Substance Use Disorders (Graduate Certificate)

Substance Use Disorders (Graduate Certificate)

Students in master of social work class

Why get a graduate certificate in substance use disorders? 

The substance use disorders (SUD) graduate certificate helps students meet a staggering need in today’s society. You’ll develop the competencies aligned with the core functions and practice dimensions of addiction counseling as outlined by the New Hampshire Board of Licensing for Alcohol and Other Drug Use Professionals, including intake, assessment, treatment planning, case management, referral, crisis intervention, record keeping and individual, group and family counseling. You’ll learn the etiology of addictions, policy analysis, research, best practices, system theory and strengths perspective. This certification program fosters understanding of drug and alcohol abuse, providing you with the skills needed to treat your clients. 

Why choose UNH for your degree?

At UNH you will be supported by a productive faculty as you advance your career. Social work faculty members serve as evaluators on many community-based projects in health and human service agencies in the area. The program welcomes graduate students, students and professionals from a variety of backgrounds. Courses are offered at the UNH Durham as well as at the Manchester campus during evenings and weekends, with one course available online. The student-run organization Graduate Students of Social Work (G.S.S.W.) promotes professional growth and development by providing a voice for our colleagues and leadership in the community. 

Potential career areas

  • Correctional facilities
  • Disorder treatment agencies
  • Government social services
  • Halfway houses
  • Hospitals
  • Military/veterans programs
  • Nonprofit agencies
  • Outpatient/inpatient facilities
  • Schools
  • Workplace treatment programs


Department of Social Work
Pettee Hall, 55 College Road
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: (603) 862-1799

Curriculum & Requirements

About the Program

The Substance Use Disorders certificate program helps students develop general and specific competencies aligned with the "core functions and practice dimensions of addiction counseling" outlined by the New Hampshire Board of Licensing for Alcohol and Other Drug Use Professionals, including intake, assessment, treatment planning, case management, referral, crisis intervention, record keeping, and the counseling of individuals, and groups and families.

Who Should Apply?

  • MSW students attending the University of New Hampshire Manchester or Durham.
  • Non-matriculating students who may potentially apply to the MSW program.
  • Students from other disciplines and other universities. 
  • Students pursuing continuing education units (CEU) for a variety of state licenses. 

  • Social service workers from substance use disorder and co-occurring disorder treatment agencies, (outpatient and inpatient), hospitals, schools, judicial/correctional facilities, military/veteran programs.

Contact Information

Brian Miller LICSW, MLADC
Clinical Assistant Professor
Substance Use Disorders Graduate Certificate Program Coordinator
(603) 862-1013 Office
(603) 862-4374 Fax

Certificate Requirements

The Substance Use Disorders Graduate Certificate consists of 12 credit hours acquired through a series of four required courses covering etiology of addictions, addiction policy analysis, addiction research and best practices, and system theory and strengths perspective.

Students are required to complete the following social work courses in no particular order:

SW 816Addiction: Myth, Science and Policy3
SW 814Introduction to Addiction: Assessment and Intervention3
SW 897Special Topics in Social Work and Social Welfare (Treatment of Addictions)3
SW 819Addiction Recovery3
Total Credits12

Courses are offered at the UNH Durham as well as at the Manchester campus during evenings and weekends.  SW 814 is offered online.


Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: July 1
  • Spring: Dec. 1
  • Summer: April 1
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $25

Campus: Manchester

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of Recommendation: 2 Required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

The University of New Hampshire recommends that international applicants who are living outside of the United States, and are planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. Your preapplication request will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

This program is normally not available to international applicants who are currently living outside of the U.S.

Explore Program Details

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Thompson Hall


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