The New School for Social Research

MA Concentration in Substance Abuse Counseling

Admission and Program Guide

    • Qualified undergraduate students in Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts (Seniors only who have already taken psychology courses) may register for the Introduction and Advanced Substance Abuse Counseling courses in the CMHSAC curriculum subject to the normal restrictions and with permission from course instructors.
    • There are no separate eligibility requirements for admission to the CMHSAC. Any student admitted to the General MA program in psychology is eligible for the CMHSAC. However, students must apply separately for the CMHSAC, which can only be done after a student has been admitted to and registered for courses in the Master of Arts Program in Psychology.
    • Application to the CMHSAC requires submission of the CMHSAC enrollment form, which is distributed to students by Dr. Talley in early September during the first few weeks of the Introduction to Substance Abuse Counseling Course. Students who wish to join the CMHSAC must complete and submit the enrollment form by October 1st. Forms submitted after this deadline will not be accepted.
    • Students who intend to participate in fieldwork must first successfully complete Adult Psychopathology, Psychopathology 3, Introduction to Substance Abuse Counseling, and be enrolled in (or have completed) Advanced Issues in Substance Abuse Counseling to be eligible. Field placements are not guaranteed for every student who is interested as it depends on the sites’ availability.
    • Qualified undergraduate students studying psychology at the Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts (Seniors only) may register for the Introduction and Advanced Substance Abuse courses in the CMHSAC curriculum subject to the normal restrictions. Students in the accelerated Lang BA/MA Program are also strongly encouraged to apply to the CMHSAC.
  • Program Guide

    Who Should Consider the CMHSAC?

    The CMHSAC was created to meet a number of curricular and programmatic needs in the psychology department at the New School for Social Research (NSSR). Specifically, it is a program that was designed to be particularly attractive and beneficial to:

    1. Students who do not intend to continue on to doctoral study but would like to significantly enhance their marketability after graduation;
    2. Students who currently work with substance abusing or dually diagnosed populations and who would like to complement their practical experience with formal academic training and credentials; and
    3. Eugene Lang seniors, students in the accelerated Lang BA/MA Program, NSSR MA and PhD students who intend to enter into a career in the substance abuse field.

    Advising and Registration

    It is extremely important that students confer with the student advisors prior to registering for any of the courses offered in the CMHSAC. Please see the CMHSAC Student Handbook (PDF) for recommended course sequences. Visit the New School's registrar website for additional information regarding the registration process.

    Tuition and Fees

    See the latest fee schedule. The New School reserves the right to alter this schedule of fees without notice.

    1. Course Requirements
      The CMHSAC degree requirements consist of a total of 30 credits, nine of which are in the area of substance abuse. All of the courses are usually offered once a year. The three required courses for the CMHSAC (Introduction to Substance Abuse Counseling; Advanced Issues in Substance Abuse Counseling; Psychopathology III) are offered during the regular academic year during certain semesters.  The one-credit Ethics course and the two-hour online Child Abuse Reporting training are not CMHSAC course requirements but are among the  New York State-OASAS education and training requirements for CASAC eligibility. Students who wish to complete all of the academic requirements to sit for the CASAC exam must take the Ethics course (increasing their total credits to 31) and the free two-hour training in Child Abuse Reporting, which is completed as part of the Advanced Issues in Substance Abuse Counseling Course.

    Please see the CMHSAC Student Handbook (PDF) for further details.

    Eligibility for Admission to the Doctoral Program

    It is important to reiterate and emphasize the fact that electing to pursue a CMHSAC degree does not in any way preclude a student from applying for admission to the doctoral program. CMHSAC students who wish to apply to the doctoral program are subject to the same admission requirements that apply to those enrolled in the general MA program. These requirements include a satisfactory grade point average; successfully passing both an MA-level Research Methods course and the Assessment of Individual Differences course; and completing the elementary statistics requirement. There are some caveats, however:

    1. Students who wish to apply for admission to the clinical PhD program will also have to take the Research Methods, Intro to Stats and Research Design, and History and Systems courses. Thus, they will not take elective courses but instead will complete one additional "A"-level course.
    2. The Adult Psychopathology course is not part of the required CMHSAC curriculum, but it is required for the CASAC eligibility and is also part of the Clinical MA track.

    Description of CASAC Requirements

    The CMHSAC Master's Degree Program by itself does not satisfy all of the CASAC requirements. There are also requirements for work experience and supervised practical experience that must be met either before, during, or after CASAC exam. However, the CASAC education and training requirements (and hence, eligibility for a CASAC-T certificate and sitting for the CASAC exam) can be easily met by taking, in addition to the required CMHSAC courses, Adult Psychopathology, the 1-credit Seminar on Professional Issues and Ethics, and the online Child Abuse Reporting training. It should be noted that a master's degree in psychology is considered the equivalent of 4,000 hours of work experience. Consequently, the required amount of work experience for CMHSAC graduates is only one year, rather than the customary three years of full-time paid work. For more information on the CASAC requirements, please consult the CMHSAC Student Handbook (PDF) or visit the OASAS website.

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