Why Get a Master’s Degree in Addiction Studies Counseling?

Those interested in becoming an addiction counselor can expect a rewarding, yet challenging, career in helping others with a wide array of addictions including substance use disorder, gambling, shopping, sex, gaming, and many others. Addiction counseling has a promising career growth rate of up to 25%. This figure demonstrates the need for more addiction counselors in the next decade.

Because addiction is often associated with underlying mental health concerns, it’s highly recommended that individuals seeking a career in addiction counseling pursue a master’s degree. With this advanced degree in addiction counseling, you will learn more about mental health in greater detail than with a bachelor’s degree. You will also qualify for better positions and promotions as well as earn a higher salary in less time.

Top 5 Master’s Programs in the US

university-of-minnesota-logo

The University of Minnesota at Minneapolis and St. Paul has several distinguished counseling programs, including a Master of Professional Studies in Addictions Counseling. This university also features accelerated programs and internships for those who qualify. The U of M is also known for creating the Honeycrisp apple in the horticulture research center, and the campus offers underground and above-ground walkways between most buildings to avoid inclement weather.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $17,580
    • Out-of-State: $27,204
  • Average Net Price: $17,279
  • # of Applicants: 40,673
  • % Admitted: 57%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 16,162
  • Retention Rate: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 83%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $74,382
  • 10 Year ROI*: $709,262
college-of-william-mary-logo

The College of William and Mary offers a graduate certificate in addictions counseling and a master’s degree in counseling with a clinical mental health and addictions concentration. The certificate program can be completed in just 12-credit hours. A little known fact is that three former U.S. presidents studied at this prestigious higher learning institution, which is also considered to be a public Ivy League university. Program participants will benefit from small class sizes with over half of all courses hosting less than 20 students.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,516
    • Out-of-State: $28,305
  • Average Net Price: $18,551
  • # of Applicants: 14,680
  • % Admitted: 38%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 2,517
  • Retention Rate: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 90%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $72,886
  • 10 Year ROI*: $691,758
washburn-university-logo

At Washburn University, which is located in Topeka, students who have completed a bachelor’s degree can apply for a family and human services master’s degree with an addiction counseling concentration. This program is designed to lead to a Kansas licensure in masters addiction counselors and clinical addiction counselors. Students will benefit from small classrooms with almost half hosting less than 20 students, and students from several nearby states also pay resident tuition, including Colorado, Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,306
    • Out-of-State: $18,788
  • Average Net Price: $13,752
  • # of Applicants: NA
  • % Admitted: NA
  • Graduate Enrollment: 813
  • Retention Rate: 69%
  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $58,393
  • 10 Year ROI*: $556,426
waynesburg-university-logo

Waynesburg University offers a welcome school-to-life balance by featuring 20 NCAA Division III varsity sports, campus activities and top education. Students can select from an addictions counseling certificate and a master of arts in counseling with an addictions counseling specialization. The addictions counseling specializations prepare students to work with individuals who suffer from substance use disorders or various process addictions, for example, Internet addiction, shopping addiction, gaming addiction or gambling addiction. To qualify, applicants must complete a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA from a regionally accredited higher learning institution.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $16,080
    • Out-of-State: $16,080
  • Average Net Price: $19,765
  • # of Applicants: 1,589
  • % Admitted: 93%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 351
  • Retention Rate: 75%
  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $70,298
  • 10 Year ROI*: $663,450
the-college-of-new-jersey-logo

The College of New Jersey has an average class size of 21 students and a 13 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio with an 87 percent six-year graduation rate. At the master’s degree level, students can choose between a master of arts in counseling or counselor education. It is possible to select a specialization in addiction counseling. These degrees are accredited by the CACREP and can lead to New Jersey licensure in clinical alcohol and drug counseling and professional counseling.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $14,554
    • Out-of-State: $22,467
  • Average Net Price: $23,945
  • # of Applicants: 13,824
  • % Admitted: 49%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 632
  • Retention Rate: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 86%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $72,325
  • 10 Year ROI*: $675,360
university-of-north-carolina-charlotte-logo

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is a large public university that is classified as an urban research institution. Innovation and active citizenship are critical components to the culture at UNC. The 8 colleges offer over 150 academic programs. One of such programs is a master’s degree in addiction counseling, which is CACREP accredited and offers 600 hours in internships. This program has a 100 percent addictions licensure pass rate on the first attempt.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $4,337
    • Out-of-State: $17,771
  • Average Net Price: $15,200
  • # of Applicants: 21,868
  • % Admitted: 65%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 5,545
  • Retention Rate: 83%
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $68,192
  • 10 Year ROI*: $651,520
cornerstone-university-logo

Cornerstone University is located in Grand Rapids, MI, combining higher learning and Christ in all counseling professions. It is possible to choose from a variety of counseling programs, such as a master’s degree in mental health counseling. An addictions certificate is also available to be able to become a certified advanced alcohol and drug counselor in the state of Michigan.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $13,680
    • Out-of-State: $13,680
  • Average Net Price: $19,923
  • # of Applicants: 2,519
  • % Admitted: 78%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 494
  • Retention Rate: 79%
  • Graduation Rate: 60%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $59,840
  • 10 Year ROI*: $558,554
texas-tech-university-logo

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is one of the most premier universities in Texas located in Lubbock. It features a number of well-known alumni, including Buddy Holly, Helen Wagner, Mac Davis, Chase Crawford, Natalie Maines and many others. The master’s degree in addiction counseling features telehealth practices, clinical counseling skills and more. The program is CACREP accredited, and it is available online to meet the flexible needs of today’s busy students.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,958
    • Out-of-State: $13,428
  • Average Net Price: $16,463
  • # of Applicants: 25,384
  • % Admitted: 69%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 6,617
  • Retention Rate: 87%
  • Graduation Rate: 61%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 21 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $68,777
  • 10 Year ROI*: $654,844
appalachian-state-university-logo

Appalachian State University is a hill-ringed campus in Boone, NC. Though it sits near the center of a small town, students will find it’s quite remote otherwise. However, that hasn’t stopped the school from enrolled nearly 20,000 students in recent school years. The student-to-faculty ratio is a bit high at 16 to 1, but that’s likely to be less of a problem once you get into your major courses. If your focus is on addictions counseling, those courses will grant a certificate, and you may also complete a master’s in clinical mental health counseling or marriage and family therapy.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $4,839
    • Out-of-State: $18,271
  • Average Net Price: $10,525
  • # of Applicants: 16,664
  • % Admitted: 77%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 1,762
  • Retention Rate: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $58,899
  • 10 Year ROI*: $567,940
duquesne-university-logo

Duquesne University is home to over 9,000 students with a rich history dating back to 1878 that is deeply rooted in Catholicism. The school is also home to nine academic schools. Within these schools, students can pursue a master’s degree in addiction counseling. The program can be completed in a timeframe of two years or longer if one chooses to participate as a part-time student.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $23,580
    • Out-of-State: $23,580
  • Average Net Price: $30,732
  • # of Applicants: 7,231
  • % Admitted: 74%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 3,358
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 81%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $64,378
  • 10 Year ROI*: $582,316
colorado-state-university-logo

Colorado State University at Fort Collins prides itself on being a part of the local community and the high level of integration and participation by the alumni. With each passing year, a number of essential academic aspects continue to increase at CSU, including fundraising, enrollment, campus improvement investments and research expenditures. Students can benefit from such advantages through a master’s degree in addiction counseling. This degree is designed as a licensure pathway in addiction counseling within the state of Colorado.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,520
    • Out-of-State: $25,791
  • Average Net Price: $16,793
  • # of Applicants: 28,319
  • % Admitted: 81%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 7,637
  • Retention Rate: 84%
  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $68,542
  • 10 Year ROI*: $651,834
drexel-university-logo

Drexel University is home to over 200 degree programs through 15 dedicated schools and colleges. It has an R1 research Carnegie classification, it is a highly technologically advanced campus and students have a large number of employment opportunities. It is possible to complete an online master’s degree in addiction counseling. This degree centers around alcohol and drug use disorders and behavioral addictions, which is also referred to as process addictions. state addiction counseling certifications.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $35,181
    • Out-of-State: $35,181
  • Average Net Price: $38,025
  • # of Applicants: 31,824
  • % Admitted: 75%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 8,791
  • Retention Rate: 89%
  • Graduation Rate: 69%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $76,710
  • 10 Year ROI*: $691,050
john-carroll-university-logo

John Carroll University is located in Cleveland, Ohio, with over 500 regional businesses that are owned or operated by alumni. As such, the alumni mentor network is stronger than most. It is also possible to take advantage of an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a substance use disorder concentration. Program participants have an opportunity to complete fieldwork in various of industry fields, such as assessment, screening, dual diagnosing, individual and group counseling, case management, employee assistant programming and much more.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $16,788
    • Out-of-State: $16,788
  • Average Net Price: $27,260
  • # of Applicants: 3,782
  • % Admitted: 86%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 489
  • Retention Rate: 89%
  • Graduation Rate: 76%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $63,362
  • 10 Year ROI*: $579,100
montclair-state-university-logo

Montclair State University is based in Montclair, New Jersey and has parts of the campus extending into Little Falls and Clifton. This higher learning institution is a large public university with over 21,000 students and more than 300 programs at all levels. Students can choose a master’s degree in counseling with an addictions counseling concentration. Graduates might work in hospitals, private practices, community service agencies, mental health facilities or others.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $13,073
    • Out-of-State: $21,033
  • Average Net Price: $15,890
  • # of Applicants: 12,729
  • % Admitted: 76%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 4,320
  • Retention Rate: 80%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $64,718
  • 10 Year ROI*: $615,400
virginia-commonwealth-university-logo

Virginia Commonwealth University is located in Richmond, VA, within minutes and a few hours to all major cities on the East Coast. This large higher learning institution is home to over 30,000 students with a respectable 18 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio and over two dozen top-50 programs. The master of science in addiction studies program is a global collaboration between VCU, the University of Adelaide and King’s College London, and it is available online.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $14,596
    • Out-of-State: $35,904
  • Average Net Price: $20,968
  • # of Applicants: 17,088
  • % Admitted: 87%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 6,920
  • Retention Rate: 83%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $64,146
  • 10 Year ROI*: $599,524
university-of-denver-logo

The University of Denver is located within the heart of the city with nearby light rail, shops, entertainment and more. Students can select a master’s degree in clinical behavioral health with an addiction counseling emphasis. In this program, students have access to dual licensure and greater career advancement possibilities. Hybrid, weekend and evening classes are available for all students.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $51,336
    • Out-of-State: $51,336
  • Average Net Price: $37,263
  • # of Applicants: 21,028
  • % Admitted: 59%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 7,157
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 77%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $69,658
  • 10 Year ROI*: $622,054
eastern-washington-university-logo

Eastern Washington University is located in Cheney, Washington, which is not far from Spokane. It has been rated as the No. 1 college of diversity in the state of Washington by the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity. It is possible to choose from at least eight different addiction studies degrees and programs at various levels. Graduate students have options, including certificates and master of arts degrees. Many of such programs are also available online.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,721
    • Out-of-State: $27,214
  • Average Net Price: $12,764
  • # of Applicants: 5,297
  • % Admitted: 96%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 1,654
  • Retention Rate: 70%
  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $62,916
  • 10 Year ROI*: $603,632
loyola-marymount-university-logo

Loyola Marymount University is nationally recognized with an R2 research classification making it one of the best research higher learning institutions. The school also works to center programs around social justice and leadership. The award-winning faculty includes Fulbright Scholars, Nobel Prize Winners and Princeton Fellowship recipients. In addition to a certification pathway, the substance use disorders counseling program also offers a number of hands-on workshops.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $18,606
    • Out-of-State: $18,606
  • Average Net Price: $47,292
  • # of Applicants: 18,592
  • % Admitted: 44%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 3,044
  • Retention Rate: 89%
  • Graduation Rate: 80%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 10 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $72,669
  • 10 Year ROI*: $632,106
suny-college-at-oswego-logo

SUNY College at Oswego is located in Oswego, NY, on the shores of stunning Lake Ontario with over 100 programs. The college also offers programs online and at a Syracuse campus. Classes have an average class size of 24 and a 17 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio. The college features a dedicated counseling and psychological services department with the option of credentialing in alcoholism and substance abuse counseling.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,310
    • Out-of-State: $23,100
  • Average Net Price: $15,762
  • # of Applicants: 12,669
  • % Admitted: 54%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 910
  • Retention Rate: 77%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $60,853
  • 10 Year ROI*: $577,006
valparaiso-university-logo

Valparaiso University was founded in 1859 and has a strong tradition of excellence in both academics and sports. The clinical mental health and school counseling degrees offer a pathway to clinical addictions counselor licensure. As part of the program, students will have access to internships and supervised work experience to meet licensure and certificate requirements.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,700
    • Out-of-State: $11,700
  • Average Net Price: $21,824
  • # of Applicants: 5,491
  • % Admitted: 86%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 510
  • Retention Rate: 84%
  • Graduation Rate: 71%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 10 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $65,470
  • 10 Year ROI*: $611,052
fairleigh-dickinson-university-logo

The Metropolitan Campus at Fairleigh Dickinson University is located in Teaneck, New Jersey, which is a mere six miles from NYC. This close proximity to such a bustling city provides endless opportunities in life, academics and work. As the largest private university in New Jersey, students have access to honors programs and accelerated degree programs. The accredited counseling program in clinical mental health prepares students to support diverse individuals with dignity, respect and equity.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $22,186
    • Out-of-State: $22,186
  • Average Net Price: $15,601
  • # of Applicants: 2,808
  • % Admitted: 92%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 1,853
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $77,987
  • 10 Year ROI*: $748,668
frostburg-state-university-logo

Frostburg State University works diligently to incorporate the ideas and recommendations of students into daily student and academic life. Students can also explore various metropolitan areas, such as Baltimore, Pittsburgh and D.C. The master’s degree in counseling psychology is accredited by MPCAC and requires a year-long internship. Many graduates work in addiction clinics, human service agencies, health clinics and counseling centers.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,866
    • Out-of-State: $10,080
  • Average Net Price: $16,380
  • # of Applicants: 3,072
  • % Admitted: 80%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 749
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $63,980
  • 10 Year ROI*: $607,040
central-michigan-university-logo

Central Michigan University centers all programs around leadership, respect and integrity. The school has two Carnegie research classifications amongst its roughly 300 programs. Each year, roughly 20,000 students enroll in various programs at all degree levels. The master’s degree in counseling features a concentration in addiction counseling. This concentration prepares students interested in qualifying for licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC) in Michigan and who wish to work in the addiction field.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $16,700
    • Out-of-State: $16,700
  • Average Net Price: $15,266
  • # of Applicants: 16,411
  • % Admitted: 70%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 4,735
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Graduation Rate: 61%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $65,723
  • 10 Year ROI*: $626,698
adelphi-university-logo

Adelphi University is located in Garden City, New York, which is part of the NYC metro and surrounded by culture and adventure at every turn. The university prioritizes diversity, equity inclusion as part of the school culture as well as green and sustainability initiatives. Graduate students can select a substance abuse counseling concentration from a mental health counseling program. Upon completion, students might work in private practice, hospitals, clinics, schools and more.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $41,920
    • Out-of-State: $41,920
  • Average Net Price: $28,130
  • # of Applicants: 13,919
  • % Admitted: 74%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 2,631
  • Retention Rate: 79%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $70,821
  • 10 Year ROI*: $651,950
marshall-university-logo

Marshall University has a primary campus in Huntington, West Virginia, as well as additional locations in Beckley, Teays Valley, Point Pleasant and South Charleston. MU has over 12,000 students, extensive career services and a Carnegie classification at the doctoral level. A dedicated counseling department exists featuring two specializations. The programs are CACREP accredited with licensure and certification pathways.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,506
    • Out-of-State: $19,840
  • Average Net Price: $8,508
  • # of Applicants: 6,451
  • % Admitted: 87%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 3,437
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $61,393
  • 10 Year ROI*: $596,914
indiana-wesleyan-university-marion-logo

IWU at Marion is a small school, with just over 3,000 students enrolled yearly and boasting a student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1. The school also offers students a variety of options when it comes to addictions counseling, from a bachelor’s degree available online to a graduate certificate and full graduate program. No matter your goals in addiction counseling, IWU-Marion can get you onto the path to success.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $13,440
    • Out-of-State: $13,440
  • Average Net Price: $21,619
  • # of Applicants: 4,363
  • % Admitted: 67%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 403
  • Retention Rate: 79%
  • Graduation Rate: 71%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $66,949
  • 10 Year ROI*: $626,252
university-of-memphis-logo

The University of Memphis has an annual enrollment of over 22,000 students with ample financial aid and scholarships available for all. Students can choose from over 250 studies, including over 100 advanced degrees and certificates. The addiction counseling program is accredited by the CACREP and can lead to Tennessee licensure. This program provides graduates with the appropriate preparation to work in prevention, support research and addiction treatment.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,216
    • Out-of-State: $12,672
  • Average Net Price: $13,481
  • # of Applicants: 14,778
  • % Admitted: 85%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 4,307
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $68,342
  • 10 Year ROI*: $656,458
university-of-nevada-las-vegas-logo

The University of Nevada at Las Vegas provides access to endless activities and educational adventures mere blocks from America’s adult playground. Over 30,000 students enroll each year in the many specialized colleges and schools. An advanced graduate certificate in addiction studies for individuals who have a counseling master’s degree. This certificate is often used to advance careers, salaries and expertise in various mental health professions, such as social workers, school counselors, rehabilitation counselors, family therapists and many others.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,459
    • Out-of-State: $20,510
  • Average Net Price: $12,403
  • # of Applicants: 12,720
  • % Admitted: 81%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 5,344
  • Retention Rate: 79%
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $64,853
  • 10 Year ROI*: $623,724
lewis-clark-college-logo

Lewis & Clark College is home to over 3,000 students at all levels, including bachelor’s degrees, graduate degrees and law school. A dedicated graduate school exists for education and counseling. Such programs lead to California licensure, certifications and endorsements in a variety of areas, including professional mental health and addiction counseling. Program participants will have access to career development and community engagement opportunities.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $17,046
    • Out-of-State: $17,046
  • Average Net Price: $36,026
  • # of Applicants: 5,863
  • % Admitted: 72%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 1,288
  • Retention Rate: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 77%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $64,153
  • 10 Year ROI*: $569,478
nova-southeastern-university-logo

Nova Southeastern University is a nationally ranked higher learning institution in a number of areas, including BIPOC graduate degrees, private research, athletic teams, social mobility and more. The school has over 20,000 students, 190,000 alumni and over $41 million in awarded scholarships. Students have the option to pursue master’s degrees in counseling with a concentration in substance abuse counseling and four other areas.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $19,665
    • Out-of-State: $19,665
  • Average Net Price: $24,776
  • # of Applicants: 11,058
  • % Admitted: 80%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 14,910
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $71,031
  • 10 Year ROI*: $660,758
university-of-southern-indiana-logo

USI sits in the suburbs of a midsize town, with a spacious campus, certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s, master’s, and more available to its nearly 11,000 students. The school offers those interested in addictions counseling a Bachelor of Social Work or Master of Social Work with focuses on addictions and a 100% online program for advanced studies in addiction science.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,246
    • Out-of-State: $19,469
  • Average Net Price: $13,360
  • # of Applicants: 4,614
  • % Admitted: 93%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 1,543
  • Retention Rate: 67%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $57,573
  • 10 Year ROI*: $549,010
bay-path-university-logo

Bay Path University is a private, not-for-profit university with master’s programs ranked amongst the fastest growing in the country. The primary campus is located in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, with over 3,300 students. A master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program with an alcohol and drug use counseling concentration exists that is complete with a 600-hour internship and a 100-hour practicum. This program also leads to Massachusetts licensure.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $14,670
    • Out-of-State: $14,670
  • Average Net Price: $22,740
  • # of Applicants: 1,123
  • % Admitted: 72%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 1,507
  • Retention Rate: 68%
  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $58,909
  • 10 Year ROI*: $543,610
university-of-north-carolina-pembroke-logo

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is home to over 8,000 students who benefit from the 18 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students can choose between 18 graduate and 41 undergraduate programs. The master of social work offers a substance use and addiction recovery emphasis. This program can lead to North Carolina licensure. A graduate certificate in addictions counseling is also available.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $4,280
    • Out-of-State: $16,344
  • Average Net Price: $9,888
  • # of Applicants: 5,601
  • % Admitted: 85%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 1,345
  • Retention Rate: 72%
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $53,073
  • 10 Year ROI*: $510,954
university-of-south-dakota-logo

The University of South Dakota is home to nearly 10,000 students and is working toward flexible offerings to accommodate all students, including online, off-campus and on-campus programs. Each program experience is dedicated to inclusiveness and diversity. Students with at least a bachelor’s degree can apply for the MA in addiction counseling and prevention program. This program is in line with the South Dakota Board of Addiction and Prevention Professionals requirements.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,062
    • Out-of-State: $11,656
  • Average Net Price: $17,689
  • # of Applicants: 4,434
  • % Admitted: 86%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 2,445
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Graduation Rate: 59%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $63,055
  • 10 Year ROI*: $595,172
metropolitan-state-university-logo

Metropolitan State University has a diverse mix of students in a variety of facets that make this higher learning institution a bit different from the rest, including an average student age of 30. Psychology, human services and social work are three of the top 10 majors at MSU making it an ideal school for individuals who have an interest in an addiction counseling career. The MS in substance use disorders counseling leads to Minnesota licensure.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,082
    • Out-of-State: $16,164
  • Average Net Price: $15,056
  • # of Applicants: 1,096
  • % Admitted: 56%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 822
  • Retention Rate: 77%
  • Graduation Rate: 34%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $64,847
  • 10 Year ROI*: $618,358
capella-university-logo

Capella University is an online higher learning institution with region accreditation by the same accrediting body of all top colleges and universities throughout the US. A number of programs also have various professional accreditations, including counseling program accreditations by the CACREP. Students can pursue a master’s degree in addiction studies both online and in the classroom. These programs include a residency and internship for those who qualify.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $14,767
    • Out-of-State: $14,767
  • Average Net Price: $17,368
  • # of Applicants: NA
  • % Admitted: NA
  • Graduate Enrollment: 27,356
  • Retention Rate: 40%
  • Graduation Rate: NA
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 27 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $70,114
  • 10 Year ROI*: $666,404
regent-university-logo

Regent University provides degrees at all levels from associate degrees to doctoral degrees with over a dozen specialized program accreditations, including the CACREP in counseling. The school carefully crafts a culture of Christ and education. Several in-demand addiction programs exist, such as a master’s degree in psychology with an addictions concentration, a master’s degree in human services with an addictions counseling concentration and a master’s degree in addiction and recovery counseling are available. Many programs are available online.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $15,552
    • Out-of-State: $15,552
  • Average Net Price: $15,062
  • # of Applicants: 2,344
  • % Admitted: 86%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 5,957
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 29 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $59,454
  • 10 Year ROI*: $564,416
lipscomb-university-logo

Lipscomb University is located in the Nashville metro offering students the advantages of a small university education, including technological advances. While the school has nearly countless awards for its education programs, it also excels in counseling. A master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an addiction counseling specialization is available. This program leads to Tennessee licensure in mental health services and alcohol and drug abuse.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $18,414
    • Out-of-State: $18,414
  • Average Net Price: $26,013
  • # of Applicants: 3,481
  • % Admitted: 63%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 1,736
  • Retention Rate: 83%
  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $60,225
  • 10 Year ROI*: $550,224
kutztown-university-of-pennsylvania-logo

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania has nearly 8,000 students from all over the US and the world with an average class size of 24 students and over 130 programs. The school is home to over a dozen program accreditations, including counseling programs accreditation by the CACREP. A master of arts in counseling with an addiction counseling concentration is available with 700 hours of experience in the field. This program leads to Pennsylvania licensure.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,288
    • Out-of-State: $13,932
  • Average Net Price: $22,401
  • # of Applicants: 6,854
  • % Admitted: 90%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 995
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $58,455
  • 10 Year ROI*: $539,748
grand-canyon-university-logo

The higher learning institution Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949, and it is a publicly-traded higher learning institution with a Christian emphasis. In the early 2000s, it started to focus heavily on online education; however, it also has a number of traditional campuses complete with a growing sports program. Students can pursue a top-ranked online master’s degree in addiction counseling within the humanities and social sciences college that leads to licensure.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,175
    • Out-of-State: $10,175
  • Average Net Price: $21,332
  • # of Applicants: 37,456
  • % Admitted: 77%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 37,214
  • Retention Rate: 65%
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 21 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $62,140
  • 10 Year ROI*: $578,736
monmouth-university-logo

Monmouth University is a small private higher learning institution with an ideal student-to-faculty ratio of 12 to 1. The student body consists of nearly 6,000 students from all around the country and the world all of whom have access to 60 degree programs at all levels. Students can pursue a master’s degree in addiction studies that leads toward licensure. This program allows students to participate in-person full-time or part-time, online and take summer or evening courses.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $27,126
    • Out-of-State: $27,126
  • Average Net Price: $30,945
  • # of Applicants: 8,984
  • % Admitted: 77%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 1,503
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $65,947
  • 10 Year ROI*: $597,580
liberty-university-logo

Liberty University integrates Christ with higher learning and professional development. The school offers over 700 programs at all degree levels. This online university is home to over 100,000 students, including more than 30,000 military students. The master’s degree in addiction counseling offers both training and education that can lead toward licensure or certification.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,980
    • Out-of-State: $7,980
  • Average Net Price: $28,181
  • # of Applicants: 42,312
  • % Admitted: 51%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 38,561
  • Retention Rate: 81%
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $54,600
  • 10 Year ROI*: $489,638
columbia-international-university-logo

Columbia International University has a strong biblical background dating back to 1923 when classes were held in two hotel rooms, a hotel office and sunroom and the YMCA. Today, the student body consists of over 1,000 students with an average class size of 20. The master’s degree in addictions counseling provides students with the ability to assess, diagnose, treat and prevent addictive behaviors. Graduates can select from a variety of career paths, including ministry or career opportunities.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,360
    • Out-of-State: $9,360
  • Average Net Price: $18,242
  • # of Applicants: 336
  • % Admitted: 48%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 843
  • Retention Rate: 69%
  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $54,378
  • 10 Year ROI*: $507,296
university-of-central-oklahoma-logo

The University of Central Oklahoma is a large public school with a student body of 17,000 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 19 to 1. UCO has 250 student organizations and roughly 170 programs from which to choose. The master’s degree in addiction counseling develops the skills necessary to work with both individuals and communities struggling with substance use disorders. Students will also gain hands-on experience throughout the program.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,000
    • Out-of-State: $17,008
  • Average Net Price: $15,894
  • # of Applicants: 4,491
  • % Admitted: 84%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 1,482
  • Retention Rate: 65%
  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $60,663
  • 10 Year ROI*: $574,842
western-connecticut-state-university-logo

Western Connecticut State University is located in the idyllic Danbury, Connecticut, and is home to over 5,000 students. This East Coast university features dozens of programs throughout four dedicated schools, including business, the arts and sciences, professional and visual and performing arts. The master’s degree in addiction studies has been awarded grants for internships and placements toward opioid prevention and treatment.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,378
    • Out-of-State: $19,008
  • Average Net Price: $18,110
  • # of Applicants: 5,388
  • % Admitted: 76%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 649
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $64,386
  • 10 Year ROI*: $607,640
wichita-state-university-logo

Wichita State University is located in Wichita, Kansas, which is the largest city in Kansas, with 33 museums, over 80 recreation and parks areas, sports, music and theater, festivals and much more. The master’s degree in addiction counseling offers an addiction counseling track that can lead to Kansas Licensure in both professional counseling and addiction counseling. Graduates find work in many unique career paths in addiction treatment, such as addiction counseling, career counseling and mental health counseling.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,435
    • Out-of-State: $13,348
  • Average Net Price: $13,849
  • # of Applicants: 6,238
  • % Admitted: 92%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 2,719
  • Retention Rate: 69%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $66,913
  • 10 Year ROI*: $641,432
saint-cloud-state-university-logo

Saint Cloud State University has over 13,000 students, many of whom are veterans. There is an average of 20 students per classroom. And student financial aid, scholarships and grants are widely available. Students can select a master’s degree in rehabilitation and addiction counseling through the Department of Community Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy. SCSU sets itself apart with its graduate assistantships so that students graduate with relevant work experience.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,460
    • Out-of-State: $11,334
  • Average Net Price: $13,594
  • # of Applicants: 5,171
  • % Admitted: 90%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 1,703
  • Retention Rate: 67%
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $69,448
  • 10 Year ROI*: $667,292
wright-state-university-logo

Wright State University is located in Dayton, Ohio, which is almost in the middle of Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis, Indiana. This medium-sized public university was named in honor of the Wright brothers. As such, innovation remains at the core of WSU’s culture. Program participants of the master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling will follow a pathway to Ohio state licensure and certification.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $14,298
    • Out-of-State: $24,286
  • Average Net Price: $15,251
  • # of Applicants: 5,849
  • % Admitted: 95%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 2,985
  • Retention Rate: 62%
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $69,771
  • 10 Year ROI*: $667,208
university-of-the-cumberlands-logo

The University of the Cumberlands is located in Williamsburg, KY, which is surrounded by the picturesque views of the Appalachian Mountains. This large private university is home to roughly 18,000 students each year, with over 13,000 of those being graduate students. Each program focuses on innovation, research and experiential learning. The master’s degree in addiction counseling offers bi-terms, and transfer credits can be applied if they meet the requirements.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,670
    • Out-of-State: $5,670
  • Average Net Price: $16,340
  • # of Applicants: 2,510
  • % Admitted: 80%
  • Graduate Enrollment: 13,092
  • Retention Rate: 69%
  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $57,995
  • 10 Year ROI*: $547,270
cambridge-college-logo

Cambridge College has six locations, three are in Massachusetts, one in California, one in Puerto Rico and you can take courses online. An impressive 42 percent of all graduate students at Cambridge College are first-generation college students. The college is home to several counseling degrees, including a master’s concentration in addictions counseling. Upon completion of this concentration, program participants will be prepared to work in education, treatment, prevention and counseling.

  • Tuition: $14,713
    • In-State: NA
    • Out-of-State: NA
  • Average Net Price: $26,993
  • # of Applicants: NA
  • % Admitted: NA
  • Graduate Enrollment: 1,569
  • Retention Rate: 22%
  • Graduation Rate: 8%
  • Student Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
  • Average Grads Salary: $64,592
  • 10 Year ROI*: $591,934

What Can You Do with a Substance Abuse Counseling Master’s Degree?

With a career in substance abuse counseling, you can pursue a variety of different career possibilities, including:

Substance Abuse Counselor:

As a substance abuse counselor, also referred to as an addiction counselor, you will be responsible for providing therapy or counseling to groups or individuals who struggle with drug or alcohol issues. You can expect to earn a median salary of $39,970 as a substance abuse counselor.

Social Services Manager:

Social services managers plan, coordinate and direct outreach programs designed for the community and social services. These professionals will have to manage others and strictly follow the policies and procedures of your employer and any relevant legislation and regulations. You can expect to earn a median salary of $54,064 as a social services manager.

Mental Health Counselor:

Mental health counselors work with individuals who have mental health issues, illnesses and disorders. The clients or patients of these professionals may have addictions or any other type of mental health needs. You can expect to earn a median salary of $43,311 as a mental health counselor.

Additional potential job titles also exist as part of the career path of an individual with an addiction counseling degree, such as an adolescent counselor, school counselor, behavioral disorder counselor and more.

Master’s in Addiction Studies Sample Courses

To be able to gain acceptance into a master’s degree program in addiction studies you will have to complete a bachelor’s degree. The bachelor’s degree does not have to be in addiction; however, it might be helpful to have a background in the sciences, including psychology, mental health, behavioral, social and others.

Some examples of addiction counseling courses include:

  • Co-Occurring Disorders
  • Social and Cultural Diversity Issues in Counseling
  • Family Issues and Addictive Disorders
  • Psychopharmacology and Addictions
  • Diagnostics, Assessment, and Treatment
  • Group Counseling Theory and Practice
  • Counseling Chemical Dependency Adolescents

Frequently Asked Questions

1

Do you need counseling experience to apply to master’s degree programs?

Counseling experience is not typically a requirement for admission to a master’s degree program in addiction counseling; however, it can be helpful. Consider an internship or work experience while you complete a bachelor’s degree.

2

Can you complete a substance abuse counseling master’s degree online?

Yes. Many highly ranked and regionally and professionally accredited degree programs are available online so that you can work or care for family members while you complete such an advanced degree.

3

What type of people will I work with as an addiction counselor?

Anyone is prone to addiction, and as such, you could potentially work with any type of people from all backgrounds and age ranges. You can even specialize in adolescent addiction if you prefer to work with younger people.

4

Who hires substance abuse counselors with master’s degrees?

As a greater understanding and urgency is placed on mental health and addiction in society the more employer types of addiction counselors are emerging, including hospitals, corporations, schools, homeless shelters, government agencies, residential treatment programs, non-profits, rehabilitation treatment centers, medical clinics, outpatient substance abuse programs and many others.