2024 Commencement

Please visit our commencement page for all information regarding the 
ceremony for Class of 2024 PhD, DSW, MSW and MSN graduates. 

Apply Now for 2024

Fall 2024 On-Campus MSW Application FINAL Deadline: July 16, 2024

Substance Use Counseling
RecoverUSC: Addiction Treatment Certification (ATC)

RecoverUSC: Addiction Treatment Certification (ATC)


RecoverUSC provides a pathway for current students in pursuit of a Masters of Social Work (MSW), Master of Addiction Science (MAS) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to become Certified Addiction Treatment Counselors through the State of California.

Through a grant provided by the California Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAi), this program provides each participant with a minimum of $20,000 stipend to cover the cost of additional coursework approved by the California Assocation for Alcohol/Drug Educators (CAADE). 

This initiative is dedicated to creating more qualified, motivated Certified Addiction Treatment Counselors in a landscape where the need for representation, expertise, and compassion is great. RecoverUSC is a partnership between the USC Institute for Addiction Science and the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work with inter-professional collaboration at its core, fostering a holistic understanding of substance use and recovery. 

Out of Pocket Costs
Exam Fees Paid


Students who are currently enrolled within the MSW, MSN, and MAS programs at USC are invited to apply.

Step 1

Complete the initial interest form HERE.

Step 2

Submit registration form to Jen Parga at least 45 days prior to your practicum start date. 

Step 3

Complete customized coursework and approved practicum.

Step 4

Graduate and successfully pass the CATC exam during or after completing 2,240 hours* in SUD placement.

RecoverUSC Programs & Curriculums

Choose one of these paths and complete the CAADE exam to become a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Counselor.


Complete 4 courses within the MSW curriculum plus 3 additional courses of 10 Units (23 total Units).

10 additional units 
No out of pocket cost

RecoverUSC courses within MSW:

  • SOWK 511 Critical Decision-Making in Integrative Social Work Practice (3 Units)
  • SOWK 523 Foundations of Integrative Social Work Practice (3 Units)
  • SOWK 691 Applied Learning In Practicum Education III (3 Units)​
  • SOWK 693 Applied Learning in Practicum Education IV (3 Units)

RecoverUSC courses outside MSW:

  • ADSC 501 Foundations in Addiction Science (4 Units)
  • SOWK 617 Substance Related and Behavioral Addictive Disorders and Recovery (3 Units)
  • SOWK 651 Clinical Psychopharmacology for Social Workers (3 Units)



Complete 6 courses within the MSN curriculum plus 2 additional courses of 7 Units (26 total Units).

7 additional units 
No out of pocket cost

RecoverUSC courses within MSN:

  • NURS 504 (3 Units) Pharmacology for Advanced Nursing Practice​
  • NURS 505 (4 Units) Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nursing ​
  • NURS 605 (2 Units) Professional Issues in Advanced Nursing Practice AND NURS 606 (2 Units) Health Policy Principles in Changing Health Care Context​
  • NURS 604 Clinical Practicum: Management of Adult Patients with Complex (4 Units) and 192 hours
  • NURS 608 Clinical Practicum: Primary Family (4 Units) 192 hours

RecoverUSC courses outside MSN:

  • ADSC 501 (4 Units) Foundations in Addiction Science
  • SOWK 617 (3 Units) Substance Related and Behavioral Addictive Disorders and Recovery​




Complete 5 courses within the MAS curriculum plus 1 additional course of 3 Units (21 total Units).

3 additional units
No out of pocket cost

RecoverUSC courses within MAS:

  • ADSC 501 (4 Units) Foundations in Addiction Science ​
  • RXRS 414 (4 Units) Modern Substance Use and Addiction OR RXRS 405 (4 Units) Breaking Brains: the Pharmacology of Addiction​
  • ADSC 506 (4 Units) Considerations in Addiction Science for Practitioners OR SOWK 523: Foundations of Integrative Social Work Practice I (3 units)​
  • SOWK 617 (3 Units) Substance Related and Behavioral Addictive Disorders and Recovery (Elective SW)​
  • RXRS 412 (4 Units) Ethics, Drugs and Society​

RecoverUSC courses outside MAS:

  • SOWK 591 Applied Learning in Practicum Education (3 Units) 240 hours
SUD Counseling

Go Deeper with an SUD Credential

Gain a holistic understanding of the complexities of addiction treatment with a master's-level education and CAADE certification. Whether you go on to become a social worker, nurse, or addiction counselor, you'll have access to the latest research, treatment modalities, and best practices in the field of addiction.

Benefits in the Workplace:

  • The recent Labor Market Index reports a projected 30% gain in SUD Counseling positions over the next three years.
  • More than 25% of people diagnosed with a mental health disorder have a co-occurring substance use diagnosis. Clients with co-occurring disorders are complex and require integrated treatment for best results.
  • Clinicians with addiction counseling certification are exceedingly more employable in a substance abuse or co-occurring treatment setting than clinicians without such training.
  • Therapists with a SUD credential are highly competitive applicants against those without specialized experience.
USC grad
Finish Your Degree with Purpose

RecoverUSC integrates academic excellence with hands-on training, ensuring participants are well-prepared to navigate the intricate challenges of addiction and contribute meaningfully to the well-being of individuals and communities.

Submit Interest Form