Best Online Master’s in Addiction & Recovery Programs

Badge (Online) with 2-Line TitleMaster'sin Addiction & Recovery2017
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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies 72.62 4/5 37% Center City, MN

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is one of the most prestigious institutions of its kind in the world. A 2014 merger joined Minnesota-based Hazelden, which was originally founded in 1949, with the globally renowned Betty Ford Center to form one of the world's largest addiction treatment and education facilities. The institution's online master's degree program in addiction studies takes a particular focus on integrated recovery solutions for addiction patients with co-occurring psychological, emotional, and/or physical disorders.

This master's degree in addiction counseling is comprised of 60 credit-hours, along with three immersive, hands-on residency experiences at the facility's headquarters in Center City, MN. Graduates meet the state of Minnesota's academic requirements for several professional certifications, including Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor, and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. Students can begin the program at any of three annual entry points, with full-time students typically graduating within 24 months. Part-time study opportunities, financial aid, and educational grants are also available.

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2 Virginia Commonwealth University 65.96 4/5 31% Richmond, VA

Founded in 1838 as the medical school of Hampden-Sydney College, Richmond-based Virginia Commonwealth University features an International Program in Addiction Studies that leads to a Master of Science degree. The program is entirely online, with a flexible schedule that permits full-time or part-time learning. This internationally renowned program benefits from collaboration arrangements with other prestigious institutions around the world, including King's College London and Australia's University of Adelaide.

Students complete a minimum of 36 credit-hours, exploring prevalent issues in addiction science including comparative international policy analysis, reviews of international treatment practices, and the effective design and implementation of patient-specific recovery programs. Experimental treatment approaches are also covered in detail, leading students to advanced understandings of the addiction cycle to support professional-level problem-solving, recovery program design, and written communication skills. The VCU program also emphasizes the importance of up-to-date data analysis and welcomes students from international backgrounds.

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3 Governors State University 59.57 3/5 8% University Park, IL

Governors State University's hybrid master's in addiction counseling program is specially designed to accommodate the needs of working professionals seeking to upgrade their scholastic qualifications. The program uses a blended format, enabling students to complete most of the 60 credit-hour requirements online while incorporating traditional face-to-face, classroom-based learning.

GSU's graduate addiction counseling program has a strong focus on evidence-based practices and helps students built the necessary skills to improve patient outcomes in clinical settings. Given that addiction frequently co-occurs with anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, students also receive enriched training in these subject areas to build the academic requirements needed to achieve universally recognized professional certifications. Transfer students also benefit from GSU's relatively open and inclusive transfer credit program, and the school has the lowest tuition rates in the state of Illinois.

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4 Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion 52.48 4/5 33% Marion, IN

Students seeking to complete a master's degree in addiction counseling online at a Christian institution are invited to consider Indiana Wesleyan University's program. The school offers an online Master of Arts in Clinical Addictions Counseling, which instills students with the clinical skills needed to help patients overcome drug and alcohol addictions in the context of a Christian worldview. Graduates of the program qualify for both state and national licensure requirements.

The master's degree program in addiction counseling is aligned with the NAADAC Minority Fellowship Program. The fellowship is designed to improve access to academic programs for vocational counselors intending to serve young members of the nation's minority and underserved populations. Qualified applicants in the final year of the program may be eligible to receive significant levels of financial aid.

The clinical supervisors who lead classes are drawn from diverse backgrounds and include men and women who hold PhD degrees and have extensive professional experience. Students can complete coursework entirely online or participate in a blended format that includes classes at the school's Marion or West Indianapolis campuses.

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5 University of South Dakota 52.07 3/5 10% Vermillion, SD

The University of South Dakota's online Master of Arts in Addiction Studies offers students the ability to complete a 33 credit-hour advanced track or a 45 credit-hour standard track. The advanced track option is available to students with existing professional certifications and to those who have completed post-secondary coursework in a directly related field at an accredited institution.

Recognized by the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission, the addiction studies program delivers all the necessary educational requirements for graduates to seek licensure in the state of South Dakota. However, students from other states are advised to check with their own in-state licensing boards to determine eligibility prior to submitting an application.

Applicants must have an existing undergraduate degree and provide official transcripts along with three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose. All prospective online students must also participate in an in-person interview with the school's admissions board.

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