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2023 Most Affordable Online Master's in Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees

By the OnlineU team | Updated 1/10/2023
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Substance use disorder counselors play a key role in helping clients overcome drug and alcohol addiction by working with them to improve their mental and physical health, quality of life, interpersonal relationships, and other areas of well-being. Students can use this list of the most affordable online master's degrees in substance abuse counseling to gain the skills necessary to enter an evolving field while saving money on their degrees. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts demand for licensed counselors specializing in substance use disorder and other areas will grow by 22% over the next decade. For more information on our rankings or manually collected tuition, see our methodology or learn more about us.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Locations Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 Fort Valley State University Fort Valley (GA) $4,993
# 2 #2 Union College - KY Barbourville (KY) $5,100
# 3 #3 Governors State University University Park (IL) $5,648
# 4 #4 University of South Dakota Vermillion (SD) $7,057
# 5 #5 Aspen University Denver (CO) $7,800
# 6 #6 Eastern Washington University Cheney (WA) $8,381
# 7 #7 Washburn University Topeka (KS) $8,505
# 8 #8 Arizona State University Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others) $10,497
# 9 #9 New Mexico Highlands University Las Vegas (NM) $10,500
# 10 #10 Crown College Saint Bonifacius (MN) $10,620
#1
#1

Fort Valley State University

Fort Valley (GA)
Annual Tuition: $4,993
Annual Tuition: $4,993
Annual Tuition: $4,993

Fort Valley State University (FVSU) offers an online Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling, requiring 61 credit hours. The master's program is designed to prepare students to help clients with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities overcome barriers and improve their quality of life. Students will learn how disabilities affect their clients' lives and will gain skills in counseling, case management, and career preparation. Once they complete 100 hours of practicum and 600 hours of internship experience, graduates will be eligible to take the national certification exam and become Certified Rehabilitation Counselors. Graduates of this program may go on to work in substance use disorder treatment centers, correctional facilities, hospitals, high schools, or universities. FVSU is a public school and a historically black university.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Average SATs: 850 -960
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 40
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 68
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#2
#2

Union College - KY

Barbourville (KY)
Annual Tuition: $5,100
Annual Tuition: $5,100
Annual Tuition: $5,100

Union College in Kentucky is a private nonprofit university associated with the United Methodist Church. Students in the college's online Master of Science in Substance Abuse Counselingprogram take 60 credits in areas such as chemical dependency treatment, relapse, recovery, addiction psychology, and treating diverse clients. The curriculum is designed to give students a well-rounded understanding of how addiction impacts the mind and body and the counseling skills necessary to help clients struggling with addiction. Students will need to complete a counseling practicum and a two-semester internship in order to graduate.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 153
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 133
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#3
#3

Governors State University

University Park (IL)
Annual Tuition: $5,648
Annual Tuition: $5,648
Annual Tuition: $5,648

Public four-year school Governors State University offers an online Master of Health Science in Addictions Studies. Graduate students in this program complete 32 credits in areas such as substance abuse prevention, pharmacology, and techniques for working with groups. This program is designed for students who want to work in leadership roles within substance use treatment. Students should gain the skills necessary to plan, manage, and evaluate treatment and prevention services. The university also offers a counseling concentration which requires 28 additional credits. Graduates of both programs will need to complete an internship and a comprehensive exam. Students in the counseling concentration will also need to complete a practicum and advanced clinical internship.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 93%
  • Average SATs: 840 -1030
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 729
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 297
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#4
#4

University of South Dakota

Vermillion (SD)
Annual Tuition: $7,057
Annual Tuition: $7,057
Annual Tuition: $7,057

Students interested in substance use disorder counseling can choose from two programs at the University of South Dakota (USD). The Master of Arts in Addiction Counseling and Prevention requires 33-45 credits and offers an option to specialize in co-occurring disorders. This program is designed to prepare students for careers working directly with clients as licensed counselors. The Master of Science in Administration - Addiction Studies requires 36 credits and focuses on public service administration for professionals in substance use disorder treatment and prevention. Students may take courses in areas such as addiction treatment, counseling theories, ethics, case management, or relapse prevention. Potential career opportunities include working in addiction treatment and prevention at government agencies, social services, healthcare facilities, and nonprofit organizations. USD is a public four-year university.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1180
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,921
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 983
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#5
#5

Aspen University

Denver (CO)
Annual Tuition: $7,800
Annual Tuition: $7,800
Annual Tuition: $7,800

Aspen University is a for-profit college offering an online Master of Arts in Psychology and Addiction Studies. The program is designed to teach students about the psychological and neurological aspects of addiction, treatment and prevention, and working with clients and families. It's important to note that this degree does not lead to licensure, but graduates should gain a foundational understanding of addiction studies and treatment. Students will take 48 credits in areas such as diagnosis and treatment, ethics, addiction theories, and pharmacology, and will need to complete a capstone project in order to graduate. Graduates of this program may go on to careers related to addiction studies and treatment or may pursue further education and experience to qualify for counseling licensure.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 0%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,413
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,356
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: DEAC

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