The Department of Psychology now offers a graduate certificate in addiction and addictive behavior. The purpose of the certificate is to provide students with fundamental skills in basic pharmacology and pathology as they relate to drug use and abuse. The program will also provide opportunities to explore research in the general area of addiction and explore how such research is applied to its treatment.
“Drug use and abuse in the U.S. are issues of national concern and an understanding of the patterns of their use and of the problems associated with their abuse is a national priority,” states Department of Psychology Chair Tony Riley. “Producing a generation of students with this understanding is a major focus of this program and the department.”
The certificate program builds on expertise of many of the faculty in the department. Some of the addiction research being conducted by faculty in the department includes work on the biology of drug abuse, the role of expectancy in drug reactivity, the role of choice in addiction, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in drug use, and the effects of stress in drug abuse. Students will have the opportunity to work with faculty on these and related topics through laboratory and internship placements. Riley said, “Combined with the solid academic foundation that students gain through their coursework, these research and internship opportunities allow students to see the basic science behind (and the application of) the information gained in their classes.”
The academic and practical experiences that the students will receive in the courses will give them an understanding of addictive behaviors, their etiology and possible therapeutic interventions. These experiences will advance the skills of the student and can be used as a preparation for an advanced degree or job advancement. Students will have the opportunity to apply this background to individual projects through independent readings, research, and/or internships which can be transferred to the government or private sector, in such places as the DEA, NIH, NIDA, FDA, and Veteran’s Affairs.
The 18 credit program can be completed in one year of full-time study. Applications are being accepted for fall admission.