Meeting pressing societal needs as substance use and addictive behaviors continue to significantly affect individuals, families, and communities globally and in the United States.

The 12-credit Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Addiction Studies examines the intersectionality of substance use and addictive behaviors with emphasis on prevention, policy, and sustainable recovery. The CAS in Addiction Studies is designed for students from professions and disciplines such as Biology, Chemistry, Communications, Education, Law, Marriage and Family Therapy, Neuroscience, Public Administration, Public Health, Psychology, Sociology, and Social Work. We recognize that many professions and disciplines play an important role in addressing this pressing public health issue. With small class sizes that support varied student career paths, the CAS in Addiction Studies prepares professionals trained within a public health framework to more effectively meet the needs of local, national, and international communities. Our faculty come from diverse backgrounds and includes researchers, clinicians, and practitioners who can offer students valuable exposure to issues related to addiction theory, practice, and policy development. This program is offered fully online with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous coursework.

Unique features of the program include:

  • Understanding multi-faceted challenges regarding prevention and harm reduction in addiction.
  • Examination of ecological and cultural contexts of  substance uses and those affected by other people’ addictive behaviors.
  • A global perspective to understanding substance use and addiction within a public health framework.
  • Opportunity to engage with international experts and the global community through Falk College’s established partnerships such as the Council of Europe’s Pompidou Group.
  • Courses are approved for New York State OASAS CASAC, CPP and CPS contact hours.
  • Flexible online program

Why this degree makes a difference in society today…tomorrow…

Addiction is a public health problem that demands interdisciplinary approaches to address its impacts on individuals, families, communities, and society. Our courses incorporate principles of diversity, human rights, harm reduction, and social justice, and are grounded in evidence-based approaches to prevention, policy, and sustainable recovery.

Why a CAS is Important

Students consider CAS programs to advance or complement an existing skillset, or to develop a new one. For some students, CAS programs are helpful stand-alone options to enhance a bachelor’s or advanced degree they already have. For others, pursuing a graduate degree and CAS concurrently can provide an employment advantage upon graduation. With little to no additional time or financial investment required, pairing a graduate degree and a CAS simultaneously is appealing.

What’s the advantage of earning a CAS credential and a master’s degree?

Combining competencies in mental health counseling or other public focused graduate programs with addiction studies prepares students to address society’s needs while enhancing their marketability for employment. Co-existing addiction and mental health disorders are prevalent and therefore students enrolled in clinical mental health training programs at Syracuse University will gain valuable skills for future clinical practice. Other students enrolled in programs such as  education, human development, public administration, or sociology will benefit from coursework emphasizing prevention or policy, taking this knowledge and skills to the community and societal level, influencing change on a broad scale.


Students have the opportunity to engage in ongoing research projects in local and global settings. Faculty and students adopt an interdisciplinary collaborative research approach that frequently bridges multiple laboratories, centers, and institutions, including the Syracuse University campus, Upstate Medical University’s Research Institutes, and Centers and Upstate Medical University faculty. View public health faculty research projects

Professional Engagement

Faculty membership on local, regional, and international committees and organizations provide students with opportunities to network with addiction professionals and engage in faculty professional and community service. Students have opportunities to engage with the Onondaga County Drug Task Force, the Council of Europe’s Pompidou Group, and other groups and organizations.


Our CAS in Addiction Studies provides added value to students in graduate degree programs in public health, social work, marriage, and family therapy, psychology, and counseling and rehabilitation. Completion of the certificate, including prevention science and ethics elective courses, partially meets the education training requirement for the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) for Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) and Credentialed Prevention Specialist (CPS).

Program Requirements & Electives


PHP 618 Dynamics of Addiction 
PHP 642 Substance Use and Mental Health: Global Contexts

Electives, choose 2:

PHP 605 Science and Practice of Mindfulness
PHP 606 Clinical Evaluation and Assessment of Addictions
PHP 607 Motivational Interviewing
PHP 609 Impact of Addictions on Families and Relationships
PHP 612 Global Perspectives in Alcohol and Other Drug Policies
PHP 624 Introduction to Prevention Science
PHP 636 Ethics in Addiction Services

Financial Support

Additional information regarding graduate financial aid can be found on the Syracuse University Graduate Student Aid page.

Getting Admitted

Future Students:

Students who are not currently enrolled in a Syracuse University graduate program can apply through the Falk College Office of Admissions.

Apply Today!

Current Students:

Students who are currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at Syracuse University can complete the two forms linked below and deliver them to Laura Sauta,, in 444 White Hall:

  1. Graduate School’s Internal Admission form (PDF).
    Use AD02CAS for the “New Program code” field on the form.
  2. Program of Study Form (PDF).

Learn More:

For additional admissions information, contact the Office of Admissions at, or fill out our online form:

Get more information!

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