School of Health Sciences Addiction Studies

Academics & Admissions

What We Offer
  • A four-year undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree offered both on campus in Vermillion and online.
  • Master of Arts in Addiction Studies (online).
  • An online 27-hour undergraduate certificate (online).
  • An online 15-hour graduate certificate (online).
  • All of our on campus and online instructors hold state and national certifications.
  • The Department of Addictions Studies is accredited through the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC). NASAC is sanctioned by the Higher Learning Commission.
Undergraduate Bachelor of Science Degree

Major in ADS on campus in Vermillion or Online! This degree combines a strong academic foundation with real-world experience in counseling and prevention, and focuses on science-based addiction education.

Our programs meet South Dakota certification/licensure requirements. Students outside of South Dakota should contact their state chemical dependency certifying body to ensure courses meet certification requirements.

  • High standards: we require 45 major hours as well as a "C" or higher in all of our ADS courses.
  • The USD Undergraduate Catalog has more information about our on campus program.
  • The USD Continuing Education site has more information about our online program.
  • Both ON CAMPUS and ONLINE programs give students the same classes, information, and high-quality education.
Graduate Master of Arts Degree

Our M.A. program is offered exclusively and entirely online.

The program can be completed in as little as 32 credit hours, or as many as 45 depending on your certification and educational background. For both the advanced and standard tracks, an earned bachelor's degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 is required for admittance. 

Graduates of this degree will be eligible for the highest level of addiction/prevention credentialing in South Dakota. Students outside of South Dakota should contact their state chemical dependency certifying body to ensure courses meet certification requirements.

  • The USD Continuing Education site has more information about our online program.
  • High standards: we require a "C" or higher in all of our ADS courses.
  • Choose from Treatment, Prevention, or Co-Occurring Specializations.
Certificate Programs

Certificate programs help prepare addiction professionals to meet specialized academic course requirements for state certifications (requirements vary by state). These curriculums have been approved for South Dakota/IC&RC toward becoming a chemical dependency counselor/prevention specialist. 

  • Both our Undergraduate and Graduate Certificate Programs are offered online. 
  • The programs focus on science based-addiction education.
  • The required coursework for both our certificate programs may be applied to its respective program.
    • Undergraduate Certificates to B.S.
    • Graduate Certificate toward M.A.

Due to federal regulations, certificate programs are not elibible for Federal Financial Aid. Call USD Admissions at 605-677-5434 to discuss payment options.

The ADS curriculum has been approved for South Dakota/International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium alcohol/drug specific courses toward being a chemical dependency counselor/prevention specialist.

The South Dakota Board of Addiction and Prevention Professionals (BAPP) can provide information on certification standards for the Academic Track. Please call BAPP at 605-332-2645, or visit http://dss.sd.gov/behavioralhealthservices/licensing/board_ada.asp. Requirements may differ from state to state. 

If you are not a South Dakota resident, please contact your state certifying body to ensure courses meet certification/licensure requirements. Please check with your certifying body regarding ability for degree-seeking students to complete course requirements in shadowing and internship opportunities.