Criteria C: MSW with emphasis on Substance Use and Addiction Recovery

UNCP Department of Social Work

Master of Social Work with emphasis on Substance Use and Addiction Recovery

The North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board has approved the Department of Social Work for a “Criteria C” program. “Criteria C” Master’s degree programs serve as a prerequisite for applicants pursuing North Carolina Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS) licensure. Because these programs incorporate the LCAS criteria into their curricula, students graduating with a Master’s degree from a “Criteria C” program can be assured that they are receiving necessary LCAS material infused into their learning program. Additionally, because these programs are held to the highest standards in addiction education, the NCSAPPB allows these graduates to qualify for licensure after only the equivalent of one year of properly supervised clinical practice instead of two years for others. This means that graduates of “Criteria C” programs are eligible to enter the workforce as independent practitioners at a much faster rate than those without the substance abuse specialty curricula.

In our program, there are four courses (12 credit hours) conveniently offered through both synchronous and asynchronous virtual learning platforms. These may be used to meet the 3-6 hour MSW program elective requirements. The NC Addictions Specialist Professional Practice Board will accept the courses as 180 hours (45 hours per course) of substance abuse/addiction specific education required for licensure as a clinical addiction specialist (LCAS). In addition, MSW students' concentration year field placement, if in a substance use disorder, co-occuring disorder, or integrated care treatment/prevention setting with appropriate supervision, may be used towards the experiential hours required for state licensure as substance abuse counselors and clinical addiction specialists. 

Plan of Study:

If you are planning to pursue this option, please talk with your advisor then join this Canvas shell and follow the directions, completing the applicable steps:

PLEASE NOTE: If there is more interest than we have field placement opportunities, priority for field placements in SUD settings may be determined by GPA, with students with the highest GPA (either current MSW GPA or undergraduate) placed first.


North Carolina Addictions Specialist Professional Practice Board (NCASPPB) Website: 

Credentialing Information:

Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS) Credentialing:

Social Work