Student crouched resting head on knees
"The Certificate Program provides much of the necessary education and hours of supervised practicum experience toward attaining the LCAS credential.” - Dr. Noell Rowan, Professor

Substance Use Disorders and Addictions Certificate 

The School of Social Work Substance Use Disorders and Addictions Certificate Program offers students the opportunity to learn about the core functions and competencies in substance abuse counseling for the Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS) credential administered by the N.C. Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board (NCSAPPB). The four courses offered are electives in the MSW curriculum and are also available to community practitioners in the Wilmington area. Courses will be taught in the evening by credentialed faculty, using in-person (seated), hybrid and online formats. Courses are sequenced, offered one at a time in an intensive format of seven and a half weeks.

MSW students complete their practicum placement (510/511/512) in an approved facility that focuses on treatment for people with substance use disorders and addictions under supervision of credentialed clinical supervision (CCS or CSI) faculty.

Required Courses

Courses contain content on the 12 core functions and core competencies of substance abuse counseling, ethics, HIV/ AIDS and clinical supervision.

  1. Introduction to Substance Use Disorders and Addictions (SWK 366/566)
  2. Individual and Group Substance Use Disorders Treatment (SWK 542)
  3. Family Systems and Addictions Treatment (SWK 528)
  4. Assessing and Treating Eating Disorders, Exercise and Food Addictions (SWK 543)

Completion of coursework in this certificate program does not waive other state board requirements for the LCAS credential. Students and practitioners pursuing the LCAS credential should contact the NCSAPPB. MSW students who complete the entire certificate program qualify for the “Criteria C” school program.

Non-Degree: Graduate Certification, Teacher Certification and Licensure Students

In order to be eligible for federal student aid, students must:

  • Be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking,
  • a Teacher Certification Program,
  • or enrolled as a Graduate Certification Student, taking classes required for admissions to a graduate program at UNCW.

A Free Application for Federal Student Aid is required to receive federal loan offers. Entrance counseling and Master Promissory Note completion is done at

Graduate and professional degree students may be eligible to receive aid from the following federal student aid programs:

  • Unsubsidized Loans-- Eligible students may borrow up to $20,500 per school year. Graduate and professional students enrolled in certain health profession programs may receive additional Unsubsidized Loan amounts each academic year.
  • Graduate PLUS Loans-- Eligible graduate and professional degree students who need to borrow more than the maximum unsubsidized loan amounts to meet their education costs may apply for a PLUS loan. A credit check will be performed during the application process at

Teacher Certification students are eligible for federal unsubsidized and/or subsidized student loans. Students enrolled in teacher certification programs must submit the Teacher Certification Form in addition to the FAFSA.

Graduate Certification students who are taking pre-requisite course in order to apply to or be admitted into a graduate program can receive federal unsubsidized and/or subsidized student loans with completion of the FAFSA and Graduate Certification Form.

Licensure students are not eligible for federal or institutional aid at UNCW. Apply for a private/non-federal loan online.

Visit the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for more information.