Drug and Alcohol Counseling Majors

Enrolling in a drug and alcohol counseling bachelor's degree program is the first step toward beginning a career as an addiction counselor. Get information on related majors, courses you can take, online options and licensure requirements. Schools offering Addiction Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Major in Drug and Alcohol Counseling?

Several schools in the U.S. provide bachelor's degree programs in drug and alcohol counseling or related fields. Usually offered as addiction or substance abuse counseling, these programs teach you how to counsel and treat patients with drug and alcohol problems. Some schools allow you to apply credit from a related associate degree program toward your bachelor's degree. Additionally, earning a bachelor's degree in addictions studies or counseling prepares you for graduate studies and eventually state licensure.

Major OptionsBachelor's degree programs in drug and alcohol counseling, addictions studies or substance abuse counseling are available
Common CoursesVictims of abuse, counseling laws, addictions and disorders, alcohol and drug education
Online AvailabilityOnline and blended bachelor's degree programs in drug and alcohol counseling or related fields are available; in-person exercises may be required
Licensure RequirementsAll states require master's degrees to qualify for state licensure; specific regulations vary by state

What Classes Will I Take?

In a bachelor's degree program, you can focus on prevention or substance abuse and take courses corresponding to your particular interests. Several of your courses will likely concentrate on the psychology of addictive personalities and human behavior. You'll learn how to counsel individuals and groups, as well as family members. Some schools allow you to study under an experienced counselor through internships and clinical practicums. Examples of electives you may take in this program include the following:

  • Drug and alcohol education
  • Addictive disorders
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Adolescent victims of abuse
  • Counseling laws and regulations

Can I Complete My Degree Online?

Several schools offer fully online or blended programs in fields related to drug and alcohol counseling; however, most programs include in-person practical exercises in a clinical setting to provide you with the required experience for state licensure. You can take your courses online and attend a local clinic, hospital or other school-approved counseling center to meet practicum requirements.

In order to take courses online, you'll need access to the Internet and a media player. Some schools use a course management system, such as Blackboard, to deliver your course materials, assignments and instructor announcements. Though you can often study at your own pace, many courses are offered in a scheduled virtual classroom or webinar setting and require both audio and video capabilities.

Can I Practice with Only a Bachelor's Degree?

All states require aspiring substance abuse counselors to obtain a master's degree in order to qualify for state licensure. You'll need to review the academic and occupational requirements of your state's particular licensing agency. If you need graduate education, many schools offer post-baccalaureate certificate and master's degree programs online.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

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