Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Addictions Counseling

The addictions counseling program is designed with a focus on trauma-informed treatment and students will develop cultural competence and a trauma-informed approach to counseling addicted persons and families. Our degree programs provide the flexibility to lead you to the career of your dreams. With your professional advisors helping you along the way, you can mix and match majors and minors to get the perfect degree tailored to you and your career aspirations. Plus, you’ll graduate with a strong foundation in liberal arts.

Students will develop knowledge of addictions theory, developmental and abnormal psychology, treatment planning and family education. They will also gain an understanding of psychoactive drugs and their effects and be able to demonstrate an ethical and professional attitude and actions. You will be prepared for a career in addictions counseling, as the curriculum includes 350 clock hours of addictions counseling internship.

Major curriculum – 43 credit hours

Certificate curriculum – 27 credit hours

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field, you can pursue an addictions counseling certificate.


What is addictions counseling?
Addictions counseling is the process where an addicted person seeks help from a professional drug and alcohol counselor to overcome this disease. Addictions counselors work not only with the patient but can help family members through the process of recovery as well.

Why get a degree in addictions counseling?
Earning a bachelor’s degree in addictions counseling from SMWC qualifies you to take the LAC exam to become a Licensed Addictions Counselor. It also provides you the knowledge and tools to make a difference in addicts’ lives, as well as addicts’ families. This degree provides a pathway to many rewarding career opportunities.

What can you do with a degree in addictions counseling?
Having a bachelor’s degree in addictions counseling allows you to go down many career paths based on your interests! You may choose to go on to pursue a post-graduate certificate in addictions counseling. There are many options to help you achieve your goals in this career field. Here are some jobs you can get with an addictions counseling degree:

  • Case manager
  • Recovery coach
  • Alcohol and drug counselor
  • Behavioral disorder counselor
  • Program coordinator
  • Crisis intervention

Check out our blog: What can you do with an Addictions Counseling Degree?

What is the average annual salary of someone with an addictions counseling degree?
The need for addiction counselors continues to rise and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an increase of 23% in the number of substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors from 2020 to 2030, outpacing the average growth rate of all occupations in the U.S. As you look at starting salaries, keep in mind that the cost of living and opportunities to move with a career or industry sector should also factor into your decision. The average salary for substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors is $49,710, according to BLS.

What support and resources are provided at SMWC?
The Learning Resource Center (LRC) provides exceptional, personalized learning resource services to encourage student success. The LRC offers help with a range of academic support services, including a writing center, tutoring, college success courses and more.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is routinely ranked by US News and World Report among the Best Regional Universities in the Midwest and the Best Value Schools. Our departments are also routinely ranked for their individual degree programs.
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