Substance Use Disorder Professional Certification Academy

Last Day to register for the 2020-2021 Cohort: September 30, 2020 

We are no longer accepting rolling enrollments for the current cohort [Fall Registration Only]


Program Overview

Substance Use Disorder Professional Certification Academy is for licensed professionals seeking a Substance Use Disorder Professional (SUDP) designation through the Alternative Path to SUDP Certification. These courses have been developed by Seattle University faculty members and experts in the field. 

Mental health counselors, independent social workers, marriage and family therapists, and advanced nurse practitioners can take this 15-credit program over 3 quarters to fulfill the educational component of Alternative Path to SUDP certification (WAC 246-811-990).

These courses will focus on the various aspects of addiction and treatment, including ethics, pharmacology, physiology, different types of counseling, and ASAM criteria.  The program will be offered completely online to accommodate the busy working schedules of our participants across the state of Washington.  Courses will be practical, immediately applicable, mirror real life situations, and draw on participant’s professional experience.  Participants will engage as a cohort to tackle the difficult and unique issues relating to addictions. Courses are taught by 

After completing the program, participants will be prepared to sit for the NAADAC or ICRC certification exams to complete their certification, in addition to 1000 supervised practice hours.

This program is for licensed professionals in good standing, including:

  • mental health counselor,
  • independent social worker,
  • marriage and family therapist,
  • advanced nurse practitioner,
  • psychologist

Program Features 

These courses are held online and asynchronously which means participants can complete their course work when it is convenient for them.  Participants will have a variety of activities each week and will be engaged with their fellow participants and instructor during the 8 weeks of the course.  All coursework will need to be completed by the course end date. There is a combination of individual and group assignments, that vary from week to week in an interactive format.

Faculty Members are

  • accessible 
  • leaders in the field and nationally recognized for their research
  • committed to excellence 

Courses are

  • relevant to working professionals,
  • draw on personal experience,
  • have participants apply new knowledge and professional experience to addiction treatment scenarios.


  • Post-BA Credits: $275 per credit 
  • 15 credits with Technology Fee ($90 per quarter/3 quarters): $4,395

Timeline and Course List

  • 15 credits over three quarters (8 months), each course held over 8 weeks
  • After completing the coursework, participants will be eligible to apply for the SUDP credential and begin accumulating the required 1000 practice hours and sit for the NAADAC or ICRC National Certification Exams to complete their certification.

Fall Quarter 

  • Survey of Addiction (2 credits):  This course explores how addiction affects the various stages of the human lifespan and across diverse populations. Included are the milestone areas of adolescence, adults, and older adults, as well as populations divided by race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and disability. The course will provide information pertaining to each sub group and provide a framework for viewing the particular nature of each of these. Each stage has certain vulnerabilities to addiction and this will also be examined. Finally, you will explore the sensitivities to approaching addiction within this framework.
  • Substance Use Disorder Law and Ethics (2 credits): This course explores the legal and ethical issues relevant to the profession of addiction counseling. You will be introduced to the practice and policies of addiction counseling in terms of legal and ethical issues that can and will arise in practice. Professional standards, organizations, accreditation, Codes of Ethics, and licensure/certification will be examined. Public policy, laws, and regulations will be examined at federal, state, and local levels

Winter Quarter 

  • Pharmacology of Addiction (2 credits): This course explores the field of psychopharmacology and how it relates to the field of addictions. Students will learn aspects of psychopharmacology such as classes of medications, methods of delivery, and explore the ethics and evidence-based practice models for medication assisted therapy (MAT).
  • Physiology of Addiction (2 credits): This course explores the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system and subsystems, how they work together to create a concept of “mind” and how they are impacted by short-term and prolonged drug use. This class will be scientifically heavy by design. You will delve into metabolic processes, how the nervous system facilitate communication throughout the body, and the impact of the use of drugs on the body.
  • American Society of Addiction Management (ASAM) Placement Criteria (2 credits): This course explores the American Society for Addiction Medicine Patient Placement Criteria (ASAM PPC), the primary assessment tool used to screen clients for the appropriate level of care in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. This class will be using didactic and practice pedagogies to first instruct students on the ASAM PPC and how to determine level of care placement based on results of the ASAM assessment, followed by individual and group assignments to practice these skills with case vignettes.


Spring Quarter 

  • Individual, Group, and Family Addiction Counseling (3 credits): This course explores addiction through the lens of the individual, group, and family counseling processes. Drawing on real life cases, you will explore addiction by working through case analyses specific to each type of addiction counseling, and reviewing various levels of care for each
  • Treatment of Addictions (2 credits): This course explores the evidence-based models of addiction treatment currently found in the field of addictions counseling. Philosophies, policies, and outcomes of the most generally accepted models of treatment, recovery, relapse prevention, and continuum of care for addiction will be presented. The individual, family, social networks, and community systems will be the focal points of the course.



Click to download the registration form: Registration Form - SUDP Certification Academy

Mail) College of Education - Loyola 514

901 12th Ave PO BOX 222000, Seattle, WA, 98122 



Purpose and Future Opportunities

Graduates will be qualified to work with people who experience addictions in all levels of care in agencies and in private practice. Clinicians who work in co-occurring (mental health/substance use disorder) agencies, inpatient, outpatient, intensive-outpatient, or private practice will be qualified to work with people who experience addiction disorders by providing screening, diagnosis, treatment, and case management services.


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