About the Graduate School of Addiction Studies

This page explains how our Grad School maintains its competitive edge. It also highlights our core goals and philosophies, clinical placements, student success rates and more.
Grad student group

Educating Future Leaders

The Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies educates future leaders in addiction counseling to improve treatment and recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Our innovative curriculum integrates academics with clinical practice supervised by leading addiction practitioners at the nation’s premier addiction treatment center.

The unique educational opportunities awaiting you at the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies could be the key to your future in the field of alcohol and drug addiction treatment. Training with the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies prepares you for a rewarding career in the fast-growing fields of both addiction and mental health treatment.

Located at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s largest campus in Center City, Minnesota, the Graduate School incorporates clinical practice opportunities at the Foundation's multiple treatment centers in Minnesota.

The school also affords students access to more than 100 clinical rotation placements outside the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation system of care to further broaden clinical experience and expertise. A few examples of these placements include:

  • Rainbow Health - Minnesota
  • Maniilaq Association – Kotzebue, Alaska
  • Salvation Army – Denver, Colorado
  • Twin Town Treatment Centers – California
  • Mayo Clinics – Minnesota
  • Nuway – Minnesota
  • Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge – Minnesota
  • Turning Point – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Our Mission

The Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies educates future leaders in addiction counseling who provide evidence-based integrated care for substance use and co-occurring disorders.

Our Vision

The graduate school will set the international standard for addiction counselor education, practice, and leadership.

Our Values

To actualize our mission and achieve our vision, the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies embraces the following values:

  • Champion empathy, knowledge, diversity, multicultural competencies, and skills enabling students to treat the whole person as well as the disease of alcohol and drug dependence and its complications.
  • Treat each person with dignity and respect.
  • Promote Twelve Step fellowship as an effective method of sustaining therapeutic change.
  • Be of service to the larger community.
  • Advance innovation as a tool for continuous improvement.
  • Foster a scientific and open environment for inquiry and learning anchored in academic freedom and scholarship.
  • Advocate life-long learning as a standard for continued clinical competence.

Our Goals

All graduates of the Graduate School will achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate competence in evidence-based and theoretical approaches to alcohol and drug dependency and its complications.
  • Appreciate diversity as a clinical opportunity, based on individual differences including social, cultural, physical, and psychological implications of recovery.
  • Facilitate a process of change, including related factors such as family, environmental, and systemic issues.
  • Apply data and research to improve clinical services and outcomes.
  • Understand the ethical, moral, and legal implications of clinical practice.

Organizational Priorities

Serving as a platform for the future, the graduate school is charged with the following priorities:

  • Prepare students as future leaders in behavioral health.
  • Enrich community engagement for more effective public service.
  • Advance student learning resources.
We have been training addiction counselors longer than any other institution in the U.S.

Facts at a Glance

For more than 50 years, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation has prepared alcohol and drug counselors who help individuals and families reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. We have been training alcohol and drug counselors longer than any other institution in the United States.

  • Total enrollment during 2021: 264 students
  • Student age range: 22-69
  • States represented: 34
  • Core faculty with a doctoral degree: 100%
  • Female/male: 71%/29%
  • Average class size: 15 students
  • Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
  • Located in Center City, Minnesota, the 500-acre campus features rolling lawns, woods, lakeshore and wetlands
  • Students have joined us from 47 states, three US territories and 44 countries
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission
  • 98.7% of students are highly satisfied with the education they received (based on 461/467 survey respondents from 2004-2021)
  • 99.5% exam pass rate among graduates taking the licensing/certification examination the first time within six months of graduation (based on 433/435 survey respondents from 2004- 2021)
  • 92% of graduates are successfully employed within six months of graduation (based on 493/534 survey respondents from 2002-2021)