fees

 This program is not eligible for University of the Pacific Financial Aid.

Application Fee: $ 50.00 - Before May 31st. Late application fee $75, June 1-June 20th.
Program Tuition: $ 3,200.00 ($400/per course)
Administrative Fee: $ 95.00
Textbooks (approximate*): $ 400.00
Total Program Cost (est.): $ 3,745.00

Fees are subject to change.

*Books will be available through Pacific's bookstore but may be purchased through any retail source.

Meet the Director

George Feicht, MPA, is the former Drug and Alcohol Program Administrator for the San Joaquin County Office of Substance Abuse and has been involved in the substance abuse field for over thirty years.

He is a Master Trainer for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, with over twenty years of experience as an instructor at the University of the Pacific and San Joaquin Delta College.

He has served on numerous task forces for various substance abuse issues.


  • XSAP 130  Introduction & Overview
  • XSAP 131  Physiology & Pharmacology
  • XSAP 132  Law & Ethics
  • XSAP 133  Case Management & Counseling Theory
  • XSAP 134  Individual & Group Counseling
  • XSAP 135  Addiction & Working with Criminal Justice
  • XSAP 136  Cultural Competency & Communicable Diseases
  • XSAP 137  Counseling Internship


Inseat program offered annually every July.

Online program offered biannually every January and July.

University of the Pacific is approved by CAADAC’s Commission of Alcohol and Drug Counselors Education Programs.

Already Licensed?

Substance Abuse Counselors, MFTs, and LCSWs - contact us for upcoming courses designed to meet continuing education requirements of certified or licensed professionals.

CPCE is an approved continuing education provider for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (Provider #PCE760), the Board of Registered Nursing (Provider #34128), the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (Provider #5-91-266-0799), and NAADAC.

Alumni Testimonial

"I was incredibly impressed with University of the Pacific's course.  I found the instructors to be supportive and attentive.  The courses were challenging, and informative - as they should be.  But the most rewarding element was the interaction I had with my peers.  We really got to know each other and watch each other grow. I've referred several friends to this program. In my opinion, you really could not do better."      Kathleen W. 2011 alum


Email link George Feicht
Program Director

Email link Kyle Harkness
Associate Director of Programs




 Application Packet 

January 2014 Schedule - Online

  Application Form

 Textbook List July 2014