Skip to main content

Substance Abuse Counseling FAQs

How does this degree affect my professional options?

The Viterbo substance abuse counseling major fulfills the classroom education requirements for entry into the field of alcohol and drug counseling. A series of courses covers the 360 classroom hours of education required to become a certified substance abuse counselor in training. This course series facilitates development of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to identify and treat substance abuse issues, including utilizing resources and referrals and delivering effective intervention and treatment services. Students will arrange the additional requirements of supervised practice with his or her employer.

The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services endorses this program for the total 360 education hours required to become a substance abuse counselor in training. Substance abuse counseling majors must complete a background information disclosure statement and a criminal history search and have these results approved by the program and the university by the established guideline prior to beginning the first course at Viterbo. Substance abuse counseling majors are not required to complete counseling experience hours, but are strongly encouraged to do so by completing an internship or practicum experience for credit. Refer to the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services for further information: DSPS Substance Abuse Counselor in Training credential or DSPS Substance Abuse Counselor credential.

How do I apply for admission?

To apply, submit the online application and request your official transcripts from high school and all college coursework be sent to Viterbo University Admission Office, 900 Viterbo Drive, La Crosse, WI 54601. We also accept electronic transcripts from Parchment, National Clearinghouse, and Credentials Solutions. Select "Office of Admission - Traditional Programs" as your destination, if given more than one option when ordering electronic transcripts. Complete the online Education Loan Agreement and Disclosure Statement.

Will my previous college coursework transfer?

Viterbo has a very generous transfer policy. Students with a completed associate degree will generally transfer between 60–72 credits, leaving approximately 60 (or fewer) credits remaining. You must earn a grade of C or better to transfer. Computer courses that are more than five years old will transfer, but will not fulfill major requirements. 

How do I obtain credit for previously earned credit and experience?

If you have earned professional certifications, completed training in your workplace, or have a number of years of experience in your field, you may qualify to receive credit for prior learning, which can help you earn your degree more quickly and lower the overall cost. To find out whether or not you might be eligible, use our Credit Predictor Tool.

What courses will I be taking?

Check out the program requirements for the substance abuse counseling degree.

How quickly can I complete a bachelor's degree?

This will depend on the number of credits you are transferring in from your previous college experience, and the number of credits you are able to take each semester.  All classes are run in 8-week segments terms. If you take one 3-credit class every 8 weeks, you will be taking 6 credits each semester, which is the equivalent of a part-time student. To be considered a full-time student, you would need to take 12 credits each semester, which is the equivalent of taking two 3-credit courses each 8 weeks (two classes at a time). All adult learning degree programs run year-round. In other words, we have three terms: the fall semester, spring semester, and summer term. Most students who take 12 credits per term can be finished in about two years, if you bring in about 60 transfer credits. You must earn a total of 120 credits to graduate with a bachelor's degree.

Can I apply for financial aid?

Every student who is enrolled in a minimum of six credits each semester is eligible to apply for financial aid. More information is available from the financial aid office.