Master's Programs in Substance Abuse Counseling

Check the prerequisites for enrollment in a master's-level substance abuse counseling degree program. Explore the typical coursework, and find out if this field of study is available online. Get employment outlook and salary info for substance abuse counselors. Schools offering Addiction Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Are There Any Prerequisites for a Master's Degree in Substance Abuse Counseling?

Master's degrees in substance abuse counseling are designed to prepare graduates to work in a number of healthcare settings with patients who are dealing with different addictions through both coursework and experiential learning. Substance abuse concentrations are also available in some psychology, counseling and rehabilitation master's degree programs.

Admission requirements generally consist of having a bachelor's degree, strong Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores and a statement of purpose.

Prerequisites Bachelor's degree, personal statement, GRE scores
Common Courses Psychophysiology, research methods, pharmacology, counseling theories, addiction types
Learning Environments Traditional classroom and distance learning degree options are available
Median Salary (2018)$44,630 (for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)23% growth (for all substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Are Required?

Courses in a master's degree in substance abuse counseling prepare you to work with both individuals and groups as a counselor. Topics cover counseling theories, professional and ethical issues, types of addictions and related disorders, and psychophysiology. In addition to coursework, you will also complete a practicum in counseling. Some of the courses you can expect to find in this type of degree include:

  • Research methods
  • Group counseling
  • Addictive behaviors
  • Multicultural counseling
  • Pharmacology

Are Programs Available Online?

Online master's degrees in counseling and rehabilitation counseling can be found online from a few schools. Graduate certificates in substance abuse counseling are also offered online for licensed counselors.

Some online counseling programs still require you to complete either an internship or practicum, which can be done at an agreed upon location in your area. As an online student, you will also need to meet your school's technical requirements, in addition to having reliable access to a computer with an Internet connection.

What Can I Do with My Degree?

With an increased awareness of addiction and more people seeking treatment, job growth for substance abuse counselors is expected to grow quickly. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 23% increase in job growth between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2018, salaries for substance abuse counselors ranged from $28,240 to $72,990, according to BLS.

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:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • The Chicago School

    The Chicago School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The Chicago School:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Master
      • Master - Professional Counseling

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Iowa

    Campus Locations:

    • Iowa: Iowa City