Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction - Curriculum - Admission Information - Program Fees - Credentials & Licensure

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Do I need to be admitted to the ACEP Certificate program in order to take a course in this sequence?

You need to be admitted to the on-campus program prior to registering, but not the online program.

Will I earn college credit for these courses?

No, ACEP is for professional development. These courses are non–credit; they are offered through the College of Advancing and Professional Studies at UMass Boston. You are awarded Continuing Education Units (CEUs), which can be applied toward certification/licensure and continuing education requirements. In addition, many students find that degree-granting programs will accept these educational hours.

Will I receive a grade for my courses?

These courses are pass/fail. Instructors may provide a letter grade if required by an employer or funding agency.

Will the program lead to certification/licensure?

Once you have successfully completed the requirements of the UMass Boston certificate program you will receive an Addiction Counselor Education Program Certificate from the University of Massachusetts Boston. You will also have acquired the educational and training units necessary to sit for certification/licensure exams. The number of additional educational hours you need will depend upon several factors including whether you have credits attained in other educational programs. Certification/licensure exams have varying levels, and each level requires a certain number of educational and work hours. States vary in their requirements and students living outside of Massachusetts should check with their state’s Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse for certification/licensure requirements.

I haven’t been in school for a long time, I have a full–time job, and I’m a parent. Am I going to be able to manage schoolwork on top of all that?

Most of our students share your description. By far the majority of our students successfully complete the certificate program.

What if I fail a course or have to drop out for other reasons, can I re–take the course or come back to complete the program at a later time?

Yes, you will need to talk with your instructors and program coordinator, but, in general, students will be allowed to return and complete the program.

Can I complete my practicum close to my residence, even out of state?

Yes, students are able to complete the practicum close to their residence.

Do I need approval from the ACEP program coordinator for my practicum setting?

Yes. The program coordinator will work with you to help find you a practicum that will meet the needs of both you and the program.

After I complete all the requirements of the ACEP program, will I be a licensed alcohol and drug counselor?

No. Requirements for alcohol and drug counselor licensure are, perhaps, the most confusing aspect of the addictions field today. Upon completion of the certificate requirements, you will receive a certificate in alcohol and drug counseling from the University of Massachusetts Boston and you will be prepared to take the licensing exam. Completion of the five core- course certificate program will provide you with 190 educational hours and 300 practicum hours. In order to obtain the license or CADAC you will need to acquire an additional 80 educational hours through two ACEP electives of your choice. Many of our students enter our program with previously acquired credits in the behavioral sciences. Often these credits can be applied toward the requisite 270 and, therefore, these students are not required to obtain these additional hours in order to obtain a credential. For those living within Massachusetts, this website provides information regarding licensure.

I already work at a treatment setting. Is it possible that my employer would pay for this program?

Often employers will pay for professional development courses, especially ones such as this that prepare you for licensure, because it is likely that, in time, licensure will be a requirement of the treatment setting. Ask your supervisor or human resources person if this educational benefit is available within your agency.


Can I use the ACEP Online education and practicum to satisfy the requirements for the Licensed Alcohol Drug Counselor (LADC) credential?

Yes. For details on the levels of the LADC and their corresponding requirements, please contact the licensing board in your state. In the State of Massachusetts, contact Alex Kearns at 617.624.5173 or visit:

Can the online CEUs be used toward initial certification of the CADAC?

That will depend on the policy of the CADAC board in your state. For instance, the Florida CADAC board does accept online CEUs toward the CADAC credential but the Massachusetts board does not. Nearly all states will accept online CEUs toward re-certification.

Are all of the certificate courses offered online?


What is the format for the online courses? Are they offered as correspondence courses?

No. Faculty require regular contact through weekly verbal chats which are generally offered in the evenings or weekends.

What are the computer requirements and internet connection requirements for online participation?

Check the College of Advancing and Professional Studies website for computer requirements and Internet connection requirements at

I have never taken an online course, will technical help be available?

Yes, technical help will be available. In addition, your instructors will be available to walk you through the online process.

How will I get to know my online colleagues, other students?

We recognize the importance of student bonding and sense of belonging that supports our students through this process. The program is conducted as a cohort, or group, so students will know each other well. Many strategies will be available to facilitate student affiliation.