Chemical Dependency Counseling

Montana has a continuing need for entry-level Chemical Dependency Counselors who can earn licensure. This program is designed to meet the education requirements for the State of Montana’s Licensed Addiction Counselor. It is offered online and is available to on-campus students, with some classes available only online. This program provides current knowledge and is updated for the new licensure requirements. 


  • Understand through application, the clinical assessment of addictions.
  • Administer, score, and interpret the results of screening and assessment instruments.
  • On the basis of screening and assessments, students will arrive at a clinical diagnosis. 
  • Understand the importance of diagnosis and its role in the treatment process.
  • Understand the basic principles of individual and group counseling for addictions.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the pharmacology of drugs.
  • Be prepared for supervised work experience and for taking the National Certified Addiction Counselor I or II (NCAC) board exam.

Completion of this curriculum indicates the graduate has acquired the necessary skills for entry-level employment. Following successful completion of this program, 1,000 hours of supervised work experience in a state-licensed substance abuse program is required in order to apply for the Montana Licensed Addiction Counselor’s exam. (This requirement is subject to change).

Students who earn the designated Associate of Arts Degree in Chemical Dependency may also desire to transfer to a university to gain a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Dependency studies. PLEASE NOTE: When selecting courses, students should consult the catalog of the school to which they intend to transfer.  They should then work with their DCC advisor to assure that the proper classes are being taken at DCC.  Together, the student and the advisor will select courses that will fit into the program at the transfer institution.

Out-of-state students should check their state’s general licensing criteria. 


First Year, First Semester (Fall)

Course   Semester Hours
CAS233 Chemical Dependency & Addictions Counseling Theory 3
CAS260 Addiction Assessment & Documentation 4
WRIT101 College Writing 3
CAPP131 Basic Microsoft Office 3
PSYX100 Introduction to Psychology 3
DCC101 Dawson College Success (on-campus students) 1
    16 (17 on-campus)

First Year, Second Semester (Spring)

Course   Semester Hours
CAS254 Co-Occurring Disorders 2
CAS252 Gambling & Gaming Disorders in Substance Abuse Counseling 2
CAS231 Pharmacology in Addictions 2
SOCI101 Introduction to Sociology 3
STAT216 Introduction to Statistics 4
PSCI260 Intro to State and Local Government 3

Second Year, First Semester (Fall)

Course   Semester Hours
CAS Addiction Counseling II 3
CAS265 Multicultural Competence & Ethics 2
COMX Intro to Interpersonal Communications or Intro to Public Speaking 3
BIOB160 Principles of Living Systems 3
BIOB161 Principles of Living Systems Lab 1
  3 credits chosen from Core II, IV, VI 3

Second Year, Second Semester (Spring)

Course   Semester Hours
CAS Alcohol and Drug Studies 2
CAS Addiction Treatment & Documentation 2
PSYX240 Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology 3
  Choose 9 credits from Core II, IV, VI 9

Total 63 Semester Hours
*64 if on-campus student
Core II  6 credits
Core IV 3 credits
Core VI 3 credits


To learn more about admissions, cost of attendance, financial aid and to apply for the program, click here.

For questions about the Chemical Dependency Program, contact:

Jordan Ulrich
Online Specialist