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Online. Affordable. Accessible.

The M.A. in Addiction Studies program offers professionals courses leading to an advanced level of competency. Graduates will be eligible for the highest level of addiction/prevention credentialing in South Dakota. We do not know if this program is structured to lead to licensure in other states and USD cannot confirm whether the course or program meets requirements in the state in which the student resides. Individuals outside the state of South Dakota should contact their state chemical dependency certification board to ensure courses meet their requirements which may differ by state. - Please check with your certifying body regarding ability for degree-seeking students to complete course requirements in shadowing and Internship opportunities.

For details regarding South Dakota's certification standards, please refer to the Standards Manual of the South Dakota Board of Addiction and Prevention Professional (BAPP).

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 and our addiction studies programs are accredited through the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC) and gives students the tools needed to meet the growing demand for professionals skilled in alcohol and drug prevention, education, counseling, and treatment.

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.

Admission Requirements

Application requirements can be found at Graduate School Admission Requirements and include:

  1. Completed Graduate Application
    Apply Online
  2. $35 application fee
  3. One official transcript verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit earned
  4. Three letters of recommendation
    Letter of Recommendation Form
  5. Statement of Purpose
  6. Resume
  7. Applicants must complete a face-to-face interview. If applicant is not from the region, the interview can be completed via Skype or Elluminate
  8. Applicants must complete a successful criminal background check prior to matriculation. Clearance can be completed by Verified Credentials, Inc.
  9. Additional requirements exist for international applicants.  For more information, visit International Admission Requirements

For more detailed admission requirements, please refer to Addiction Studies in the current graduate catalog.

For more information about the online Master of Arts in Addiction Studies, contact USD Online at 800-233-7937 or by e-mail at

The Master of Arts in Addiction Studies at the University of South Dakota has provided me with a career in the addiction field that is taking off fast.  I cannot even begin to express my gratitude to the ADS faculty for welcoming me in as a transfer student and showing me such patience and understanding.  I have never felt more confident and prepared for my future. Andre Taylor, '11 M.A.