Substance Abuse Counselor Masters Degree Programs

Read details about master's degree studies for the aspiring substance abuse counselor. Get information about admission requirements and courses offered at this level of study. Find employment outlook and salary statistics for counselors.

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Essential Information

Substance abuse counselors work with people who have drug, alcohol or other addictions. A master's degree in substance abuse counseling is generally the minimum educational requirement for licensure in the field. Master of Science (M.S.) in Substance Abuse Counseling programs focus on basic skills and practical techniques of counseling, as well as theory and research in substance abuse. Programs commonly feature areas of concentration, such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse or clinical counseling. Students often have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom during clinical internships.

Educational Prerequisites

Admission requirements for a master's degree program in substance abuse counseling typically include a bachelor's degree and a minimum GRE score. Some programs also require prior undergraduate or graduate coursework in areas such as social sciences, counseling, research and statistics.

Program Coursework

Substance abuse counseling master's degree programs often provide study in treatment and prevention methods for substance abusers. Most programs include an internship, in addition to classes such as the following:

  • Group counseling techniques
  • Treatment methods for drug and alcohol abuse
  • Advanced individual counseling, assessment and diagnosis
  • Role of the family in rehabilitation
  • Contemporary issues in drug and alcohol abuse

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor prospects were expected to exhibit faster than average growth from 2010 to 2020, increasing by 27%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The median salary for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors was $38,520 in May 2012. The bottom ten percent made $25,140 or less per year in 2012, per the BLS.

Continuing Education

M.S. in Substance Abuse Counseling graduates should be eligible for certification or licensure, the requirements of which vary by state. Graduates who wish to further their education can pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Rehabilitation Counseling and Administration with a concentration in substance or clinical counseling. A Ph.D. could lead to career advancement opportunities.

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Iowa (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Iowa include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
        • Marriage and Family Counseling
        • Substance Abuse Counseling
      • Nursing Professions
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions

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