2018-2019 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jun 12, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Addiction Studies, MA

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Dessa Bergen-Cico, Coordinator Addiction Studies Program in Public Health
Department of Public Health, Food Studies, and Nutrition
344 White Hall

Core Faculty

Dessa Bergen-Cico, James Byrne, Ignatius Ijere


Judi Emmi, Administrative Assistant
Susan Scholl, Internship Coordinator
Melinda Stoffel, Office Coordinator


The 36-credit hour Master of Arts in Addiction Studies curriculum focuses on public health perspectives and evidence based practices that prepare students for employment in the field of alcohol, other drugs and behavioral (process) addictions across the continuum of prevention, treatment, and recovery.

The MA in Addiction Studies addresses one of society’s major problems and helps students develop core competencies in preparation for employment in a number of fields dealing with substance abuse, gambling, and related behavioral addictions. Students are exposed to evidence-based practices and may subsequently apply their courses toward their professional fields to expand employment and placement opportunities.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors are one of the fastest-growing fields of practice today.

Upon completion of the program, students meet the NY State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (NYS OASAS) education training requirements as a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor in Training (CASAC-T); and be eligible to sit for the CASAC exam. The program also meets NYS OASAS educational requirements for the Certified Prevention Professionals (CPP)/ Certified Prevention Specialists (CPS).  OASAS requires supervised post-graduate work experience before full certification for either credential is awarded. Students seeking credentialing in states other than New York must contact the specific credentialing office for that state.


Requirements for this program include: undergraduate degree with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA, minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL (for international applications), undergraduate transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a resume and personal statement, and GRE scores. However, GRE’s are not required for students who have already completed a different advanced degree (e.g., MS, PhD, MD). An admissions committee consisting of full time faculty members who teach in the MA Addictions Studies program will consider requests for admission.

Part-Time Study

Part-time study is acceptable; however, time to degree completion depends on available course offerings and number of courses enrolled. Time limit to degree completion is 7 years.

Financial Support

Limited department financial aid is available in the form of graduate assistantships and scholarship credits for students enrolled in masters and doctoral programs. Financial aid is determined based on merit.

Additional information regarding graduate financial aid can be found at https://graduateadmissions.syr.edu/funding/  

Transfer Credit:

Students may transfer up to 9 credits. Substituted/transferred course work should cover material equivalent to that which is covered in the relevant required course. Substitution/transfer requests will need to be approved by the graduate committee for public health programs. All students are expected to file a tentative program of study in their second semester. Students transferring courses from another institution must file a program of study prior to completing 12 credits at Syracuse University.


MA, 36 credits

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

1. Assess the biological, behavioral, psychological, and social effects of psychoactive substances on individuals, their significant others, and their communities.

2. Apply knowledge, ethics, and skills required for working in addiction treatment and prevention.

3. Examine addictions in the context of public health and harm reduction.

4. Assess the potential for substance-use disorders and addictive behaviors to co-exist with mental health conditions.

5. Utilize cognitive and behavioral strategies in individual and group contexts.

6. Utilize epidemiological data to assess needs, and identify risk and protective factors to support culturally relevant drug prevention and education.

7. Demonstrate proficiency in clinical assessment treatment and after care programs tailored to individuals with substance use disorders and addictive behaviors.

Requirements: 36 Total Credits

Satisfactory Progress

Certification for an advanced degree at Syracuse University requires a minimum average of 3.0 for work comprising the program for the degree and a 2.8 average for all credits earned.

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