Addiction is a critical epidemic across the country. The need for compassionate, dedicated counselors to treat those who suffer from drug addiction and alcoholism is expected to increase 25% by 2029. A master’s degree in addiction studies prepares students to become certified counselors and potentially seek advancement in research opportunities. The average pay in this field is $46,240 per year.
Which Careers Need A Masters In Addiction Studies?
Graduates with a master’s degree in Addiction Studies or Substance Abuse Counseling can seek careers as counselors, educators, and research assistants. They may become coalition or community engagement leaders, helping to educate and direct services for local substance abuse victims. This degree is also beneficial for those interested in working for organizations that provide grants and other services to substance abuse outreach programs.
Top 5 Masters in Addiction Studies Programs
|1||University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff||Pine Bluff, Arkansas|
|2||University of Central Oklahoma||Edmond, Oklahoma|
|3||Indiana University Northwest||Gary, Indiana|
|4||Coppin State University||Baltimore, Maryland|
|5||Washburn University||Topeka, Kansas|
Are Licenses Or Certifications Needed For To Get A Job With This Degree?
Licensure requirements depend on the type of career you plan to seek. All states require prospective addiction counselors to have a license. In order to become licensed candidates must have a master’s degree and between 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised experience in a clinical setting. Many degree programs offer internships to help students achieve the experience needed.
Looking to earn your degree in addiction counseling online? Our degree finder tools can help!
What Are The Best Master’s In Addiction Studies Programs?
We ranked a list of 20 addiction studies and substance abuse counseling degree programs from across the country. Our top two criteria were tuition cost and program length, but we also took graduate student enrollment size into account. Check out our results below!
Best 20 Masters in Addiction Studies Programs
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
The University of Arkansas features the only graduate-level addiction studies program in the state. Their Master of Science in Addiction Studies degree focuses on alcohol, tobacco, narcotics, and gambling. As a founding member of the Addiction Studies Honor Society International, Pine Bluff students in this program are open to join the Delta Pi Beta greek organization.
University of Central Oklahoma
The University of Central Oklahoma offers a Master of Arts in Addictions Counseling. There are two tracks for completing this degree: thesis or field/study. Among the admissions requirements into the program, prospective students must submit a single page paper on why they will be a successful counselor. They will also need 3 letters of recommendation, with one being from an already licensed drug and alcohol counselor.
Indiana University Northwest
The Department of Psychology at Indiana University Northwest awards a Masters in Clinical Counseling with Specialization in Drug and Alcohol counseling. While there are no online courses offered for this program, working students can attend classes in the evening and may attend part-time. Students may be eligible for practicum credit based on previous addictions counseling experience.
Coppin State University
Coppin State University offers a Masters in Addictions Counseling. Students may choose between two options upon reaching candidacy status. The Research option requires a comprehensive exam and creation of a research paper. The Thesis option requires completing two related courses and writing a Master’s Thesis.
The Master of Art in Family & Human Services at Washburn University provides the opportunity to specialize in Addiction Counseling. There are several ways to earn this degree: 2 Years, 3 Years Part-Time, and Fast-Track. The Fast-Track program is designed for undergraduate students, allowing them to earn their bachelor and master’s degrees within 5 years.
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University offers a Master of Science in Addiction Studies. This program may be completed in 1 year for full-time students or 2 years for part-timers. Remote learning is available. The school also awards intermediate and advanced graduate certificates in addiction studies.
Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University features a Master of Science in Counseling with a concentration in Substance Abuse Counseling. This program may be taken fully online to accommodate working professionals. There is also a concentration option combining substance abuse counseling and school counseling, though this option requires more credit hours.
Western New Mexico University
The Master of Arts in Counseling program at WNMU provides a clinical strand in Substance Abuse Counseling. Students in this program will also take the Rehabilitation Counseling, which enables them to earn two licenses after graduation. A 700-hour practicum or internship is included as part of the program.
Montclair State University
Montclair State University offers a Master of Arts in Counseling with a concentration in Addiction Counseling. Three semesters of the program are designated for fieldwork. Students can study full or part time and most courses are offered in the evenings.This program can be completed within 2.5 to 3 years at full-time status.
Palm Beach Atlantic University
PBAU is a private, Interdenominational Christian university offering a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an area of specialization in Addictions Counseling. The program integrates biblical studies into its curriculum to educate students how to provide theological and spiritually sensitive practices into counseling when appropriate.
City University of Seattle
The Master of Arts in Counseling degree program at City University of Seattle features a CACREP-Ready Track in Addiction Counseling. This program is available in a mixed mode format combining online and in-person studies. Students may study weekdays for two years or Saturdays for three years in order to complete their degree.
Boise State University
Boise State University’s Addiction Counseling Cognate of their Master of Arts in Counseling program is highly competitive. Only a limited amount of students are selected each year. Admitted students have more freedom to choose their internship opportunities, which last a minimum of 700 hours.
Albertus Magnus College
A private Dominican Catholic university, Albertus Magnus College offers a Master of Science in Clinical Counseling with a track in Addiction Counseling. Students who complete this track are eligible for two licenses, the LPC and the LADC. This program is designed to be taken full-time for 3 years, including summer classes. Most classes are on campus, with limited hybrid options.
Bay Path University
Bay Path University offers an Alcohol & Drug Use Counseling concentration for its Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Students will participate in a 100 hour practicum and 600 hour supervised internship. Classes are held in hybrid format as well as fully online.
Union Institute and University
Union Institute and University features a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health with a specialist certificate in addiction studies. The hybrid nature of the program combines online learning with face-to-face residencies twice a year. Full and part time schedules are available.
University of Detroit Mercy
University of Detroit Mercy is a private Roman Catholic university offering a Master of Arts in Counseling with a major in Addiction Counseling. The intensive program prepares students for licensure within the state, with eligibility for LLPC and CAC. Students gain experience serving the community through the Detroit Mercy Counseling Clinic.
Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies
Hazelden Betty Ford awards master’s degrees in different formats. The online master’s degree is in Addiction Counseling with a focus on Integrated Recovery for Co-Occurring Disorders, with two residency experiences within the 24 month length of the program. The on-campus degree focuses on Advanced Practice, with evening and weekend classes held in St. Paul and Center City.
The Master of Science in Counseling program at Prescott College features a concentration in Addictions Counseling. This limited residency format program combines online coursework with in-person experiences with faculty and peers. Students may also pursue concurrent certifications in adventure psychotherapy, ecotherapy, and art therapy.
Antioch University New England
The New England campus of Antioch University offers a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling with a focus on Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling. Graduates of this program will be eligible for licensure in most states as counselors and addiction specialists. At least 900 hours of internship experience will be acquired through the program.
Carlow University offers a Master of Science in Professional Counseling with a concentration in Addictions Counseling. This program can take between 2.5 to 3.5 years to complete. Classes are offered on-campus, online, or in hybrid formats. Students in the addictions counseling track are required to take 9 specific elective credits.
If you’re interested in earning your masters in addiction studies online, use our degree-finding tools to discover the right program for your needs!
Masters in Addiction Studies Ranking Methodology
We ranked 20 schools that offer master’s degrees in addiction studies and related degrees based on tuition, program credit length, and graduate-level student enrollment. Tuition rates and program lengths were gathered from each school’s website. Tuition is an estimate based on average full-time enrollment of 12 credits per semester. It did not include variable factors such as housing or personal expenses. Graduate student enrollment was obtained from the National Center for Education Statistics.
We sorted by lowest tuition, shortest program length, and highest graduate student population and assigned points to each school in each category. The breakdown of distribution is as follows: 40% tuition, 40% program length, 20% enrollment. The maximum possible points was 100.
We strive to be as accurate as possible in our data-gathering. If you work for a school listed above and notice an error in our data please reach out to us so we can make a correction.