Addiction Counseling

Help improve the lives of those
who struggle with addiction.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 81,000 drug-overdose deaths occurred in the United States between May 2019 and May 2020. However, addiction goes beyond drugs; alcohol, gambling and more can leave individuals trapped in a cycle that affects not only themselves, but also their families, friends and colleagues.

Research shows that addiction often stems from psychological needs that can influence a pattern of self-destructive behavior. Knowing how to properly diagnose and treat clients is the first step toward starting them on the road to recovery.

The Addiction Counseling track in the online Master of Arts in Counseling program from the University of North Dakota is designed to teach you evidence-based practices that can empower your role as a licensed addictions counselor. You can also learn how to treat clients with a diverse range of needs, primarily focusing on those navigating addiction diagnoses and substance use concerns.

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Transfer credits accepted

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Prepare to serve
diverse populations

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3 start dates per year: spring, summer or fall

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100% online coursework

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Why focus your education
in Addiction Counseling?

  • Career prospects: Job growth for substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors is expected to increase 25% between 2019 and 2029.*
  • Compensation: The median pay for counselors in these roles is $47,660, with the top 10% earning more than $78,700.*

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Why choose UND for your
online degree?

  • Complete primarily asynchronous coursework 100% online.
  • Gain practical field experience by completing an internship at an addictions treatment facility.
  • Prepare for Counseling Doctorate or Doctor of Psychology programs.
  • Benefit from a program housed within the College of Education & Human Development.

What can you learn?

In this track you can acquire a strong foundation of knowledge, awareness and skills that prepare you to work with people from a variety of backgrounds. This perspective seeks to ensure equitable access to care that meets the needs of historically underserved populations within the scope of addictions treatment.

In addition, you will complete an internship consisting of at least 700 hours at a location in or near your community that serves people struggling with substance use or abuse, behavioral addictions or other mental health concerns. The program also includes a minimum of 240 direct client contact hours.

Focus your studies on:

  • Adherence to the code of professional ethics in counseling within the practice, supervision, research and teaching of best practices applied toward diverse populations.
  • Understanding the addiction and recovery process, and basic clinical methods of addiction counseling.
  • Examining the underlying factors in addictions and providing treatment options that employ a holistic approach and promote long-term well-being.
  • Methods and procedures of research development, design and analysis related to counseling and behavioral science.
Review Your Courses
University of North Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

What can you do?

Program resources can help position you to provide clinical and supportive counseling services through individual, group and family therapy based upon evidenced-based procedures and interventions.

Course curriculum is designed to help you engage in an ethically and multiculturally sensitive approach to serving clients living with addictions. The academic and professional standards you’re taught also can help you address the underlying causes of addiction for the development of long-term solutions.

Graduates of this track also may become excellent candidates for counseling doctoral programs and doctoral programs that specialize in addictions and recovery.

Qualify for roles including:

  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Addictions Counselor
Explore Careers

Admission Requirements

You’ve decided to earn your Master of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in Addiction Counseling, and you’re just a few steps away from completing the application process. Take some time to review the admission requirements and items needed to submit your application.

Review Requirements