Division of Continuing & Distance Education, Summer School Off-Campus & Distance Learning

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Master of Arts (M.A.) in Addiction Studies

Program Overview

The Online Master of Arts (M.A.) in Addiction Studies prepares substance abuse and counseling professionals for advanced levels of competency to address current and future addiction/prevention challenges in society. Practicing professionals need graduate-level knowledge to address the complexities of today's client. Graduates of the Master's in Addiction Studies degree program will be eligible to the highest level of addiction/prevention credentialing through the South Dakota Board of Addiction and Prevention Professionals. Online Master's degree in Addiction Studies participants should contact their State Chemical Dependency Certifying Body to assure courses meet certification.  Requirements may differ from state to state. For details regarding South Dakota's certification standards, please refer to the Certification Standards Manual of the South Dakota Board of Addiction and Prevention Professionals.

This online Master of Arts in Addiction Studies program can be completed in as little as 33 credit hours (advanced track), or as many as 45 (standard track), depending on your Certification and academic background.

The ADS department is accredited through the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC)

All courses required for state Alcohol/Drug Certification are provided at the University of South Dakota by the Addiction Studies Department and are the only USD courses specific to alcohol/drug studies that have been approved by the South Dakota Board of Addiction and Prevention Professionals. If you want to become an expert in addiction counseling and alcohol and drug abuse treatment, consider choosing our M.A. in Addiction Studies program.

Master of Arts in Addiction Studies Admission Requirements:
  1. Completed Graduate Application Form
  2. $35 application fee
  3. Successful completion of a bachelor's degree as verified by official transcripts.
  4. Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.7 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).
  5. One year professional experience and/or supervised clinical/volunteer experience preferred.  Each applicant will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
  6. Statement of Purpose (250-word minimum).
  7. Resume.
  8. Official Transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended.
  9. Three (3) professional letters of recommendation.
  10. Applicants must provide a copy of a photo ID.
  11. Applicants must complete a face-to-face interview.  If applicant is not from the region, the interview can be completed via Skype or Elluminate.
  12. Applicants must complete a background check before their first semester commences.  Clearance can be completed by Verified Credentials, Inc.  Please follow the instructions as directed on their website: Verified Credentials, Inc.  You will be required to provide identifying information as well as a payment source.  Results will be certified and returned to you as well as the ADS department.

Advanced Track Program at a Glance
Standard Track Program at a Glance

Program Website
Application Deadline:

Priority for Summer / Fall Semesters: April 1
Priority for Spring Semester: November 1

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