Co-Occurring Disorders

M.A. in Co-Occurring Disorders

The Masters Program in Co-occurring Disorders prepares students to work in a variety of counseling and social service settings. With a focus on services for clients experiencing the co-occurrence of substance abuse and mental health disorders, students are exposed to various theoretical models in counseling, including group counseling and vocational counseling approaches. In addition, students take courses in human development, testing and measurement in counseling, research methodology, and biological perspectives in mental health. The program includes 2 specialized courses in co-occurring disorders allowing students to gain more expertise in this area. Students also learn specific counseling skills through two clinical practicum courses. The two clinical practicum courses are "lecture courses" limited to 12 students. In these courses students practice counseling role plays, learn how to integrate theory and practice, and receive feedback about their counseling skills. The program emphasizes the reflective practitioner model and encourages students to remain open to ongoing learning experiences so as to increase their sensitivity to the evolving issues of diversity in counseling.

Upon concluding the program, students often find jobs in the substance abuse field or in related social service agencies. Four courses in  this program have been approved by the RI Board of Chemical Dependency professionals to satisfy the educational requirement for certification as a co-occurring disorders professional (CCDP).  Some students pursue further specialized training in the substance abuse field to be licensed as a chemical dependency professional (LCDP). Students who are interested in becoming licensed mental health counselors (LMHC) are encouraged to continue their studies and apply to the CAGS (Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies) in Mental Health Counseling.

Certificate of Graduate Studies (CGS) in Co-Occurring Disorders

With a focus on mental health and substance use, current and aspiring professionals prepare to work with the complexities of co-occurring disorders. The 6 courses (18 graduate credits) are core to the Masters degree in Co-Occurring Disorders. The certificate meets state approval for the course requirements of a Certified Co-occurring Disorder Professional. Courses appear with an asterisk (*) in the Course Requirements below.

Course Requirements

Adobe PDFPlan of Study - Masters Degree in Co-occurring Disorders

CEP 509Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice3
CEP 531Human Development across Cultures (*)3
CEP 532Theories and Methods of Counseling (*)3
CEP 534Quantitative Measurement and Test Interpretation3
CEP 535Vocational Counseling and Placement3
CEP 536Biological Perspectives in Mental Health (*)3
CEP 537Introduction to Group Counseling3
CEP 538Practicum I: Introduction to Counseling Skills3
CEP 539Practicum II: Clinical Interviewing and Treatment Planning3
CEP 543Clinical Assessment and Case Problems (*)3
CEP 546Assessment of Addiction and Co-Occurring Disorders (*)3
CEP 547Treatment of Addiction and Co-Occurring Disorders (*)3
CEP 554Research Methods in Applied Settings3
Comprehensive Examination0
Total Credit Hours39

Admission Requirements

Admission to FSEHD Masters level programs is determined by the quality of the total application. Applicants must submit the following to the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs as a measure of their potential for success in graduate level studies.

  1. A completed application form accompanied by a fifty-dollar nonrefundable application fee. Paper applications may be obtained from the FSEHD Dean's Office.
  2. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate records. The dean’s office will obtain any Rhode Island College transcripts.
  3. A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of B (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) in all undergraduate course work. Applicants with undergraduate GPAs less than 3.00, may be admitted to degree candidacy upon the submission of other evidence of academic potential, for example, satisfactory performance in post baccalaureate work, professional experience as evidenced by publications or letters of recommendation, and/or high scores on the standardized tests..
  4. An official report of scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) for most programs. NOT required for the CGS applicants.
  5. Three candidate reference forms WITH 3 accompanying letters of recommendation attesting to the candidate’s potential to do graduate work.
  6. An interview may be required.
  7. A minimum of 6 credit hours of course work in psychology or related field.
  8. A Performance-Based Evaluation of professional work or volunteer experience.
  9. A current résumé.

Retention Requirements

  1. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. Grades below B are not considered of graduate quality and are of limited application to degree work.
  2. A minimum grade of B- in Counseling and Educational Psychology 531 or 532. Students who receive a grade of B- or lower in either of these courses must consult with their advisor before registering for any subsequent course in the plan of study.
  3. A minimum grade of B in Counseling and Educational Psychology 538, 539, or 540. Students who receive a grade below a B in any of these courses must retake the course. After retaking the course, a recommendation to continue from the student's advisor is also required.
Failure to meet any one of the above requirements is sufficient cause for dismissal from the program.

Program coordinator

Charles Boisvert
Adams Library 105
(401) 456-8023
(401) 456-9621

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Page last updated: Friday, August 16, 2013