• faculty in class
  • student group


Helping substance abuse and addiction professionals stand out.

The demand for addiction prevention and treatment professionals continues to grow. Western Michigan University has been preparing professionals for this important field since 1973. And today the SPADA program is stronger than ever.

The Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse at WMU is a leader in the education of personnel in a variety of positions in addiction treatment. Courses are taught by faculty from departments across the university, and the SPADA-affiliated faculty are sought out as consultants and as experts in the field.

Two Graduate Certificates in Addiction Studies Now Available

WMU now offers two SPADA graduate certificates, available in online and hybrid formats.

The Clinical Addiction Certificate is an 18-credit hour program, designed for those who already have a bachelor's degree and wish to pursue further education in the field. This certificate is a great option if you wish to obtain additional credentials with the State of Michigan. such as the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) credential.

The Addiction Specialization Certificate is a nine-credit hour program and designed for dual-enrolled graduate students, or for those returning for continuing education hours to apply toward other credentials with the State of Michigan such as the Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC) credential.

Learn more

CADC and CAADC credentials

Work done in the program can be applied to the educational and field experience requirements for CADC and CAADC credentials. Refer to the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals for more information.

Want more info?

We would love an opportunity to tell you more about things going on in the SPADA program. Let us know how we can connect with you.


Why SPADA at Western Michigan University?

The SPADA program at WMU is the first university-based training clinic in Michigan to address the criminal justice population and those who use substances. Courses examine biological, psychological and sociological aspects of substance use, giving students a comprehensive perspective. 

You can utilize the knowledge and skills you acquire in the program to specialize in careers where substance use disorders demand attention -- like psychology, social work, public health, corrections, sociology, management or community education, just to name a few. This program focuses on aspects of service delivery -- continuum of care, prevention, assessment, treatment and clinical supervision. 

Video of WMU Specialty Program in Alcohol & Drug Abuse - Virtual Info Session

Where to SPADA grads work?

Completing the Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse prepares you to specialize in a number of careers in both public and private sectors.

  • Private practice
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Public health organizations
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Inpatient, residential and outpatient treatment programs
  • Local, state and federal substance abuse policy-making organizations
  • Public schools, colleges and universities
  • Churches