For those establishing a future in counseling, addiction studies are proving to be an increasingly popular specialization. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a steadily increasing need for qualified addiction counselors who can make a difference. Addiction counselors can be found in numerous settings, some of which include inpatient clinics, outpatient clinics, halfway houses, prisons, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, among others.
The following ranking represents the top 5 online master’s degrees in addiction studies; these schools were selected through a systematic research process, focusing on the essential features of this course of study.
For more general information regarding distance learning, visit our ranking of the top online colleges.
In determining the order of this ranking, we awarded points based on:
- Range of academic offerings in multiple topics of addiction studies (1-3 points)
- Addiction studies instructor faculty program faculty in addiction (1-3 points)
- Recognition from respected academics publications (1-3 points)
- Flexibility offered within the online degree process (1-4 points)
- Immersive counseling practicum opportunities in addiction studies (1-3 points)
- An additional point was awarded for noteworthy features that made it a top college for an online addiction studies master’s student (1-3 points)
In the event of a tie in points, the school with the lower tuition rate appears higher in the ranking
Tuition data was sourced from College Navigator or the college’s official website.
The following list of ranked colleges represents the top 5 online master’s degrees in addiction studies.
Featured Online Schools
Best Master’s in Addiction Studies Online
Based in New Jersey, Monmouth University’s academics receive consecutive accolades from the Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. MU attracts diverse, distinguished faculty members holding terminal degrees in their respective fields. Monmouth’s distance learning offers an online master of arts in addiction studies; this 33-credit graduate program is designed for aspiring licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor (LDDC). The M.A. in addiction studies has a comprehensive series of curriculum topics, some of which include psychopathology, substance awareness in schools, psychopharmacology, and group counseling. Graduates of the addiction studies master’s program find careers in settings such as criminal justice programs, halfway houses, intensive outpatient programs, inpatient settings, and more. Monmouth University has fully online and online/classroom hybrid options for its graduate students.
The state’s flagship school, the University of South Dakota is a popular choice for career-driven students. USD is repeatedly named a “Best National University” by U.S. News and World Report, and publications including Princeton and Forbes have recognized their campus and online academics. USD has an online master of arts in addiction studies, a program that, depending on your background, can be completed in either 33 (standard track) or 45 (advanced track) credits. Graduate students enrolled in the addiction studies MS complete key coursework in the field, some of which includes the history and culture of addiction, trauma, and addiction, relapse prevention, research, public policy, and more. Each semester, students complete an internship related to their addiction counseling coursework.
Counted among the top schools both online and on-campus, the University of Oklahoma holds high academic standards. OU’s extended campus is home to a school of professional and continuing studies; this school is where graduate students will find an online master of prevention science. The master of prevention science is a fitting choice for online addiction studies students; this 33-credit graduate degree that leads to careers in alcohol and drug abuse prevention studies, behavioral health, public health administration, substance abuse counseling, and more. Graduates of Oklahoma’s master of prevention science have the versatility needed for a longterm career in the field. Although there is a considerable tuition gap between Oklahoma residents and non-residents, this college still offers graduate degrees at average to below-average tuition rates.
Established over 125 years ago in Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands is a Christian-based school with a dedicated personalized approach. Although a relatively small school, Cumberlands has an extensive range of academic offerings, both on undergraduate and graduate levels. The online master’s in addiction counseling is the only program in the nation accredited by the accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); this provides the opportunity to become dually licensed as a professional counselor and addiction specialist. Students enrolled in the online addiction studies degree learn important field areas that include psychopharmacology, family therapy in addiction treatment, spirituality in counseling, and much more.
A flexible, affordable education, Governors State University has top-notch academics and instructor faculty. GSU’s distance-learning division provides the same challenging curriculum, and graduate students will find numerous programs suited to their career interests. Governor State’s graduate degrees include an online master of health science in addiction studies; this degree is an evidence-based program, including the necessary skills and resources needed to meet multiple addiction client needs. GSU’s online addiction studies students are given coursework in pharmacology, counseling, group therapy, prevention, and much more. Throughout the MHS program, graduates complete an internship that aligns with their professional goals.