The Best Online Bachelor's in Addiction Recovery Programs

Hero Image - The Best Online Bachelor's in Addiction Recovery Programs

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Search Colleges
TheBestSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

During an online bachelor's degree in addiction recovery, students learn how to assess addictive behaviors, create treatment plans, provide individual and group counseling, and connect clients with helpful community resources.

Graduates can work in roles such as substance abuse counselor. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects roles for these professionals to grow 22% between 2018 and 2028.

Top 10 Online Bachelor's in Addiction Recovery Programs in 2020

#1 University of South Dakota Vermillion, SD
#2 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches, LA
#3 Ohio Christian University Circleville, OH
#4 Alvernia University Reading, PA
#5 Crown College Saint Bonifacius, MN
#6 Western New Mexico University Silver City, NM
#7 SUNY Empire State College Saratoga Springs, NY
#8 Ottawa University-Phoenix Phoenix, AZ
#9 Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global Marion, IN

This guide ranks the top online bachelor's in addiction recovery degrees for 2020 to help students find the right programs for their needs.

Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs

Sort By
Rank School Location Apply More Information
4

Alvernia University 

Reading, PA

About this school

A private Catholic institution founded in 1958, Alvernia University prioritizes experiential learning in all of its on-campus and online programs. Students can earn an online bachelor's degree in addictions and mental health treatment that prepares graduates for certified alcohol and drug counselor certification.

During the 123-credit bachelor's program, students complete liberal arts, major, and elective coursework. The addictions and mental health treatment major incorporates career-focused courses that build leadership and counseling skills.

Learners study psychiatric and behavioral disorders while learning about counseling techniques and crisis theory. In addition to coursework, students complete a 400-hour practicum to build professional experience working in a behavioral health agency.

Applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA. Students can transfer up to 75 credits toward the degree.

Alvernia University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Graduation Rate
57%
Percent Receiving Loans
97%
5

Crown College 

Saint Bonifacius, MN

About this school

A private, Christian institution in Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota, Crown College emphasizes service and leadership in its undergraduate programs. Undergraduates can earn an online bachelor's degree in alcohol and drug counseling that incorporates biblical principles and professional best practices.

The 125-credit bachelor's program includes major, Christian studies, and general education courses. Students learn about the effects of substance abuse on individuals and families while building the skills necessary to help people struggling with addiction.

The curriculum includes a 12-credit internship to meet the state's licensure requirement. Crown works with online students to find a local internship site. Crown encourages undergraduates to pursue a double major in areas like psychology, criminal justice, or Christian ministry. Applicants must submit official transcripts.

Crown College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

[City Vision University -- not accredited]

Graduation Rate
52%
Percent Receiving Loans
82%
6

Western New Mexico University 

Silver City, NM

About this school

Western New Mexico University is a public institution that dates back to 1893. Students can earn an online bachelor's degree in chemical dependency counseling through the School of Behavioral Sciences. The program prepares students for careers in chemical dependency prevention, counseling, research, and administration.

Online learners build foundational knowledge in psychology and counseling. The program covers topics like codependency, the relationship between trauma and addiction, and group dynamics. The curriculum also covers areas like substance abuse and crime, helping skills, and the addictive process. In addition to coursework, students complete an internship to meet the 300 hours of practicum experience required for licensure.

The program meets the educational requirements for licensed alcohol and drug counselor credentials in New Mexico. Prospective students must submit official high school transcripts or GED scores and ACT or SAT scores. Applicants with more than 24 college credits do not need to provide high school transcripts.

Western New Mexico University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Graduation Rate
26%
Percent Receiving Loans
51%
7

SUNY Empire State College 

Saratoga Springs, NY

About this school

Founded in 1971 as part of the state university system of New York, SUNY Empire State College focuses on nontraditional teaching and learning. Students can earn an online bachelor's degree in addiction studies that prepares graduates for professional roles treating people suffering from addiction.

The curriculum covers foundational topics like human behavior and service delivery. Majors also learn about the prevention, assessment, and treatment of substance abuse. After building foundational skills through core courses, students can customize the program to meet their professional goals through electives. The program meets the educational requirements for a substance abuse counselor certificate in New York.

ESC grants transfer credit for life and work experience. Prospective students must submit transcripts and an essay. Students can transfer up to 93 credits toward the degree.

SUNY Empire State College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Graduation Rate
26%
Percent Receiving Loans
39%
8

Ottawa University-Phoenix 

Phoenix, AZ

About this school

A private institution founded in 1865, Ottawa University - Phoenix enrolls over 4,000 students annually. The university promotes a student-centered philosophy through its on-campus and online programs, including the online addiction counseling bachelor's program.

Majors build critical thinking skills while learning about addiction counseling and substance use disorder services. The curriculum also trains students to help individuals work toward long-term addiction recovery. In addition to coursework, students complete a 300-hour practicum under the supervision of a licensed counselor. Seniors then complete a capstone course in addictions counseling as a culminating experience.

Prospective students work with an enrollment advisor to complete the admission process. After scheduling a professional college advisory session, applicants must submit official transcripts.

Ottawa University - Phoenix is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The addiction counseling degree holds accreditation from the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC).

Percent Receiving Loans
59%
9

Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global 

Marion, IN

About this school

A private, Christian institution founded in 1920, Indiana Wesleyan University offers liberal arts and professional education through its on-campus and online programs. The online bachelor's degree in addictions counseling offers a Christian perspective on addiction counseling. Students complete coursework online while meeting practicum requirements at a local site.

This degree-completion program covers foundational topics like developmental psychology, addictions theory, and addiction programs. The curriculum builds interpersonal and group interaction skills while training majors for addiction counseling careers. During the required practicum, students gain 350 hours of experience under a trained supervisor.

Prospective students must hold at least 60 transfer credits and submit official transcripts from all previous colleges and universities.

Indiana Wesleyan University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The online addiction counseling degree holds accreditation from the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC).

👏

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Bachelor's

Online Bachelor's in Addiction Recovery Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

We selected the following degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is a Substance Abuse Counselor?

Substance abuse counselors provide safe spaces for clients to work through addiction challenges. These professionals typically have a caring, compassionate nature and a thorough understanding of how to effectively treat substance abuse disorders. They may assess new clients, develop treatment plans, offer counseling services, and connect clients with relevant resources.

Substance abuse counselors can work in a variety of settings, such as inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities, hospitals, and government agencies. They typically work with individuals across the lifespan, though some professionals may specialize in a particular age group, such as teenage addiction.

Choosing an Online Addiction Recovery Bachelor's Program

When researching prospective online substance abuse counseling degrees, students should consider several factors, including cost, length, and on-campus requirements. We cover several important considerations for students below.

Program Cost

Public schools typically cost less than private schools, and in-state students often pay lower tuition rates than out-of-state students. However, some programs allow all online students to pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

Transfer Policies

Many schools offer transfer credits for related experiences, such as prior academic work, military training, and professional experience. Schools with generous transfer policies can help students save time and money on a degree.

School Size and Type

A school's size and type can affect the learning experience. For example, small schools may offer more individualized attention from faculty than larger schools, but large schools often feature more program and class options.

Program Length

An online bachelor's degree in addiction recovery typically takes four years of full-time study to complete, but some programs offer accelerated timelines.

On-Campus Requirements

Some online programs have on-campus requirements. Students should ensure they can meet these requirements before committing to a program.

Thesis, Fellowship, and Work Requirements

Many programs have thesis or internship components, which require a significant time investment. Students should choose a program with requirements aligned with their interests and career goals.

What Is Addiction Recovery?

Addiction Recovery is a large, ever-evolving field devoted to the design and practice of website creation. Because the discipline is so broad, it's common for programs to offer concentrations. These vary by school, but typically include areas like web development, digital design, systems development, and game design and programming.

Addiction Recovery is a large, ever-evolving field devoted to the design and practice of website creation.

Graduates of Addiction Recovery degrees take on myriad roles, with common titles including web developer/designer, multimedia artist, graphic designer, and computer and information systems manager. Given the ubiquity of the world wide web, these jobs exist in every setting imaginable, including large corporations, small nonprofits, and government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels.

Learners who pursue this path typically have a passion for both technology and design alongside a desire to bring both passions together. They also enjoy the prospect of lifelong learning and enjoy staying up-to-date on emerging trends and best practices.

Common challenges to Addiction Recovery careers include competing against other qualified candidates, participating in continuing education opportunities, and meeting client needs. Goals include creating user-friendly, intelligently designed web pages that meet the needs of clients and customers alike.

Addiction Recovery Careers

Graduates with an online bachelor's in substance abuse counseling can pursue role like social worker, rehabilitation counselor, and substance abuse counselor. The following list outlines several common careers for graduates, though readers should note that some careers may require additional education or certification. The Best Schools provides more information on psychology degrees for learners considering this career path.

Social Workers

Social workers provide clinical and non-clinical services to help clients overcome diverse challenges. Social workers with a bachelor's degree can offer non-clinical services, which may include connecting clients with community resources and advocating for client needs. Clinical social workers need a master's degree. These professionals can provide counseling and therapy services. Social workers at both levels need a state license to practice.

Median Annual Salary

$49,470

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

11%

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors can work in inpatient and outpatient treatment centers, private practices, hospitals, and government agencies. They may assess client health, develop treatment plans for addictive behaviors, offer counseling services, and connect clients with helpful resources. These professionals typically need a bachelor's degree in addiction recovery or a related field. Counselors in private practice also need a license, and requirements for licensure vary by state.

Median Annual Salary

$44,630

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

22%

Rehabilitation Counselors

Rehabilitation counselors provide support to individuals with emotional, developmental, mental, and physical disabilities. They may offer individual and group sessions, connect clients with resources, educate family members, and participate in disability rights advocacy initiatives. These professionals typically have a master's degree, and many states require specialized licensure to practice.

Median Annual Salary

$35,630

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

10%

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Substance Abuse Counselor?

Substance abuse counselors are trained professionals who help individuals address substance abuse and addiction issues through counseling and referral services.

What Does It Take to Become an Addiction Counselor?

Addiction counselors need a bachelor's degree at minimum. Counselors in private practice also need state licensure.

What Degree Do You Need to Become a Counselor?

Prospective counselors can pursue degrees in areas like addiction recovery, social work, mental health counseling, and psychology.

Can I Become a Counselor Without a Degree?

Some positions may accept applicants with a high school diploma or associate degree, but most counseling positions require at least a bachelor's degree.

How Much Do Addiction Counselors Make?

Salaries vary by factors like education, experience, and location, but according to the BLS, substance abuse counselors earned a median annual salary of $44,630 in 2018.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Addiction Counselor?

A bachelor's degree in addiction recovery typically takes four years of full-time study to complete, though some programs offer accelerated timelines.

Take the next step towards your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

Woman working at desk