USD, one of only a handful of institutions in the United States to offer a four-year undergraduate Alcohol and Drug Studies degree, began offering the online degree to provide students with the tools necessary to meet the growing demand for skilled professionals in drug and alcohol prevention, education, counseling and treatment.

Because alcohol and drug abuse are two of the nation’s most prevalent health problems, USD’s online Bachelor of Science in Alcohol and Drug Studies combines a strong academic foundation with real-world experience in counseling and prevention, and focuses on science-based education. Additionally, the completion of the degree can qualify graduates to meet the standards for state, national and international certification for professional prevention specialists, and treatment counselors.

"It’s a niche program for USD," noted Dona Kennealley, Ed.D, chair of the department for Alcohol and Drug Studies. "For anyone bound by time and place, this is an excellent opportunity for them to earn a bachelor’s degree in Alcohol and Drug Studies."

Providing educational opportunities online is a definitive strength of the Alcohol and Drug Studies (ADS) program at The U. In addition to the new online bachelor’s degree in Alcohol and Drug Studies, USD also offers an online undergraduate certificate in Alcohol and Drug Studies, a 27 credit hour program that prepares addiction professionals to meet academic requirements for state certification; and an online graduate certificate in Alcohol and Drug Studies, which is a 15 credit hour program for addiction professionals seeking to meet the increasingly complex needs of alcohol and drug patients.

"It’s a direction we wanted to go," Kennealley said of the decision to offer an ADS degree and multiple courses online. "Our faculty is 100 percent behind it and we’ve seen robust enrollments in our online courses. We’re the only online ADS program that meets all of the state’s requirements for substance abuse credentials."

For more information about the online Alcohol and Drug Studies programs at USD, please visit; or contact the Department of Continuing Education at (605) 677-6240 or e-mail

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