Ranking Top 10 Master’s in Addiction Studies Degree Programs Online

Why earn a psychology master’s degree online? As a field, psychology is an incredibly broad subject that has applications in numerous industries, from education and counseling to marketing and human resources. While many online psychology graduate programs don’t lead to licensure (this means you couldn’t work as a practicing psychologist) they do provide valuable training for people who want to enhance their career or branch out into a new one. They’re also a necessary stepping stone for anyone who eventually wants to earn a Ph.D. in Psychology.

So if you think you might benefit from a program that will teach you all about human behavior, emotions, social interactions, and thought processes, you might want to consider earning an online master’s degree in psychology. Here are some of the top programs to help get you started.

Ranking Methodology

We created this ranking list to highlight the best master’s degrees in addiction counseling online. These include online programs in addictions, substance abuse, rehabilitation counseling, chemical dependency, and other similar fields. We also considered general psychology/counseling programs that feature a specialization option in the subject of addiction.

To define the best schools for addiction studies, we rated graduate programs in four categories: affordability (average tuition rate), accreditation, accessibility, and coursework. We awarded more points to programs that have specialized accreditations – from CACREP, for example – and offered their classes entirely online (except for required practicums). Also, our ranking favors programs that provide targeted – rather than general – career training. We assessed this feature by looking at the number of courses (both required and elective) in substance abuse and addictions counseling that the program offers in its curriculum.

Once we had collected all the data, we assigned points to each program in each category, tallied the totals, and calculated the final scores. The 10 highest-scoring schools earned anywhere from 9 to 24 points. Scroll down to find out which one has the top addiction studies degree program online!

Ranking Top 10 Master’s Degrees in Addiction Counseling Online

#10. Thomas University – Thomasville, GA

Online Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling: Addictions and Alcoholism Specialization

Program Website
Although Thomas University’s tuition already comes in on the lower end of the price spectrum, the school also offers generous degree-specific scholarships – making it one of the most affordable online addiction counseling degree programs in the country. Addiction-specific awards include a scholarship for students who want to work with disabled people and one for those who demonstrate a strong interest in advocacy and service. Beyond the financial benefits, Thomas also boasts membership in Chi Sigma Iota, the international counseling honor society. Through this chapter, you can participate in charity-based work, take advantage of special training, and generally enrich your educational experience.
Average Tuition: $12,490/yr
Score: 15

#9. University of Oklahoma – Norman, OK

Online Master of Prevention Science

Program Website
Among the most unique of all the programs on this list is OU’s Master of Prevention Science. This accredited master’s degree in addiction counseling online comes with a robust, prevention-focused curriculum that will prepare you to earn the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium’s Certified Prevention Specialist credential, a leading qualification in the field. In addition, the program provides flexibility in the form of fully online and hybrid delivery options as well as a student-choice capstone (pick from a thesis, research project, or comprehensive exam). Note that OU doesn’t generally accept life experience for course credit, with the exception of professional training from those with a background in law enforcement or the military.
Average Tuition: $15,221/yr
Score: 15.5

#8. University of the Cumberlands – Williamsburg, KY

Online Master’s in Addiction Counseling

Program Website
On this online addiction counseling degree program ranking, the University of the Cumberlands stands alone when it comes to affordability. The average tuition hovers just under $6,000, making the Master’s in Addiction Counseling both accessible and practical for working professionals. But that’s not the only benefit of attending UC. Most significantly, it offers the country’s only online program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. Plus, the degree’s dual-licensure track readies you for credentialing as both an LPC and a certified addiction counselor. All this comes with the flexibility and understanding of a school designed specifically for working adults, from rolling admissions to a generous transfer credit policy.
Average Tuition: $5,970/yr
Score: 16

#7. Monmouth University – West Long Branch, NJ

Online MA in Addiction Studies

Program Web

Flexibility is the name of the game at New Jersey’s Monmouth University. With summer, hybrid, and fully online courses plus full- and part-time study options, you can easily customize this degree to meet your needs. But no matter when and where you earn this top master’s degree in addiction counseling online, you’ll acquire the skills you need to work in rehab centers, long-term treatment facilities, community mental health centers, and more. Also, Monmouth’s program will prepare you to earn the Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor credential in New Jersey. That means you’ll need to complete 3,000 hours of supervised counseling before graduating.
Average Tuition: $24,856/yr
Score: 16.5

#6. Virginia Commonwealth University – Richmond, VA

Online Master of Science in Addiction Studies

Program Website
Offered in partnership with King’s College London and Australia’s University of Adelaide, the accredited online master’s degree in addiction studies at VCU features a decidedly global bent. Indeed, the curriculum incorporates the latest international scholarship on addiction research, prevention, treatment, and even policy. You’ll benefit from (virtual) FaceTime with experts from across the globe and graduate with a cross-cultural perspective you won’t get from rival programs. This program is an especially great fit if you want to work on policy at the international level, but it also prepares you for myriad leadership positions in the field.
Average Tuition: $19,207/yr
Score: 17

#5. Washburn University – Topeka, KS

Online Master of Arts in Human Services/Addictions Counseling

Program Website
Kansas residents in particular will appreciate Washburn University’s M.A. in Human Services with an emphasis in Addiction Studies, as the degree prepares graduates for licensure as both a Licensed Master’s Addiction Counselor (LMAC) and a Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAC) in the state. To provide the requisite training, this top addiction studies degree program online serves up a comprehensive curriculum that touches on both traditional methods of practice as well as more integrative, holistic approaches. The degree also requires plenty of hands-on work, including an applied research course, two practica, and an upper-level class in “Clinical Supervision.”
Average Tuition: $12,628/yr
Score: 17.5

#4. Indiana Wesleyan University – Marion, IN

Online Master of Arts with a Major in Clinical Addictions Counseling

Program Website
A Christian worldview informs the accredited online addiction counseling degree program at Indiana Wesleyan. As such, participants should be ready to incorporate their faith and spirituality into their counseling practice. Christian ethics also inspired the school to participate in the NAADAC Minority Fellowship Program for Addiction Counselors, a tuition-assistance program that supports “culturally competent” addiction counselors who want to work with minority groups and underserved populations. For example, eligible applicants might state their intent to practice in the LGBT community or provide counseling to refugees. The bottom line: this generous stipend will help make an already affordable degree even more attainable.
Average Tuition: $13,000/yr
Score: 18

#3. Ottawa University – Ottawa, KS

Online Master of Arts in Counseling: Addictions Counseling

Ottawa University offers an MA in Counseling with a concentration in Addictions Counseling. The general core coursework will ensure that you receive broad exposure to the field through required courses like “Social/Cultural Concerns in Counseling” and “Psychological Testing.” Once you’ve acquired a solid theoretical foundation, you’ll move on to advanced coursework – including a field placement that prepares you for licensure in both Arizona and Wisconsin. During this internship, you’ll have opportunities to reflect on your experiences through classroom discussions with peers. However, you’ll also need to complete two week-long summer residencies in Phoenix before graduating from Ottawa’s accredited master’s degree in addiction counseling online.
Average Tuition: $11,485/yr
Score: 18.5

#2. University of South Dakota – Vermillion, SD

Online Master of Arts in Addiction Studies

Program Website
The University of South Dakota offers one of the best addiction studies degree programs online for students focused on the future. While the degree also addresses contemporary issues, it does so with an eye toward developing advanced problem-solving skills you can apply to any future challenge. In addition, the degree includes unique and highly focused courses like “Native Americans and Substance Use” and “Working with Families on Alcohol and Drug Issues.” Another key benefit? Applicants who already have a bachelor’s degree in addiction studies (or a related field) can opt for the advanced M.A. track, which comes with fewer credit hours for a quicker path to graduation.
Average Tuition: $12,025/yr
Score: 20.5

#1. Governors State University – University Park, IL

Online Masters in Addiction Studies

Program Website
Governors State earns top marks on this online master’s degree in addiction studies ranking and on similar lists, and it’s easy to see why. For one, the flexible program lets you combine fully online classes with hybrid options for maximum convenience. What’s more, it offers a truly comprehensive curriculum that covers everything from pharmacology and prevention to research and treatment planning. The program also emphasizes multicultural viewpoints as a way to prepare you for work in diverse communities. Lastly, the degree earns top points for pragmatism: you’ll collaborate with a faculty advisor to select three credits that tie directly to your education or career goals.
Average Tuition: $12,952/yr
Score: 21

You’ve reached the end of our list of top addiction studies degree programs online.

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By OPD Staff