What does the IBH program prepare me for?
The course work for this program fulfills the education and internship requirements for three Minnesota Licenses:

  •     The MNLADC (Minnesota Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor)
  •     The LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor)
  •     The LPCC (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor)

IBH students are eligible to sit for the National Counselor Certification, a national exam required in many states (including Minnesota) for counselor licensure, and the ICRC or NAADAC exams, required in Minnesota for the MNLADC.

In addition to the MNLADC, a graduate of the IBH program can apply to the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy (BBHT) to have his or her credentials evaluated to become an LPC (need 2,000 hours). LPCs practice professional counseling in Minnesota under an approved clinical supervisor. LPCs with 4,000 hours (approximately two years) of appropriate supervised experience can then apply to the BBHT to become an LPCC. An LPCC is licensed to engage in the independent practice of professional counseling in Minnesota. This degree program fulfills the 60-credit educational requirement for the LPCC.

Should I apply for the IBH or the MPS in Addictions Counseling?
It depends on your personal and professional goals:


  • Prepares you for MNLADC and LPCC licensure
  • 60-credit master’s degree, includes internship (approx. 880-1,320 hours)
  • Admitted IBH students eligible for financial aid
  • $750 (resident/non-resident) per credit, plus applicable fees*

MPS in Addictions Counseling

  • Prepares you for MNLADC licensure only. This is the best option if you are seeking to work as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug counselor or if you already have your LPC, LPCC, MSW, LICSW, MFT, LMFT, or LP, and want to become dually licensed.
  • 30-credit master's degree, including internship (approx. 880 hours)
  • Admitted Addictions Counseling students eligible for financial aid
  • $750 (resident/non-resident) per credit, plus applicable fees*

* Tuition amounts are subject to change without notice. The University has reciprocity agreements with the states of Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the province of Manitoba, Canada. If you are a resident of any of these states or province, you may qualify for reciprocity tuition rates, which are lower than nonresident tuition rates and, in some cases, comparable to resident rates.

Can I complete IBH fully online?
We do offer some online courses; however, at this time it is not possible to complete the program fully online.

How many students are admitted to IBH?
Approximately 30 students are admitted per academic year, 15 in the fall and 15 in the spring. Due to the emphasis on skill development, we are purposely keeping class sizes small. As the program grows and we add more faculty, we will increase our admissions.

Are students in the IBH program eligible for financial aid?
Yes, IBH is a master’s degree program and therefore, admitted students are eligible for federal financial aid.

Will I be able to transfer coursework into the IBH?
Students may be allowed to transfer up to 40 percent (or 24 credits) of previous graduate-level course work as determined by the IBH program director and adviser. Course transfer requests are reviewed on an individual basis.

All U of M Addiction Studies courses, taken for graduate credit with a grade of B- or better, can be transferred into the IBH (up to 40 percent). A maximum of 12 credits can transfer from a non-degree status into the IBH.

How many credits should I take in a term?
The number of credits you take should be based on your  work demands, family, and other commitments, as well as the difficulty of the course work. At the graduate-level, full-time status is 6 or more credits. We recommend new students take only one or two courses their first semester. The University of Minnesota’s policy on expected graduate student academic work per credit is that it will exceed 3 hours per credit per week.

For example:

  • A 1-credit graduate course equals at least 45 hours of work over the duration of the semester (1 credit x 3 hours of work per week x 15 weeks in a semester = 45 hours of academic work)
  • A 2-credit graduate course equals at least 90 hours of work over the duration of the semester (2 credits x 3 hours of work per week x 15 weeks in a semester = 90 hours of academic work)
  • A 3-credit graduate course equals at least 135 hours of work over the duration of the semester (3 credits x 3 hours of work per week x 15 weeks in a semester = 135 hours of academic work)

What if I already have my LADC? Can I just take the additional course work required for the LPCC on my own, or do I have to be admitted to a program?
If you have already obtained your LADC and took ADDS 5011 through ADDS 5091, or courses with similar content as part of your previous LADC training, and if these courses are less than eight years old, you do not need to take the ADDS courses. If you took these courses as part of an undergraduate program or at the undergraduate-level, you may select elective courses to replace the credits needed for the total 60 credits required for the LPCC. However, you will need to complete at least 700 hours of IBH internship because the LPC/C internship credits must be on a graduate transcript.If your previous course work is on a graduate transcript, you may be able to transfer those credits into IBH. Please consult with the IBH program director or adviser to determine which courses are eligible for transfer and which course content has been previously fulfilled.

For detailed information on the LADC and LPCC licensing requirements, visit the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy (BBHT) website.

What is the career outlook?
United States Department of Labor and Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook:

Employment of substance abuse and mental health counselors is expected to grow by 27 percent from 2010-20, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Under managed care systems, insurance companies increasingly are providing for reimbursement of counselors as a less costly alternative to psychiatrists and psychologists. In addition, there has been increased demand for substance abuse and mental health services as individuals become more willing to seek help.

What is the salary range for an individual that is dually licensed with the LADC/LPCC?
Dually licensed individuals with the LADC/LPCC earn between $52,000-60,000. Fairview Riverside, for example, is currently hiring LADC/LPCCs at $56,000-60,000.

Does the IBH program help students find jobs?
Not directly, no. Many students are hired by their internship site when they have completed the internship and obtained the required license. In addition, the program director receives notices of positions and emails these opportunities to admitted students. CCE also provides career and lifework planning tools, and admitted CCE students can work with Career and Internship Services.

What are the licensing requirements for other states?
Each state has its own education and credentialing requirements for addictions counselors. To find out each state’s requirements, visit the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network (ATTC). The requirements for the LPCC are uniform across all 50 states.

Do I need to have personal experience with chemical dependency or treatment to become a counselor?
No. Employers are seeking individuals with advanced education and training in the science and practice of chemical addiction and counseling. Previous personal experience with addiction, substance abuse, or treatment does not make a person more qualified, competent, or skilled at being an effective counselor.

Can I work as a counselor if I have had chemical dependency treatment myself?
Yes. Most agencies and clinics require a minimum of two years of sobriety prior to being hired and prior to an internship placement. All licensing applicants will be required to sign a statement verifying a minimum of two years of sobriety. Similarly, the state may deny, revoke, or suspend a license if an individual has "habitually overindulged in the use of or the dependence on alcohol within the past two years" and/or has engaged in the use of any controlled substance within the past two years.