Earn your master’s in addiction counseling

The CACREP-accredited master’s in addiction counseling will train you to work with adults and adolescents experiencing one or more addictions (alcohol, prescription drugs or illicit drugs) in a variety of community settings, including addiction/recovery centers, community mental health centers, hospitals and employee assistance programs. You’ll be able to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, including addiction, using a variety of interventions and methods. 

You will be eligible to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and get the 180 hours of required addiction-specific coursework to become certified as an Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC). 

On this path to a career helping others, you’ll learn about addiction theories, biological factors and co-occurring disorders.

A student gazes out of a window at sunset. The reflection show in the glass behind her.
In Grace Library, spanning the third and fourth floor of the University Commons, there are numerous quiet spaces and study rooms for individuals and groups to use.
Credits required:

60 credits

Cost per credit:


Time to degree:

As few as 30 months


On campus, some online

Addictions Counseling degree curriculum

You must take a three-course sequence for the Addictions Counseling track in addition to the LPC degree core courses. The courses cover counseling theories, the biological basis for addiction, and counseling clients who have substance abuse and psychiatric disorders.

Quick Facts

  • Accumulate 180 hours of addiction-specific coursework needed for Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC) certification
  • Complete a graduate assistantship if desired
A woman talks to a student in the professional counseling program.

Alternate degree completion option


Fast track your way into this master’s program by taking graduate courses as a Carlow undergraduate student. Course credits count toward both degrees. Apply for the accelerated option after your sophomore year.

Career opportunities for Addiction Counselors

Employment of substance abuse and mental health counselors is projected to grow 25% from 2019 to 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

▸ View the Professional Licensure Disclosure for this program.


The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has granted accreditation to the following programs in the Department of Psychology, Counseling and Criminology at Carlow University: Addictions Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling through 2029.

The Masters of Professional Counseling (MPC) Program emphasizes high standards of professional competence. The MPC Program is committed to its stated mission through ongoing accreditations by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The Counseling Program also emphasizes ethical practice and keeps current with state and national standards for certification and licensure for practice in clinical practice environments. The MPC Program engages in ongoing program development and refinement based on accrediting bodies’ and licensure boards’ developments and recommendations, as well as sensitivity to licensure requirements, and legal and ethical issues. 

Additional program information:

Admission requirements and application process

The graduate program admissions process happens on a rolling basis. You can apply for free online, and must submit the following materials:

  • Official transcripts from all degree-granting institutions you have attended
  • Personal essay that describes your academic objectives
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation (one from academic source & one from employer/volunteer supervisor) that address your leadership potential and ability to succeed in graduate-level work


Start terms:

Fall, Spring & Summer

An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred; however, provisional admission is also possible if you do not meet all of the admission criteria but exhibit a strong possibility of academic success.

Once your application is received, the program director will schedule an interview with you.

Chelsie Crate, a student at Carlow, headshot for testimonial.
Chelsie Crate, Graduate Resident Director, Residence Life, Friday, August 27, 2021. (Rebecca Droke/Carlow University)

A program with relevant specializations

Chelsie Crate ’23 chose Carlow for graduate school because she could specialize in substance abuse in the Professional Counseling program, something she hadn’t seen at other institutions. “Carlow received its CACREP accreditation shortly before I began the program, which is a major plus in the counseling realm. Perhaps the most influential factor in my decision was the passion and dedication portrayed by the faculty.”

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Professional Counseling faculty

Contact Admissions

If you are interested in this graduate program, our Admissions team is available to help you with the next steps, including scheduling an on-campus visit or attending an upcoming event.

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