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Online. Affordable. Accessible.

The M.A. in Addiction Studies program offers professional courses leading to an advanced level of competency. Graduates will be eligible for the highest level of licensure in South Dakota. All courses required for South Dakota licensure are provided at USD by the Addiction Studies Department and are the only USD course specific to substance use and addiction that have been approved by the South Dakota Board of Addiction and Prevention Professionals. By choosing USD M.A. in Addiction Studies you will be competent in the ever changing field of substance use and addiction. Out of State students please refer to the Chemical Dependency Certification/Licensure Boards in the state you want to work in to verify if the courses/program will meet the requirements for that states certification/licensure.

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.

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

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