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The Masters in Social Work and Substance Abuse Certification

(Requirements effective for students beginning the MSW program Fall 2010 or after.)

Beginning Fall 2010, the State Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) has approved the MSW advanced standing curriculum at UWMilwaukee,
with specifi c course requirements, as satisfying the pre-certification
educational requirements for substance abuse counselors. This approval is
effective until July 28, 2015.

In order to meet the Department of Safety and Professional Services' specific course content
requirements, MSW students interested in Substance Abuse Counselor certification must be
enrolled in the Behavioral Health Concentration and successfully complete the following
courses and three semesters of field placement:

  1. SocWrk 711 – (Direct Social Work Practice I) (offered Fall, Spring, Summer)
  2. SocWrk 811 – Health (Direct Social Work Practice II) (offered Fall, Spring, Summer)
  3. SocWrk 851– Health (Social Issue Policy Analysis) (must be taken for 3 credits/(offered Fall, Spring)
  4. SocWrk 753 – (Psychopathology) (offered Fall, Spring, Summer)
  5. SocWrk 791 – (Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse) (offered Spring, Summer)
  6. SocWrk 793 – (Advanced Methods of Social Welfare Research)(offered Fall, Spring, Summer)
  7. SocWrk 794 – (Advanced Research Methods: Evaluating Social Welfare Programs) (offered Fall, Spring, Summer)
  8. SocWrk 820 – Interventions for Alcohol Use Disorders (offered Fall, Spring)
  9. SocWrk 820 – Treatment of Alcoholism and the Family (offered Spring only)
  10. SocWrk 820, Treatment of Dual Diagnosis (offered Fall, Summer)

  • It is highly recommended that students also complete at least one field placement in an AODA setting.

Please note:

  • DSPS allows a maximum of 50% of the program to be taken on-line.
  • Specified courses may not be offered every semester; therefore, completion of these requirements may require additional time. Some courses may be completed post-MSW degree.
  • Students seeking SAC certification must declare their intent and meet with Dr. Lisa Berger, advisor, for SAC certification. Upon completion of the educational requirements, UWM will issue a certificate of completion to each student who has met these requirements. This certificate will be provided to DRL as requested by individual candidates for certification.
  • Final certification for Substance Abuse Counselors is granted by DSPS, not by the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, and requires successful completion of the DSPS examination for Substance Abuse Counselors.

For additional information or specific questions, contact Dr. Lisa Berger: lberger@uwm.edu or 414 229-5620.