Best Online PhDs in Addiction Studies

TBS Staff Writers
by
Updated April 12, 2024
Find the best online doctorate inaddiction and slecovery programs with our list of top-rated schools that offer accredited online programs.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Ph.D. in Addiction Counseling

Earning a Ph.D. in addiction and recovery online can open up career pathways in counseling, research, academia, or public policy. Amid the current opioid epidemic, it is essential to help individuals who struggle with addiction. The Bureau of Labor Services (BLS) projects employment for substance abuse counselor jobs to grow by 18% from 2022-2032. If you want to contribute to the fight against addiction as a counselor, researcher, or educator, consider earning a Ph.D. in addiction counseling online.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, experts on addiction treatment have become an important asset. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 13% of Americans admitted to starting or increasing use of addictive substances in the pandemic’s early stages. Substance abuse counselors have taken to online platforms to help counsel people struggling with these issues during the pandemic.

Read on for our alphabetically sorted rankings of counseling and psychology doctoral programs that fall under the umbrella of addiction and recovery doctoral degrees.

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Best Online Doctoral Addiction and Recovery Programs

#1 Best Online PhDs in Addiction Studies

National University

  • Location-markerSan Diego, CA
  • 4 year
  • Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$11,064
  • Out-of-state$11,064
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled12,471
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 Best Online PhDs in Addiction Studies

Regent University

  • Location-markerVirginia Beach, VA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$17,220
  • Out-of-state$17,220
  • Retention Rate77%
  • Acceptance Rate50%
  • Students Enrolled10,483
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment93%
  • AccreditationYes

How We Chose These Schools

At TheBestSchools, we pride ourselves on our proprietary ranking methodology to help prospective students like you find the best fit. Our ranking system uses data from the U.S. Department of Education to evaluate schools without bias while accounting for key factors like academic quality, online offerings, and affordability.

This ranking is from 2023. Learn more about how our formula works on our ranking methodology page.

What Is an Online Ph.D. in Addiction and Recovery?

Schools typically offer online Ph.D. in addiction and recovery programs as specialized counseling degrees, focused on helping individuals with addiction and substance challenges. However, this degree often includes a non-clinical focus on addiction psychology.

A full-time student usually completes this program in 3-4 years. An online Ph.D. in addiction and recovery suits individuals looking to become addiction counselors. However, the degree also attracts psychiatrists and non-clinical psychologists who are looking to specialize. The degree prepares learners to enter the workforce as specialized addictions counselors or as psychologists dedicated to furthering our understanding of addiction.

Enrollees can expect to take coursework in addiction treatment, family studies, and pharmacology of addiction. Doctoral students also learn cultural sensitivity, empathy, personal ethics, and integrity.

Choosing an Online Ph.D. in Addiction and Recovery Program

When selecting an online doctorate in addiction and recovery, individuals should carefully consider cost, eligibility for in-state tuition, and program length.

Prospective students should also make sure that the program aligns with their professional goals. Check if the program culminates with a residency requirement, and research what kind of practicum or field experience accompanies the curriculum. Learners should also know if the program or concentration is tailored toward addiction counseling or non-clinical addiction psychology.

Accreditation for Online Addiction and Recovery Degree Programs

Candidates should always check the regional accreditation status of prospective schools and programs. Accreditation is a form of quality assurance that demonstrates academic rigor.

Prospective online addiction and recovery online doctoral programs should also have programmatic accreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or the American Psychology Association (APA). CACREP accredits programs in addiction counseling, while APA accredits non-clinical addiction psychology degrees.

What Else Can I Expect From a Ph.D. in Addiction and Recovery Program?

Ph.D. in addiction and recovery online programs differ widely in their course offerings. Some focus on the traditional counseling path, while others emphasize research into addiction and substance abuse. However, most programs cover similar addiction treatment, counseling, and intervention strategies. They also typically investigate the pharmacology of addiction and the family dynamics and cultural issues that contribute to addiction.

Many doctoral programs in addiction and recovery prepare students for their dissertations by exploring quantitative and qualitative research methods. Other programs incorporate field study or residencies into the course of study.

Common Courses in Addiction and Recovery Programs

  • Addiction Intervention: This course examines intervention-based strategies for helping people with addiction. Students learn how counseling professionals guide family interventions for the benefit of patients and their loved ones.
  • Addictive Behaviors and Substance Abuse: Learners learn about the behaviors and thought patterns that can lead to substance abuse challenges.
  • Counseling Skills and Techniques: This course covers the practice theory and techniques used to counsel individuals with addiction and substance abuse challenges, such as the 12-step process, family systems, and addiction treatment.
  • Diversity and Social Justice: This course investigates how gender, race, and socioeconomic status influence addiction and substance abuse treatment. Learners learn to apply cultural sensitivity training to the counseling practice.
  • Group Counseling: Students explore group-centric strategies for counseling individuals with substance abuse and other challenges. Topics include support groups, cognitive-behavioral groups, and interpersonal processing groups.
  • Professional Growth and Wellbeing: This course covers how addiction and substance abuse counselors can develop healthy personal characteristics for effective practice. Coursework covers self-assessment and the importance of healthy counseling relationships.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Doctorate in Addiction and Recovery Program?

Earning a Ph.D. in addiction counseling online usually takes 3-4 years. Program length depends on several factors, including course load, research topics, and ability to secure funding. A part-time enrollee may take up to seven years to earn their online doctorate.

Some programs feature residency requirements that can lengthen the process. Conversely, accelerated programs allow enrollees to earn their doctorates in 2-3 years. Taking online courses in an asynchronous format rather than synchronous can also shorten degree timelines.

Addiction and Recovery Jobs

Most graduates with doctoral degrees in addiction and recovery work as counselors or clinical psychologists specializing in addiction and substance abuse counseling. However, this degree provides a strong footing for other jobs in academia, research, and non-clinical psychology, some which require additional study or credentialing. For instance, psychiatrists need to complete medical school to become board certified.

Common career choices for addiction and recovery majors include:

Paying for Your Online Doctorate in Addiction and Recovery

Prepare to use all available resources to pay for your online doctorate in addiction and recovery. Begin by filling out your FAFSA form to develop a sense of your financial need. Next, determine whether you’d like to pursue federal grants, school or private scholarships, or work-study programs.

You can also consider taking out a student loan, which may offer subsidies, debt relief, or flexible repayment plans.

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Addiction & Recovery Degree Questions

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