MS in Addiction Studies Counseling master's program

Master of Science in Addiction Studies

Your compassion can help others overcome addiction

Ready to expand your career in addictions counseling? You can help make a difference in others’ lives with a Capella online master’s in addiction studies degree. Hone your skills as an addictions treatment professional working with individuals to develop and conduct prevention programs that can help them turn their lives around. Collaborate as part of a clinical team, or work independently with real-world situations to make a difference in the lives of clients and their families.

At a Glance

  • Online & in-person
  • 10 Core courses
  • 1 Residency
  • Internship
404 - Page Not Found
Skip to main section

We're sorry, the page you're looking for is not available. Use your back button, or return to one of the following pages. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 application fee (waived w/promo FALL20).

Addictions studies program highlights

Integrated addiction treatment standards

Capella University is an Approved Education Provider of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals.

Flexible, engaged online learning

Gain real-world skills with a combination of online, theory-based coursework and in-person learning experiences.

Scholar-practitioner faculty

Our faculty is made up of scholar-practitioners who are active within their professions and bring real-world experience to the courseroom.


Enhance the skills you develop in your program through interaction with faculty and students in a supportive environment.

Learn more about residency »


Apply your skills and knowledge in the field with direct client contact and supervision.

Learn more about internship »

92% of alumni are satisfied with their Capella education.


Source: Alumni Outcome Survey, 2019-2020

Faculty & support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Amber Lange, PhD, LPC, CAAC, NCC

Faculty Chair, Addiction Studies

Ann Melvin, PhD

Core Faculty

William Attridge, PhD

Core Faculty

Cost & learning format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

A more structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$560 per credit, 48 total quarter credits, 12 max transfer credits

*This is only an estimate, using general program pricing, and it does not include fees (including application and resource kit fees).  Your price may be higher or lower depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. If transfer credits are allowed in this offering, the prices above show what you would pay if you brought in the average number of transfer credits and the price if you brought in the maximum allowed transfer credits.  

Get the details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

Transfer credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools.

Employer & association discounts

If your employer or organization is a partner with Capella, you may be eligible for a tuition discount.

10% military discount

If you're an active-duty military service member, spouse, or veteran, discounts may be available.

Accredited & recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Understanding professional licensure

It is important to understand all educational and individual requirements for licensing. Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, certification, or endorsement. State regulations vary regarding professional licensure. It is your responsibility to understand and comply with requirements for your state.

MS in Addiction Studies sample courses

Capella’s MS in Addiction Studies provides you with treatment and intervention skills. You’ll focus on established standards, evidence-based practices, and ethics, including awareness and sensitivity to the complex needs of a multicultural society.

Show course with description
Survey of Research in Human Development for Addiction Professionals

This course presents theories of human development and behavior throughout the lifecycle. Learners examine approaches for researching human development, including personality and moral development theory. Learners also focus on the developing person by applying biological, psychological, and addiction concepts. Must be taken during the learner’s first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
Assessment of Addiction

Learners in this course examine the addiction-specific assessment process and apply assessment principles, measurement constructs, and testing strategies to evaluate diverse clients with a range of presenting issues. In addition, learners analyze screening and assessment results to diagnose substance-use disorders and determine goals and treatment recommendations. Learners also analyze legal, ethical, and cultural considerations related to screening and assessment in addiction treatment.

4 quarter credits
Principles of Integrated Addiction and Mental Health Treatment

Learners in this course examine diagnostic categories, professional literature, and current issues associated with an integrated addiction treatment model. Learners also explore the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) classifications and diagnostic issues associated with multicultural populations. 

4 quarter credits
Ethical and Legal Issues in Addiction Treatment

In this course, learners evaluate current legal and ethical guidelines used in the addiction profession. Learners apply decision-making models and formulate effective collaboration strategies used to resolve legal and ethical issues that arise when working with children, adults, couples, and families. Learners also analyze how personal belief systems influence addiction professionals’ responses to those issues.

4 quarter credits
Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment

In this course, learners explore group counseling as an important aspect of addictions treatment, recovery, and relapse prevention. Learners develop a personal model of group treatment for substance-related and addictive disorders that is informed by counseling and group theories; ethical, legal, and cultural considerations; and group development models.

4 quarter credits

"Little things—faint memories, unique word choices—can often lead to important discoveries, helping clients find solutions and coping strategies as they navigate life’s path. In the clinic, focus on these small matters."

Simone Lambert, PhD
School of Counseling and Human Services Faculty Member

Read full interview »

What you’ll learn

  • Articulate knowledge, skills, and practices related to addiction treatment
  • Apply addiction intervention and prevention theories, models, and approaches to individuals and groups
  • Deliver ethical, cultural, and ethnicity-sensitive services to clients in practical settings.
  • Select appropriate assessment interventions to evaluate and develop a treatment plan for clients.
  • Analyze research and models of program evaluation for addiction treatment and prevention.
  • Integrate knowledge and skills to create treatment plans for clients with substance use disorders.

Prepare for licensure

Our program features rigorous online coursework plus added support outside the courseroom to help you begin work immediately toward that next step in your career.

Dedicated support

Our licensure team supports you through the license application process, and is here for you even beyond graduation.

Faculty & support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment counselors

These experts will set you up for success. They’ll help you find the right degree and program, and answer all your questions about Capella.


Advisors know the details of your program. Got questions about courses? Instructors? Resources? Advisors have answers.


Our courses are taught by distinguished faculty members who hold top credentials and have hands-on expertise in their fields. They know what you need to know today.

Career center

For this team, it’s more than resumes and interview tips. It’s about thoughtful and strategic career planning—beyond graduation.

Addiction Studies career insights

The Need for Opiod Abuse Counselors

As Americans die every day from overdoses, the demand for trained addiction professionals continues.

Exploring Careers in Addiction Treatment

A degree in addiction studies could lead you to a satisfying career helping others overcome substance use issues.

Counseling Honor Societies: Valuable Recognition of Excellence

These societies are more than honor. Membership recognizes excellence among peers, showcasing skills and achievement.

Master's in addiction studies professional paths

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our Master’s in Addiction Studies degree.

Related job titles to explore*

  • Addiction counselor/specialist
  • Alcohol and drug abuse counselor/specialist
  • Chemical dependency counselor/specialist
  • Correctional substance abuse counselor/specialist
  • Substance abuse counselor/specialist
  • Recovery counselor/specialist
  • Case manager/worker

Employment settings to explore

  • Community mental health center
  • Detoxification center
  • Government - local, state, federal
  • Group home
  • Halfway house
  • Hospital
  • Inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation/treatment
  • Juvenile detention center
  • Outpatient treatment facility
  • Prison system
  • Probation/parole department
  • Residential treatment center

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other programs to explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the next step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.