Metropolitan State University has offered chemical dependency course work and practicums since it was founded in 1971. However, it was not until the late 1990ís that the University began work to develop a major in alcohol and drug counseling. In August 2000, this major was approved by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU). At that time there were only 10 to15 students enrolled in this degree. The first graduate with a BS degree in Alcohol and Drug Counseling matriculated in December 2000.
Since August of 2000, there has been unprecedented growth and a keen interest in this major. Currently, there are over 300 majors and a number of other students who already have undergraduate or graduate degrees also working toward licensure requirements. This major is one of the largest in the College of Professional Studies. It is also the largest educational program to offer a professional degree in chemical dependency counseling in the Upper Midwest.