Graduate Certificate in International Addiction Studies: Intermediate Concentration

The Intermediate Certificate is aimed at students who are interested in gaining a solid graduate-level foundation of knowledge across essential areas of addiction science, but do not want or need experience in conducting addiction-related research, nor advanced coursework related to special topics in addiction such as working with specific populations, the formulation of addiction policy, or the specifics of pharmacological treatments for addiction.  Such students may range from healthcare workers to law enforcement officials who want to understand the basis for and impacts of addiction. 

In addition, this intermediate level graduate certificate would be an excellent way for students in such programs as psychology, rehabilitative counseling, and pharmacology / toxicology to enhance their knowledge of addictions.  Such students may enroll in a certificate programme while pursuing other graduate degrees at VCU.

The curriculum consists of three 4-credit courses (12 credits) covering essential/foundational topics in the field of addiction:  the Biological Basis Of Addiction; Psychosocial Issues and Approaches to the Treatment of Addiction; and Public Health Issues and Approaches to Addiction.   Students will be exposed to an international perspective, as the courses are offered collaboratively with King’s College London and the University of Adelaide.  

Upon successful completion of these core 12 credits, the student is awarded a Graduate Certificate in International Addiction Studies: Intermediate Concentration. This is equivalent to a Graduate Certificate in International Addiction Studies at the University of Adelaide and a PostGraduate Certificate in International Addiction Studies at King’s College London.  All three universities confer this Certificate.

Students who complete the Intermediate Certificate will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge of the current elements of addiction science, particularly in the areas of the biology of addiction, psychosocial approaches to and treatments for addiction, and public health approaches to addiction.
  • Demonstrate an appropriate familiarity with the research literature and the ability to evaluate and critique publications in the field of addiction science.
  • Use effective written communication skills to present information related to addiction causes, interventions, treatments, and policies using appropriate vocabulary, figures, tables, and citations.

Students who are enrolled in the Intermediate Certificate programme and receive a passing grade in all courses (GPA of 3.0 minimum) may request to change their concentration to the advanced curriculum at any time during their enrollment by contacting the Program Director.  Students will receive only one certificate; whichever reflects their highest level of achievement.

Students who successfully complete the Intermediate Certificate programme with a GPA of 3.0 or higher have up to three years to apply the completed coursework towards either the Advanced Certificate in Addiction Studies or the M.S. in Addiction Studies.  If a student completes a more advanced program, he/she will be required to surrender the lower level credential before being awarded the more advanced degree.  Courses taken more than four years prior to the time of the student’s application will not be considered transferable and will need to be repeated.



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