Begin Your Career as an Addiction Counselor As a student at the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies, you will learn from proven experts in the field of addiction treatment and behavioral health. With a focus on the integrated treatment of substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders, the Graduate School’s online master's degree program prepares aspiring substance abuse counselors with the knowledge and skills to effectively address the complexities of addiction. Our Master of Arts in Addiction Studies: Integrated Recovery for Co-Occurring Disorders curriculum incorporates evidence-based treatment approaches and clinical practicums with comprehensive course offerings that include differential diagnosis, trauma-informed treatment, medical issues, psychopharmacology, and recovery management. The online format of our master’s program provides you with flexibility and convenience, whether you are beginning your graduate-level counseling program studies or you are a practicing substance abuse counselor pursuing advanced training in the field of addiction counseling and behavioral health. As an online student the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies, you will join a learning cohort from across the country in studying to become an addiction and mental health counseling professional. Online Master’s Degree Program Overview 60-credit hour accredited graduate degree program Flexibility to complete coursework according to your schedule Full-time 24-month degree program with part-time options available Ability to customize your addiction counseling degree through internships and other elective courses Three convenient start dates each year: January, May, and September Financial aid, grants, and veterans benefits available to those who qualify Online orientation course introduces various learning activities and equips new students for success as online learners On-campus residencies combine classroom instruction and interactive learning Our online master's program was designed to meet a broad array of state standards for licensure. The curriculum meets academic licensure requirements for Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) credentials in Minnesota. Our online master's degree is not a certificate program Start your application today or contact us to speak with an admissions specialist. Full-time and Part-time Options If you choose to enroll in our online master's degree program on a full-time basis, you will take up to four classes each semester, for six semesters. As a part-time student, you will likely complete the 60-credit hour requirement by taking two courses per semester, over a 10-semester time period. You can study at your own pace, as long as you complete the part-time program within seven years. Academic and Clinical Electives In addition to completing required core courses, online master’s degree students at the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies take an additional 12 credits of electives. The Graduate School offers two types of electives, clinical and academic. Clinical electives, also known as internships, are intended for students who plan to pursue licensure in the field of addiction or mental counseling following graduation. As a student, it is your responsibility to check into the specific licensing requirements of the state where you intend to practice as substance abuse counselor in order to determine the number of clinical hours needed. Academic electives allow students to think more deeply about specific topics or areas of interest related to substance use disorders, addiction counseling, treatment approaches, behavioral and mental health counseling, and integrated recovery. The Graduate School offers a variety of academic electives on a rotating basis, such as behavioral addictions, clinical supervision, human sexuality, advanced motivational interviewing, eating disorders and nutrition, and many other topics related to substance abuse, mental health, addiction treatment, and addiction counseling. View our full-time and part-time online program course and elective options (pdf). On-Site Residency Requirement As an online master's program requirement, Graduate School students participate in two on-site residency experiences at our campus in Center City, Minnesota, each lasting four days for a total of eight days. The residencies combine classroom instruction and interactive learning activities with opportunities for students to get to know members of their learning cohort, Graduate School faculty and staff, and leaders of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation—one of the most trusted names in addiction treatment. These on-campus residencies at the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies are not clinical experiences and do not satisfy clinical internship requirements for licensure in substance abuse counseling. Counseling Program Licensure Information by State With completion of our online master’s degree program, you will be prepared to begin the process of seeking certification and licensure in Minnesota as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC). Learning outcomes for the Graduate School’s online degree program are based on state and national criteria for licensure and certification as an alcohol and drug counselor and/or mental health professional. Licensing and certification requirements vary from state to state. It is your responsibility as a counseling program student to check the licensing and certification requirements for your respective state. Is an Online Master's Degree Program Right for Me? Many factors contribute to the successful completion of an online degree program in addiction counseling. Below are seven important considerations to help you determine whether the online Master's in Addiction Studies: Integrated Recovery for Co-Occurring Disorders degree program at the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies would be the best fit for you. Time Management and Organizational Skills Online master degree courses are not any less demanding than traditional courses in the addiction counseling or behavioral health field. Both online and traditional counseling degree programs involve setting aside time throughout the week to meet course requirements. As an online student, you will want to create a dedicated study space where you can give focused attention to your coursework. Additionally, online students need to be adept at multitasking in order to organize and track the many details associated with course requirements and participation. Successful online students are proactive in creating both the necessary space and time to study. Responsibility and Focus of Control As a graduate student entering a new field of study such as substance abuse counseling, there may be times when you will need to conduct your own research or acquire additional knowledge in order to fill prior learning gaps. By recognizing that you have control over your learning, you can move from a grade-based definition of success to a learning-focused approach. The recognition that you control what you learn—and how deeply you learn—will contribute greatly to your success as an online graduate student and, subsequently, as a substance abuse counselor. Initiative and Help-Seeking Each course you take in a graduate-level addiction counseling program will have its own cadence and specifications related to how and when assignments are submitted and learning activities are completed. It’s critical that you take it upon yourself to carefully check your course materials for clarification and ask questions about assignment activities or requirements. Engagement and Curiosity Especially in fields such as substance abuse counseling and mental health, online graduate courses rely heavily on peer-to-peer discussion within your learning community. This intensive level of discussion and peer interaction will help you, as an online student, to engage fully in course content and activities, process reading materials and lecture topics, and deepen your learning. Successful online students readily engage with peers in the learning process and value the opportunity to gain new perspectives when others share viewpoints that may differ from your own. Communication Texts, discussions, and written assignments are important components of online graduate-level counseling program coursework. Effective written communication skills are essential in your graduate studies and, later, in your work as substance abuse counselor. Successful online students will not only have strong writing skills, but will be invested in continually developing their communication skills through interactions with peers, faculty, and staff in ways that represent growing professionalism in the addiction counseling field. Technology and Problem-Solving Online courses make use of educational technology to serve student learning. Successful online students have access to current computer technology as well as the Internet, and are comfortable using technology to create documents, engage in online conversations and find information. Throughout your online studies you will have many opportunities to develop new skills and capabilities—and to problem-solve—as technologies evolve and new issues inevitably arise. Motivation and Shared Vision Pursuing an online graduate-level counseling degree takes ongoing commitment. Having a clear sense of your motivation for becoming a substance abuse counselor is critical to weathering the challenges that graduate studies will pose. Sharing your vision about a career in addiction counseling with those who can support you in achieving your goals (family members, friends, co-workers) will help you stay focused and enthused in your studies. Still unsure whether an online degree program is the right format for you? Take this brief self-assessment to gain more insight into your potential as an online learner.