Rates of alcohol and drug use have risen dramatically in Iowa’s five-county region of Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Jackson, and Jones. Become an alcohol and drug counselor and help fill the need to serve the growing number of clients facing addiction.

Complete the necessary education requirements to apply to be a CADC in Iowa. Each state has its version of CADC and associated requirements. Typically, the requirements include specific addictions coursework, an exam, and a set number of supervised internship hours in the field.

Flexible & Convenient

The CADC Certification Education program courses are offered in either an in-person evening or a hybrid format to allow you to continue to work and/or gain the required internship hours needed to apply for the certification.

Application Deadlines

Fall Enrollment

Materials due July 1

Spring Enrollment

Materials due December 1

Post-deadline applications are considered on an individual basis.

Application Criteria & Eligibility

Criteria & Eligibility

This program is open to anyone seeking to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.

  • A bachelor’s degree is required to enroll in this professional education program.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 (or 2.9 in the last 60 credits) is required for admission.
  • Current Loras undergraduate students may be eligible to take 1-2 CADC courses per the Loras Undergraduate Students in Graduate Courses policy.”

Online Application

  • Please create an account and apply online. There is no application fee.
    • In the student profile section within the application itself, select “Professional Development” as the Student Type, then select “Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor Certification Education” as the Academic Program.
    • Please note that you do not have to upload anything to the Materials section of the application.

All Official Transcripts 

  • For a transcript to be considered official, it must be mailed in a sealed envelope from your institution’s Registrar’s Office directly to Loras College Graduate Admission. Transcript “issued to student” as well as faxed and copied transcripts will not be considered official.
    • All official transcripts can be mailed to: Loras College Graduate Admissions, Attn: Megan Henderson, 1450 Alta Vista Street, Dubuque, IA 52001
  • Official electronic transcripts ordered through a service such as Credential Services or National Student Clearinghouse are also acceptable.
  • Please have your transcripts sent immediately after you have submitted your online application.

Application Deadlines

  • Spring enrollment—all materials due by December 1
  • Fall enrollment—all materials due by July 1
  • Applications submitted after these deadlines will be considered on an individual basis.

Enrollment Process

  • Immediately after our receipt of your application and official college transcript(s), you will be notified in your online Applicant Status Portal of your next steps. You will be asked to pay a $100 confirmation deposit to confirm your spot in the program.
  • We will then create a Loras email account for you and send you directions on how to self-register for the courses.
  • Please note that federal financial aid is not available for this program.

Course Requirements & Schedule

Fall 1 / MHC-536 Foundations of Addictions Counseling / 3 credits / Online Format
This course will be focused on professional issues related to providing addictions counseling in a multicultural society. 3 credits, hybrid format.

Spring 1 / MHC-537 Assessment and Diagnosis in Addictions Counseling / 3 credits / Online Format
This course will emphasize use of appropriate assessment tools and strategies for diagnosis of addictive disorders according to current diagnostic classification systems. This course will also include discussion of the effects of various psychoactive substances, and with a special focus on differential diagnosis and recognition of instances in which medical referral and/or consultation is appropriate.

Fall 2 / MHC-538 Theories and Techniques in Addictions Counseling / 3 credits / Online Format
This course will provide a review of leading theories and models of addiction. The application of these theories to treatment planning, counseling interventions, and relapse prevention will also be addressed. 3 credits, in-person format.

Spring 2 / MHC-535 Addictions / 3 credits / In-person Format
This seminar course provides an examination of substance use and abuse and the progressive nature of addiction. Effects on the user, children, and family are explored. An overview of the models of chemical dependency, dually diagnosed clients, intervention, treatment, DSM criteria and assessment tools are examined. 3 Credits, in-person format.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the academic requirements for admission into the CADC Certification Education Program?

A completed bachelor’s degree and a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 or a 2.9 in the last 60 credits.

How do I apply for admission?

Please see the Admission Criteria & Application Checklist section of this webpage.

What are the application deadlines?

  • Spring enrollment—all materials due by December 1
  • Fall enrollment—all materials due by July 1

Applications submitted after these deadlines will be considered on an individual basis.

What if I’m still finishing up my bachelor’s degree?

Applicants who are undergraduate students in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree (at an institution other than Loras) may be awarded a provisional acceptance to Loras’s CADC Certification Education program based on receipt of their in-progress, unofficial transcript and all other application materials; with full acceptance contingent upon receipt of the final, official transcript(s) and the conferred undergraduate degree. You must meet the minimum GPA requirement at the time the undergraduate degree is conferred for full acceptance.

I’m an undergraduate student at Loras. Can I enroll in this program?

Current Loras undergraduate students may take two of the four required courses as undergraduates, and the other two must be taken as graduate students. After completion of the two courses taken as an undergraduate, you must complete the application process outlined on this webpage in order to continue on and take the remaining courses as graduate students.

I’m a graduate student in Loras’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Can I enroll in this program?

Yes, you may complete this addictions track as part of your master’s degree. Please work with your advisor to add on this coursework to your program plan. No separate application process is needed.

Does the CADC Certification Education program require an undergraduate degree in a specific program?

The CADC Certification Education program does not require an undergraduate degree in any specific area.

How long will it take to receive a decision regarding my application?

Once we have received your application and official transcript(s), you should receive a decision within one week.

How will I be notified of the admission decision?

You will be contacted by email once a decision has been made.

What is required to become a CADC?

Students are responsible for understanding all requirements needed to apply for the CADC Certification in their state. (Each state has their own version of CADC and associated requirements.)

Typically, the requirements include: specific addictions coursework, an exam, and a set number of supervised internship hours in the field.

Loras’s non-degree CADC Certification Education program is comprised of the 4 classes (12 credits/180 classroom contact hours) needed to fill the Addictions curriculum component for CADC Certification in Iowa, but there may be additional behavioral science credits students need to take in order to receive the certification in their state.

Please see the state of Iowa’s requirements.

Does the Loras faculty help CADC students find an internship to complete the required supervised hours?

Loras does not formally assist or assign CADC students with supervised clinical internships, but thanks to their extensive networks, the faculty can likely help direct students to places where they may be able to complete an internship.

What is the format of the CADC classes?

The CADC courses are offered in predominantly an in-person evening format, in compliance with the educational requirements to obtain a CADC in Iowa.

Is there a preferred entry point into the CADC Certification Education program?

Students can begin the program in either the Fall (with Foundations of Addiction Counseling), or in the Spring (with Addictions).

How long does it take to complete the program?

Depending on interest and course offerings, a student may be able to complete all of the necessary coursework in 12-24 months.

What is a maximum course load per semester?

Depending on interest and course offerings, students may take 3-6 credits each semester for the CADC Certification Education Program.

What is the time commitment outside of class?

Time commitments vary depending on the course and individual’s specific skill set. As a general rule, students will spend 4-6 hours per week outside of classroom instruction on class-related work for each class.

Where are classes held?

Classes are held either in person on the beautiful Loras College Campus, or in a hybrid format.

When do classes meet?

Each face-to-face class meets in the evening one day per week to accommodate working adults.

Is Loras College accredited?

Yes, Loras College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Get in Touch

Megan Henderson 

Graduate Admission

Straight Talk from a Duhawk

The goal of this program is to train you in providing competent and compassionate addiction treatment services to those who need it most.

— Kristin Lauritsen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology

Meet Your Professors

Lindsey Bartgis  PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Professor Laura Boddicker

Laura Boddicker  PhD, tLMHC, CRC

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Kristin Lauritsen

Kirstin Lauritsen  PhD, LP

Assistant Professor of Psychology
Practicum and Internship Coordinator

Tracy Lipinski, Associate Professor of Counseling

Tracy Lipinski  EdDc, LSC

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Steffanie Schilder  PhD, LP, LMHC, LPC

Associate Professor of Counseling
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Director