Best Online Master’s in Addiction & Recovery

Be on the frontline helping address one of the nation’s most serious issues by getting your master’s in addiction & recovery degree online. 

Best Online Master's in Addictions & Recovery

With an online master’s in addiction & recovery, you’ll learn how to help individuals suffering from addiction by utilizing addiction counseling techniques. During these online programs, you’ll take classes on how chemical dependency affects the addicted individual and their family, counseling theories, psychopharmacology, and the management of co-occurring disorders.

After earning your degree, you’ll wake up every day knowing you’re making a difference treating a disease that impacts not only the addicted individual, but also their friends and family. 

What Is an Online Master’s in Addiction & Recovery? 

An online master’s in addiction & recovery will teach you the skills necessary to help those struggling with substance use disorder and other addictions. Much of this degree will be focused on teaching how to effectively counsel people with addiction concerns and manage their cases through various levels of treatment. 

In addition to addiction counseling course work, you can expect to take classes in various areas of psychology, biology, research, and sociology topics. These courses will give you the background and context needed to understand how addiction occurs and how to best help those suffering from addiction issues. 

How Much Can You Earn With an Online Master’s in Addiction & Recovery?

There are many career pathways for those that have earned a master’s in addiction & recovery. The most common career for those that have earned this degree is a substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor, who make a median annual salary of $47,790

Other potential career options that you may want to consider are those in the criminal justice field and sociology field. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists frequently work with people who have some sort of addiction and earn just over $53,000 per year. Social and human service assistants also help those suffering from addiction and earn just under $33,000 per year. 

What Is Required for an Online Master’s in Addiction & Recovery? 

While every school has its own specific requirements for acceptance, there are a few constants. When applying to an online master’s in addiction & recovery degree program, most schools are going to want to see evidence that you have completed an undergraduate degree by submitting your official transcripts. 

Other common requirements are the submission of three letters of recommendation and a personal essay or goals statement. Personal essays are usually centered around a specific topic, while goals statements are used by schools to figure out what you are trying to accomplish by earning a degree in your chosen field. 

What Are the Best Online Master’s in Addiction & Recovery?

OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program-specific. For school-wide, OSR uses student satisfaction, admission rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the median debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.

The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.

  1. Grand Canyon University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,737(in state) / $9,737(out of state)
    • $530 per credit hour
    • Up to 12 credit hours acceptable transfer credits
    • Eight-week classes

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction69.20%
    Admission Rate67%
    Programs offered online37

    Program Level

    Median Debt$58,468
    Programs in Department12
    Popularity at School59.27%
    100%
    OSR Score

    Grand Canyon University’s number one ranked Master of Science in Addiction Counseling conveniently prepares you for licensure upon graduation. The program combines the theory of addiction with real-world, hands-on experience through a pre-practicum and practicum field experience. The degree is 36 credit hours in length.

  2. Ottawa University-Online

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $11,430(in state) / $11,430(out of state)
    • 3:1 Student-to-faculty ratio
    • 39 credit hour program

    School Wide

    Student SatisfactionNot Reported
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online20

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School60.77%
    91%
    OSR Score

    Whether you want to practice addiction counseling in a hospital or create your own practice, the Master of Science in Addiction Counseling from Ottawa University will prepare you for your future. The program is designed to help you develop critical thinking skills and teach students how to create a successful recovery plan. Graduates of this program will be prepared to sit for the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California (ACCBC) certification exam. 

  3. Washburn University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $8,492(in state) / $17,292(out of state)
    • 36 credit hour program
    • Addiction certificate options available
    • National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) certified

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75.40%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online10

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School36.01%
    83%
    OSR Score

    Washburn University makes it easy for students to complete their Master of Arts in Human Services/Addiction Counseling within two years, so they can start making a real difference in the world. The program includes two practicum experiences, which they can complete within their local communities. Students who complete this program will have satisfied the education requirements in Kansas to become a Licensed Masters Addiction Counselor (LMAC) and a Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor (LCAC). 

  4. Capella University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $14,365(in state) / $14,365(out of state)
    • 48 credit hour program
    • NAADAC approved education provider
    • $560 per credit hour

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction71.60%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online23

    Program Level

    Median Debt$77,171
    Programs in Department13
    Popularity at School25.13%
    83%
    OSR Score

    With only ten courses, one residency, and an internship, you’ll be able to earn your Master of Science in Addiction Studies from Capella University. The school has a GuidedPath program that allows students to take one to three courses per ten-week quarter, with you only paying for the classes you take! The classes in this program are taught by professors who have experience treating real people struggling with addiction concerns. 

  5. Walden University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $11,586(in state) / $11,586(out of state)
    • 100 hours of practicum and 600 hours of internship
    • 11 week quarters
    • CACREP Accredited

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction66.20%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online20

    Program Level

    Median Debt$84,834
    Programs in Department7
    Popularity at School55.53%
    82%
    OSR Score

    With Walden University’s MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Addiction, you will be able to counsel a wide range of conditions. The program is 100 to 106 credit hours in duration, 80 of which are core courses. The specialization consists of ten credit hours of coursework composed of two courses: Theories, Treatment, and Case Management of Addiction and Assessment in Counseling and Addiction. 

  6. Prescott College

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $20,280(in state) / $20,280(out of state)
    • 20 elective courses offered
    • Client-centered philosophy

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction85.40%
    Admission Rate95%
    Programs offered online36

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department8
    Popularity at School1.74%
    82%
    OSR Score

    If a limited residency program that only requires minimal on-ground contact is a viable option for you, then you should consider the MS in Counseling offered by Prescott College. The program allows its students to specialize in one of four areas, one of which is Addiction Counseling. While pursuing your degree with your chosen concentration, the school allows you to earn a postgraduate certificate in Adventure-based Psychotherapy, Ecotherapy, Expressive Art Therapy, or Equine-Assisted Mental Health. 

  7. Liberty University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $8,217(in state) / $8,217(out of state)
    • 48 credit hour program
    • Eight-week courses
    • Listed in the 1% of online schools and universities for affordability, accessibility, and academic quality by Best Colleges

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73.40%
    Admission Rate30%
    Programs offered online23

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department5
    Popularity at School6.91%
    80%
    OSR Score

    The goal of the Master of Arts in Addiction Counseling from Liberty University is to produce competent and passionate biblically-based addiction counselors. The program can be completed in as little as two years with a dedicated study, and the school allows up to 50% of the credit requirements to be transferred into the program. The course provides the academic foundation to become a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC) in Virginia. 

  8. University of South Dakota

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $7,553(in state) / $14,521(out of state)
    • National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC) accredited
    • Addiction Counseling graduate certificate option

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75.80%
    Admission Rate87%
    Programs offered online8

    Program Level

    Median Debt$39,449
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School37.73%
    69%
    OSR Score

    The Master of Arts in Addiction Studies program at the University of South Dakota will give you everything you need to obtain the highest addiction license in South Dakota. The program has an advanced track option for those who already have related credits, which is 33 credit hours in duration, compared to the program’s usual 45. The courses in this program are taught by teachers who are passionate about their work. 

  9. Union College

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,600(in state) / $9,600(out of state)
    • 60 credit hour program
    • 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76.40%
    Admission Rate63%
    Programs offered online3

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School17.29%
    69%
    OSR Score

    The Master of Science in Substance Abuse Counseling from Union College dives deep into the addiction process, the science of addiction, and the treatment of addicted patients. Around 18 courses are required to earn this degree, with nine of the courses composed of foundational substance abuse courses. The completion of this degree program will prepare students for licensure in the state of Kentucky. 

  10. Virginia Commonwealth University

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $14,493(in state) / $35,834(out of state)
    • 36 credit hour program
    • Final research project
    • Single diploma through three universities

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75.20%
    Admission Rate84%
    Programs offered online2

    Program Level

    Median DebtNot Reported
    Programs in Department5
    Popularity at School6.79%
    67%
    OSR Score

    The Master of Science in Addiction Studies from VCU is offered in collaboration with King’s College London and the University of Adelaide. The degree teaches students current research conducted in the field as well as how to design and implement policies to address addiction issues. The degree can be completed in one year of full-time study or two years for part-time students.