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Addiction Counseling and Prevention

For nearly 50 years, our nationally ranked addiction program for over 50 years prepares you with skills in alcohol and drug prevention, education, counseling and treatment.

Change Someone's Life

Addiction is one of the most pervasive and persistent health problems in the nation. It affects people from all walks of life, from all backgrounds and across all economic and social boundaries. Our communities need compassionate, well-trained professionals who can address current and future addiction counseling and prevention challenges in society.

As a student pursuing an advanced online degree or certificate in addiction counseling and prevention, you will learn to provide the highest quality counseling to individuals experiencing substance use disorders. Your science-based addiction education will equip you to better serve individuals, families and communities, as well as bring a valuable set of skills to your employer. You'll benefit from the flexibility of an online program while experiencing strong connections to a community of learners who engage in critical thinking, prioritize respect and practice teamwork. You will leave our program with the tools needed to meet the growing demand for professionals skilled in alcohol and drug prevention education, counseling, and treatment.

With addiction rates on the rise across the country, you have the opportunity to change someone’s life as an addiction counselor or prevention professional.

Addiction professionals must possess advanced levels of competency to address current and future addiction counseling and prevention challenges in society. This nationally ranked program prepares you to meet the increasingly complex needs of clients by equipping you with skills in alcohol and drug prevention education, counseling and treatment.

Degrees & Offerings

Addiction Counseling and Prevention (M.A.)


This master's program can be completed in as little as 33 credit hours, or as many as 45, depending on your current certification and academic background. This program will prepare you to achieve an advanced level of competency in addressing current and future addiction, co-occurring and prevention challenges in society. You will graduate eligible for the highest level of addiction and prevention credentialing in South Dakota.

Addiction Counseling and Prevention: Co-Occurring (M.A.)


This master's program with co-occurring specialization requires 45 credit hours (standard track only) and will prepare you to better treat the needs of individuals with both substance use disorders and mental health disorders. Through advanced coursework in psychopathology, addiction and relapse prevention you will be able to identify clients with co-occurring diagnosis.

Addiction Counseling and Prevention


Through this certificate program, you will gain the training needed to meet the increasingly complex needs of clients. Completion of this program prepares professionals to meet 15 of the 21 specialized academic credit hours required for S.D. statecredentialing. This program may or may not lead to licensure in other states; 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.

Program Details





Graduate Admissions

Start Your Application Today

Each program has unique application requirements and deadlines. Be sure and consult the graduate catalog for detailed program information. It will ensure your application and materials are complete and submitted on time. To learn more about the application process, visit how to apply.

Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.
A counselor talking to a person on a couch.

Student Opportunities

The academic opportunities available to you extend beyond the classroom. Visit our department webpage for more information about the experiences and resources you can look forward to as a student at USD.


Learn more about addiction counseling & prevention

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in addiction counseling and prevention.
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Addiction Counseling & Prevention

A national leader in addiction counseling and prevention education for nearly 50 years, we emphasize state-of-the-art, evidence-based approaches through community partnerships and hands-on experiences.

Faculty & Staff

Get to know the faculty and staff in the Department of Addiction Counseling and Prevention. Our faculty are experts in their field, contributing research and scholarship in evidence-based practice in the treatment of substance use disorders, medication assisted treatment, addiction counseling, trauma and addiction psychopathology, addictive family systems and more.
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Francis Zavadil

Chair, Addiction Studies
Bio Image for Faculty Member John Korkow

John Korkow

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Iris Craver

Iris Craver Ed.D., LAC

Adjunct Instructor
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Amy Orr

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Christy Berger

Program Assistant I
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Mary Rogers

Adjunct Instructor
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Follow Your Passion for Helping Others

Our communities need addiction counselors and prevention specialists who can support the health of individuals and families, and these careers are in high demand. Through the master's program or graduate certificate in addiction counseling and prevention, you can expand your capacity to change lives and gain confidence in your work. 

Bob Bogue of the Keystone Treatment Center.

The USD Difference is Apparent

Since 1973, USD has been a national leader in addiction counseling, co-occurring and prevention education. The programs at USD boast national credentialing pass rates of nearly 100% and an employment placement rate of 95%. USD's high-quality education and extensive curriculum is held in high regard by experts in the field. Graduates of USD are actively pursued by employers in schools, in-patient and outpatient facilities, hospitals, private practices and correctional facilities.


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Become a Master!

Graduate certificates are a focused graduate-level set of coursework you can take advantage of to gain the most up-to-date evidence-based practices in your field. The coursework for the graduate certificate can be applied toward earning your advanced graduate degree from USD when you are ready. 

Surprisingly Affordable

Whether you’ve recently completed your undergraduate degree, or you want to kick your career up a notch, graduate school is the next logical step. The good news is there is funding for both online and on-campus students to get you through your program. 
Resident & WRGP
MN Residents
Tuition (9 cr.)
Fees (9 cr.)
Books (estimate)

More About Tuition & Fees

This is an estimate tuition rate* per credit hour and other factors such as special fees associated with your program may change the cost of tuition. Tuition rates are subject to change. 

If you are wondering about how to pay for graduate school, there are additional funding options to consider.

hear from a usd alum

Success story Kelsey Barrett smiling.
Professors don’t just teach from textbooks, but from their past field experiences. Learning from realistic situations taught me what to expect from a source who’s actually been there. It’s easy to tell they care about addiction’s evolution in the country. The way they adapt course content to match today’s issues will make me a more successful addiction professional.

Kelsey Barrett M.A., CRADC

M.A. Addiction Counseling & Prevention '17
B.S. Addiction Studies '16
Young Adult Group Therapist, Compass Health Center
Normal, Illinois

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