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Application Deadlines

The program admits for fall semester only, with application deadlines of: November 1, February 1 and May 1.

Earlier submission of completed application is highly recommended. Completed application files are reviewed following each deadline, and interviews are scheduled upon review completion. Admission decisions are made within two weeks after completed interview, and applicants are notified via U.S. mail by the program.

Information Sessions

The MSADC offers limited information sessions and you are highly encouraged to attend one if possible! Top three reasons to attend an information session:

  • Learn how the program can help you be successful
  • Engage with program staff and network with peers
  • Remove obstacles and develop an actionable academic plan

If you are unable to attend, and if after reviewing the information on the website you have further questions about the program, you are welcome to make an appointment with Professor Therissa Libby via email therissa.libby@metrostate.edu

View Information Session Schedule

Admission Criteria

  • An earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university (or equivalent) with a total undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
    • Priority is given to applicants with an earned baccalaureate degree in a health, behavioral or social science. However, an applicant with an earned baccalaureate degree in another field may be considered if the field is in some way related to a health, social or behavioral science OR if the applicant has work experience relevant to providing alcohol and drug services.
    • Students with a GPA lower than 3.0 may be admitted conditionally and could progress to full admission upon completion of at least 8 graduate level credits with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • The following undergraduate coursework, while not required, significantly strengthens your application:
    • Statistics (STAT 201 or equivalent)
    • Abnormal Psychology (PSYC 300 or equivalent)
    • Research Methods (PSYC 312, HSER 368 or equivalent)

Application File

A complete application file consists of two parts (three for international students.) Begin the application process by completing the online graduate application. Once you've applied online, you can login to the Applicant Portal using your StarID and password to upload your remaining documents, submit your references, and check on the status of your application.

Part One

  • Online Graduate Programs Application. Please note you will need a MnSCU StarID to complete the application. If you don't have a StarID, you will create one at the beginning of the application.
    • If you do not have or choose not to provide your Social Security number (SSN) you will need to follow the No SSN instructions to activate your StarID.
    • If you encounter difficulty with the online application, email graduate.studies@metrostate.edu
  • Non-refundable Application Fee can be paid through online application
    • Current fee of $20 is waived for graduates of Metropolitan State University.
  • Official Transcripts
    • Submit official transcripts showing a baccalaureate degree or equivalent earned from an accredited institution with grade-point average or narrative description describing courses completed
    • Transcripts from ALL schools attended after high school and from any graduate or professional programs are required.
    • All transcripts from non-U.S. schools must be evaluated (course-by-course) by either ECE (preferred) or WES.
    • Electronic transcripts (preferred) should be sent to graduate.studies@metrostate.edu.
    • Paper transcripts should be sent directly from the sending institution (preferred.)

Part Two

  • Resume: upload
    • Work experience: Preference will be given to applicants with at least 2000 hours (equivalent to one year full-time) paid employment in an agency, program or other setting that offers alcohol and drug-related services. However, promising applicants without such experience will also be considered.
  • Admission Essay: upload
    Please submit no fewer than five and no more than seven pages that includes:
    • Professional purpose: Briefly explain your purpose in becoming a counselor or enhancing your existing counseling practice. Include thoughts on your shorter- and longer-term goals, as well as your inspirations or motivations for choosing this particular field.
    • Explanation of a theory/model of addiction: As appropriate to your level of experience, briefly explain your preferred theory of addiction. Include what you know about causal elements, research evidence and an example of application of this theory/model.
    • Explanation of a counseling approach: As appropriate to your level of experience, briefly explain your preferred counseling approach. Include an overview of the approach, research evidence and an example of how you would use or have used this with a client.
    • Statement of self-care: Include a brief narrative regarding your commitment to self-care, as well as freedom from mental health, physical health and substance use problems that could impair your objectivity and effectiveness as a counselor (consistent with the state of Minnesota's expectation for those holding professional licensure as alcohol and drug counselors).
  • Professional References: Submit reference contact information using online application.
    • Provide three references from professional sources, at least one of which is a current or former college instructor, and at least one of which is a current or former work supervisor. Personal references will not be considered.
    • Ask at least one of these individuals to attest that you have at least two years of freedom from mental health, physical health and substance use problems that would impair your objectivity or effectiveness in performing the duties of a professional counselor.
    • Once submitted, references will receive a “noreply” email from MnSCU with a link to the recommendation form.
    • References should check junk mail if the email is not in their inbox. The link is good for 60 days, however, the application deadline may be sooner.
    • Applicants should remind their references of the application deadline when speaking with them.

In-person Interview: Final candidates participate in an in-person admissions interview that includes an evaluation of listening and empathy skills.

    • Program staff will follow up with final candidates to schedule this interview. If circumstances such as geographic distance restricts a candidate’s ability to participate in an in-person interview, the program may consider conducting the interview via videoconference.
    • If you are currently licensed in alcohol and drug counseling, professional counseling, social work, marriage and family therapy or psychology, please bring a copy of your unencumbered license to the interview.

Part Three - International Students Only

In addition to parts one and two, international applicants must provide additional paperwork.

  • Required at time of application:
    • Official TOEFL or IELTS score report, with minimum scores:
      • TOEFL: 100 IBT, 600 PBT; IELTS: Band 7
  • Required at time of admission:
    • Financial Statement
    • Copies of Passport, visa, I-94
    • Immunization records

See Part Three details here: International Student Services Graduate Admissions

Questions about applying to the MSADC?

Questions about the online application, fee, transcripts/transcript evaluations, online references and document upload feature can be sent to graduate.studies@metrostate.edu (preferred) or you can call 612-659-7150

Questions about Part Two requirements or the program in general can be sent to therissa.libby@metrostate.edu (preferred) or you can call 651-793-1501

Address Information:

Metropolitan State University Graduate Studies Office


Mailing Address: Office Location:
1501 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403
MEC Building, Office 4003
1300 Harmon Place
Minneapolis Campus
Metropolitan State University Alcohol & Drug Counseling (MS) Department
Second Floor, Saint John’s Hall
700 East Seventh Street
Saint Paul MN 55106

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