Athletes, film stars, mothers, teenagers—addiction has many faces and can affect anyone, regardless of occupation, income level, race, or gender.

In fact, one in four Americans will have an alcohol or drug problem at some point in their lives.*

With Walden’s M.S. in Addiction Counseling program, you can gain the skills you need to offer guidance and treatment to people who struggle with addictive behaviors. The program focuses on ways to address substance abuse as well as addictive behavior exhibited through activities such as binge eating, pathological gambling, and hoarding. Through this online addiction counseling degree program, you can also learn how to work with dual-diagnosis clients who have both an addiction and a mental disorder.

Through Walden’s program, you can prepare to become a counselor with a specialization in addiction counseling and to qualify to sit for the Examination for Master Addictions Counselors (EMAC).Earning your master’s degree in addiction counseling can prepare you for a career in a variety of settings, including community mental health centers, hospitals, employee assistance programs, the juvenile justice system, drug courts, and private practice. Residencies and field experience opportunities help you gain hands-on practice in the field.

*The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 2007, on the Internet at http://www.casacolumbia.org/templates/Home.aspx?articleid=287&zoneid=32 (viewed April 5, 2012).

Students who are pursuing licensure as a State Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or a state substance abuse counseling certification should verify individual state laws to determine if this program meets eligibility requirements for licensure and/or certification in the state in which they intend to practice. Designation as a Master Addictions Counselor requires the successful completion of the Examination for Master Addictions Counselors (EMAC), in addition to other requirements.

Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

Sign Up for a Free Information Packet
  • General Tuition Rotator

     

  • Transfer credits for your masters program

  • Curriculum

  • Tuition & Fees

  • Career Options

  • Highlights

  • Learning Outcomes

  • Learn More

Walden’s M.S. in Addiction Counseling program features a General Program and six specializations. Choose the one that can help you meet your professional goals.

Specializations

Note on Requirements to Practice as an Addiction Counselor
Walden University’s M.S. in Addiction Counseling program is not accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which is a requirement to practice addiction counseling in some states. The M.S. in Addiction Counseling program is designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for national and state addiction counseling certification exams, to sit for counseling licensure exams, and to practice as addiction counselors. Because no program can guarantee licensure or certification upon graduation, we encourage students to consult the appropriate agency to determine specific requirements. However, each state board responsible for regulating the practice of addiction counseling has its own academic, licensure, and certification requirements and issues its own credential for an individual to practice as an addiction counselor in that state. Walden enrollment advisors can provide information relating to national and state certification exams and guidance relating to the state-by-state requirements for counseling licensure and practice as an addiction counselor; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to certification exams and licensing requirements for the state in which he or she intends to practice. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of its coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain certification or to obtain state licensure, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential.

 

Find out more about the M.S. in Addiction Counseling now.  Request Information

General Program

As the number of individuals dealing with substance abuse and behavioral addictions in the United States continues to grow, the need for qualified addiction counselors is also on the rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for addiction counselors will increase by 27% through 2020.* Through Walden’s M.S. in Addiction Counseling General Program, you’ll focus on a range of addiction and behavioral disorders and learn how to provide treatment intervention and develop case management strategies for a broad base of clients.

Completion Requirements

  • 90 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (80 cr.)
    • Field experience (9 cr.: Practicum, 100 hours; Internship, 600 hours)
  • Professional development plan, licensure plan
  • 12 days of residency (two six-day residencies)

This program can be completed in as little as 33 months, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, “Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012–13 Edition, Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors, on the Internet athttp://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-and-behavioral-disorder-counselors.htm (viewed online April 25, 2012). National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Courses

Addictions and Public Health

Addiction impacts individuals, families, communities, and society as a whole. With this specialization, you can develop expertise in prevention and health promotion activities to create positive social change. Courses help you gain a thorough understanding of the social, behavioral, and cultural factors that impact public health. You can use this knowledge to organize effective and relevant public health strategies that focus on preventing and treating addictive behaviors.

Completion Requirements

  • 100 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (80 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (10 cr.)
    • Field experience (9 cr.: Practicum, 100 hours; Internship, 600 hours)
  • Professional development plan, licensure plan
  • 12 days of residency (two 6-day residencies)

This program can be completed in as little as 33 months, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Child and Adolescent Counseling

Prepare for a career as a counselor helping children and adolescents in the juvenile justice system or in the general population. This specialization can help you build an understanding of child and adolescent development in the context of behavioral disorders and addictions. You can explore the latest theories and techniques for counseling young people and apply these skills in positions such as a school counselor, clinical therapist, or outreach specialist.

Completion Requirements

  • 100 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (80 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (10 cr.)
    • Field experience (9 cr.: Practicum, 100 hours; Internship, 600 hours)
  • Professional development plan, licensure plan
  • 12 days of residency (two 6-day residencies)

This program can be completed in as little as 33 months, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Family Studies and Interventions

Counselors today must be prepared to address the mental health needs of an increasingly diverse society. Through this specialization, you can learn to work with families and individuals from multicultural backgrounds, the LGBT community, and single-parent and low-income households. You’ll develop a foundation in marriage, couple, and family counseling with a focus on the latest strategies and techniques for effective intervention and guidance.

Completion Requirements

  • 100 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (80 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (10 cr.)
    • Field experience (9 cr.: Practicum, 100 hours; Internship, 600 hours)
  • Professional development plan, licensure plan
  • 12 days of residency (two 6-day residencies)

This program can be completed in as little as 33 months, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Forensic Counseling

Counselors and case management specialists serve essential roles in the evaluation and rehabilitation of individuals in the legal system. They diagnose and treat addiction in forensic populations that include drug abusers, juvenile delinquents, sex offenders, and victims of crimes. This specialization can help you develop the skills to serve the mental health needs of these individuals in correctional facilities, family courts, group homes, and other forensic settings. You will focus on the fundamentals of mental health law and explore topics such as competency to stand trial and diminished capacity. You will study various forms of intervention, such as individual and group psychotherapy, that you can apply in your forensic counseling role.

Completion Requirements

  • 100 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (80 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (10 cr.)
    • Field experience (9 cr.: Practicum, 100 hours; Internship, 600 hours)
  • Professional development plan, licensure plan
  • 12 days of residency (two 6-day residencies)

This program can be completed in as little as 33 months, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Military Families and Culture

The strain of combat, debilitating injuries, or long and painful separations from the people they love can be among the contributing factors for addiction in active and former military personnel. In this specialization, you’ll explore the nuances of military culture along with the unique stressors inherent to military life. You’ll examine current approaches for working with military personnel, veterans, and their spouses and children and can gain the skills and insights needed to support these individuals through a number of challenges.

Completion Requirements

  • 100 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (80 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (10 cr.)
    • Field experience (9 cr.: Practicum, 100 hours; Internship, 600 hours)
  • Professional development plan, Licensure plan
  • 12 days of residency (two 6-day residencies)

This program can be completed in as little as 33 months, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Trauma and Crisis Counseling

Individuals who undergo trauma or crisis can often experience lingering psychological and social issues and may need to seek the help of a skilled counselor. This specialization can help you develop strategies for effective counseling intervention and treatment of couples, families, and children who have been affected by traumatic events. You can also build the skills you need to work with suicidal clients and victims of abuse.

Completion Requirements

  • 100 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (80 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (10 cr.)
    • Field experience (9 cr.: Practicum, 100 hours; Internship, 600 hours)
  • Professional development plan, licensure plan
  • 12 days of residency (two 6-day residencies)

This program can be completed in as little as 33 months, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Curriculum Component Requirements  Cost  Total* 
Tuition 90 total quarter credit hours  $440 per quarter hour $39,600
Residency Fee Two 6-day residencies $1,645 (travel, lodging, and other expenses are additional) $3,290
Technology Fee  Per quarter $120 $1,560
    Total $44,450
    Transfer up to 45 credits  $20,580
    Total with Maximum Transfer Credits $23,870

*Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Maximum transfer credit total includes reduction in technology fee as related to reduced number of courses over time.

*Books and materials are not included and may cost up to an additional $5,000.

*Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Call 1-866-492-5336 for information about a full range of options for:

Transfer credits for your masters program

Walden’s M.S. in Addiction Counseling program can help you prepare for a broad range of career options. Depending on the state in which you intend to practice, you may be eligible to pursue the appropriate credentials and licensure to become a counselor with a specialization in addiction counseling and to qualify to sit for the Examination for Master Addictions Counselors (EMAC)*†.

You can prepare for a career in a variety of professional roles, including:

  • Substance abuse counselor
  • Behavioral disorder counselor
  • Mental health counselor
  • Counselor in a private practice
  • Outpatient counselor
  • Outreach specialist
  • Clinical therapist
  • School counselor
  • Counselor serving specialized populations
  • Group counselor
  • Manager in a human service organization
  • University student support staff member

 

*Note on Requirements to Practice as an Addiction Counselor
Walden University’s M.S. in Addiction Counseling program is not accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which is a requirement to practice addiction counseling in some states. The M.S. in Addiction Counseling program is designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for national and state addiction counseling certification exams, to sit for counseling licensure exams, and to practice as addiction counselors. Because no program can guarantee licensure or certification upon graduation, we encourage students to consult the appropriate agency to determine specific requirements. However, each state board responsible for regulating the practice of addiction counseling has its own academic, licensure, and certification requirements and issues its own credential for an individual to practice as an addiction counselor in that state. Walden enrollment advisors can provide information relating to national and state certification exams and guidance relating to the state-by-state requirements for counseling licensure and practice as an addiction counselor; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to certification exams and licensing requirements for the state in which he or she intends to practice. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of its coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain certification or to obtain state licensure, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential.

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Through Walden’s M.S. in Addiction Counseling program, you can:

  • Prepare to work with individuals and families whose lives have been affected by substance abuse and addictive behaviors, including hoarding, excessive Internet use, compulsive gambling, and binge eating.
  • Discover the roles and functions of addiction counselors in a variety of settings to gain an understanding of the cross-cultural competencies and skills required to address the specific needs of individuals from various economic, ethnic, and social backgrounds.
  • Prepare to advance your career and, depending on the state in which you intend to practice, pursue the appropriate credentials that qualify you to become a counselor with a specialization in addiction counseling.*
  • Engage with expert faculty members who are active in the field and integrate the latest research data and best practices into the classroom.
  • Prepare to work with dual-diagnosis clients—individuals who have both a mental disorder and an addiction.

Develop a social change project that can have a direct impact on the lives of individuals who may not have access to addiction counseling services. As a student in Walden’s M.S. in Addiction Counseling program, you can choose when, where, and how you learn, thanks to our online format and MobileLearn®. Through this education technology, you can listen to coursework on your MP3 player, access your classroom from your iPhone, download coursework to your laptop, and more.

Find out more about what defines Walden’s M.S. in Addiction Counseling program:

*Students who are pursuing licensure as a State Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or a state substance abuse counseling certification should verify individual state laws to determine if this program meets eligibility requirements for licensure and/or certification in the state in which they intend to practice. Designation as a Master Addictions Counselor requires the successful completion of the Examination for Master Addictions Counselors (EMAC) in addition to other requirements.

Graduates of this program will be prepared to:

  1. Apply sound ethical, legal, and business practices in the work of an addiction counselor.
  2. Implement counseling/prevention/intervention services related to addiction counseling.
  3. Promote diversity and advocacy as related to addiction counseling.
  4. Employ various assessment techniques to appropriately intervene in meeting the needs of diverse addiction clientele.
  5. Use evidence-based research literature to inform practice in meeting the needs of diverse addiction clientele.
  6. Use diagnostic tools to diagnose addiction and other disorders in diverse clientele.

For assistance in deciding which online degree program fits your goals, request information or speak with an enrollment advisor by calling 1-866-492-5336. A list of international toll-free phone numbers is available for students outside the United States.