Addiction counselors help clients who struggle with alcohol or substance abuse. The counselors help clients manage their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors related to their addictions. The goal is to understand the problem, provide therapy, stop harmful behaviors, and help clines overcome their addictions.

To work as an addiction counselor, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree will qualify you to work as a(n) addiction/substance abuse counselor, case manager, prevention specialist, rehabilitation specialist, or in a similar role. These professionals are employed by social service agencies, treatment centers, healthcare facilities, and nonprofit organizations. To find out how you can earn a bachelor’s degree in addiction counseling online, check out the resources below.

What Will I Study in an Online Addiction Counseling Bachelor’s Degree Program?

An online bachelor’s degree in addiction counseling is a four-year program that usually requires 120-130 credit hours. The program teaches students about the emotional, mental, and behavioral aspects of addiction, as well as how to assess, diagnose, provide therapy, and prevent contributory behaviors, to help individuals overcome their addiction.

Many online bachelor’s programs in addiction counseling include opportunities for clinical experience. Clinical experience may come in the form of a practicum, internship, job opportunity, or period of observation. Typically, because the course is online, your clinical will take place within your own community. It's always in a supervised setting if students are interacting with clients.

You'll take a variety of required and elective classes during the four years of an online bachelor's program. Some of the major-specific classes you might take are:

  • Introduction to Addiction Counseling
  • Substance Abuse and Addiction
  • Assessment and Diagnosis of Substance Use Disorders
  • Theories of Addiction and Treatment
  • Ethics and Professional Issues in Addiction Counseling
  • Group and Individual Therapy for Addiction
  • Case Management and Treatment Planning
  • Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders
  • Prevention and Health Promotion in Substance Abuse Treatment

Admissions Requirements for a Bachelor’s in Addiction Counseling

Admission requirements for a bachelor’s degree in addiction counseling may vary depending on the educational institution. As a general guide, the following items are often required:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • GPA of at least 2.5-3.0
  • ACT or SAT scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement or essay
  • Completed application form
  • In-person or virtual interview
  • College transcripts (if transferring)

It is important to check with the specific online program you are applying to for their specific requirements. Many schools now use the Common App, but some still have their own application process.

To make your application as competitive as possible, use the personal essay to showcase why you have an interest in addiction counseling. It’s alright to share personal struggles when applying for this type of program.

List of Addiction Counseling Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Find an online or campus-based bachelor’s program in addiction counseling today – our state-by-state listings make it easy to find a great program near you.

Jump to Your State Listings


9414 North 25th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85021
(602) 371-1188


102 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523-0100
(970) 491-1101


2186 North Sherman Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46218-0567
(317) 543-3235

2550 Northwestern Avenue, Suite 1100
West Lafayette, IN 47906
(866) 522-7747


512 E. Stephens St
Midway, KY 40347-1120
(859) 846-4421


175 Sam Sibley Drive
Natchitoches, LA 71497-0002
(318) 357-6011


Bachelor's Programs
South Rd and Ellis Ave
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 389-1866

Bachelor's Programs
720 Fourth Ave. South
Saint Cloud, MN 56301-4498
(320) 308-0121

100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 900
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(866) 492-5336

New Hampshire

Bachelor's Programs
25 Hall Street
Concord, NH 03301-3471
(603) 228-3000

North Dakota

7500 University Dr
Bismarck, ND 58504
(701) 255-7500


Bachelor's Programs
1476 Lancaster Pike
Circleville, OH 43113-9487
(740) 474-8896

2624 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0063
(513) 556-6000

Bachelor's Programs
2624 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0063
(513) 556-6000

Rhode Island

Bachelor's Programs
600 Mount Pleasant Ave
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 456-8000


Bachelor's Programs
1201 W University Dr
Edinburg, TX 78539-2999
(956) 665-2011

Bachelor's Programs
1501 W.Chestnut Ave.
Denton, TX 76203-1277
(940) 565-2000


1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(434) 582-2000


Bachelor's Programs
526 5th Street
Cheney, WA 99004-2496
(509) 359-6200

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

Liz Norris, LPCC
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