2022 Best Online Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees
Substance abuse and addiction counseling programs teach students how to support individuals recovering from chemical dependencies and substance use disorders. For those interested in a counseling career, now is the best time to enter the profession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook is 23% for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors, which is nearly three times higher than the US average across occupations.
2022 Best Online Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees
|Rank||School||Salary Score||Median Starting Salary|
|# 1||University of South Dakota||$34,694|
|# 2||Ohio Christian University||71||$33,657|
|# 3||Indiana Wesleyan University Online||67||$32,602|
|# 4||University of Maine at Augusta||67||$32,560|
|# 5||Purdue University Global||67||$32,530|
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2022 Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's Degrees
#1 University of South Dakota
The University of South Dakota (USD) is a medium-sized, public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Addiction Counseling and Prevention. The program provides students with the foundational skills to enter careers in addiction and counseling. Totaling 120 credit hours, the program offers students six specializations as part of two main tracks: (1) Treatment and (2) Prevention. Some of the program’s core courses include Fundamental Skills of Individual Counseling for Addiction, Study of Alcohol Use & Addiction, Group Addiction Counseling Practicum, and Addictive Family Systems & Family Counseling.
USD uses Daylight for students to complete their online coursework asynchronously. At USD, students can access resources, such as Coyote One Stop, ITS Service Desk, and academic services. An application, official transcripts, and ACT/SAT scores are required for admission.
#2 Ohio Christian University
A nontraditional Christian institution, Ohio Christian University (OCU) is a small nonprofit offering an online Bachelor of Arts in Substance Abuse Counseling. With 45 major credit hours, the program introduces students to the addiction recovery field. Some of the courses include Principles of Behavior, Abnormal Psychology, Prevention Strategies, and Trauma & Addiction. After graduation, students can sit for the Certified Chemical Dependency Assistant Status exam after completing 40 hours of chemical dependency training.
At OCU, students can take the flexible 5-week asynchronous program to complete weekly assignments for five consecutive weeks. Student resources include free tutoring and mentoring. Before admission, official transcripts, ACT/SAT/CLT test scores, and commitment to OCU’s lifestyle standards are required.
#3 Indiana Wesleyan University Online
A medium-sized, Christian nonprofit, Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Addiction Counseling requiring 48 credit hours to complete. The 22-month program provides students with an overview of what a career in addiction and counseling entails from a Christian perspective. In addition, students are required to complete a 350-hour practicum at an approved addiction facility.
IWU uses Brightspace, a digital learning platform, to deliver its online degree programs in an asynchronous format. In addition, online student support services at IWU are available through tutor.com and their off-campus library services. Prospective students must submit proof of a diploma or GED, official transcripts, 60 transferable credit hours, and completion of PSY-150 (General Psychology) before admission.
#4 University of Maine at Augusta
The University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) is a medium-sized, public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Mental Health and Human Services, which totals 121 credit hours. Students are required to complete one of the four concentrations for their degree, which includes the Addiction Counseling concentration. Some of the concentration requirements include Relational Systems that Support Substance Use Disorders, Substance Use Disorders and Trauma, and Crisis Intervention.
The program is offered through the online platform, Brightspace. In addition, UMA offers online student support services, such as counseling, tutoring, math labs, and academic coaching through Zoom. Admission requirements include a minimum 2.0 GPA, graduating in the top 75% of their high school class, and official high school or college transcripts or comparable GED or HiSET scores.
#5 Purdue University Global
Purdue University Global (Purdue Global) is a large, public institution offering an online Bachelor of Science in Psychology - Addictions. Totaling 180 credit hours, the program delivers the fundamentals of significant components of psychology combined with coursework in addiction and counseling. Some of the courses include Health Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, and Case Management in Clinical Settings.
At Purdue Global, students use the online platform, Blackboard Learn, to complete coursework delivered in an asynchronous format. In addition, Purdue Global offers online student resources, such as the Purdue Global Library, Career Service Specialists, and their Academic Success Center. General admission requirements include an enrollment agreement, GED or high school diploma, and official transcripts.