Top 25 Bachelor's in Addiction and Recovery

Updated November 22, 2022

Explore our ranking of the best colleges and universities offering Bachelor's degrees in Addiction and Recovery. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

Alcohol and drug abuse is a growing problem in our country. Addiction is a progressive disease and left untreated it can be terminal. Fortunately, as individuals, families, and medical providers come to understand the disease of addiction more and more people are being referred to counseling for the recovery support they need. As a result professional positions in the field of addiction and recovery counseling are increasing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the field of addiction and recovery counseling is expected to grow 23 percent over the next several years (2016-2026).

Students enrolled in the Top 25 Bachelor’s in Addiction and Recovery programs listed here will have the opportunity to develop the skills to work professionally in the field of addiction counseling through coursework and fieldwork in practical settings. The majority of the programs included here provide a traditional on campus education but almost a third of the programs also offer students the opportunity to complete the program fully online. All applicants are encouraged to consult the licensing board of the state they plan to practice in to determine if program requirements will meet their individual state licensing and/or credentialing requirements in alcohol and drug counseling.

Alcohol and Drug Counselors have the skill set to work in a variety of settings such as: community mental health clinics; crisis centers; homeless shelters; schools; hospitals; social service agencies; and private practice. If you are looking to learn valuable skills to provide critical care, in communities across the country, to individuals and families impacted by the disease of addiction you will find the program to help you meet your professional goals here. Graduates of these programs will be ready to pursue credentialing as an alcohol and drug counselor and will also be prepared for further study in graduate school in the field of counseling.


We have done the research so you don’t have to! We have looked at colleges and universities offering counseling programs across the country. We have evaluated and ranked counseling programs on numerous points of interest such as:

  • both undergraduate and graduate programs
  • all areas of concentration
  • values such as accreditation and affordability
  • online and on-campus programs

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

Best Bachelor's Degrees in Addiction and Recovery

  1. Drexel University

    Philadelphia, PA

    The College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University offers a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Counseling. Students will learn theory in the classroom (or through online courses) and gain clinical skills through the co-op experience working with mentors in a variety of healthcare settings. The co-op experience not only provides hands on training but also often leads directly to employment after graduation. Graduates will be prepared to work professionally providing direct services to individuals and families struggling with addiction and mental health challenges. This degree offers graduates the opportunity to utilize their skills in a range of behavioral health settings such as: psychiatric rehabilitation; group counseling; and crisis intervention.

    Courses include: Introduction to Cultural Diversity; Life Span Human Development; Introduction to Civic Engagement; Foundation of Behavioral Healthcare; Abnormal Psychology; Counseling Theory and Practice; Psychiatric Rehabilitation Principles and Practices; Ethics and Professional Responsibility; Introduction to Addictive Disorders; Assessment and Treatment Planning; Cognitive and Behavioral Counseling; and Multicultural Counseling.

    • Graduation Rate: 71%
    • Retention Rate: 89%
    • Net Price: $40,977
  2. University of Cincinnati

    Cincinnati, OH

    A Bachelor of Science in Substance Abuse Counseling is offered at the University of Cincinnati. This program is offered on campus or students may choose to enroll as a distance learning student and complete the program fully online. All students will learn the skills they need to provide prevention, assessment, and intervention services in the field of substance abuse counseling. Courses are taught by experienced faculty and clinicians with a depth of knowledge in academic, research, and clinical settings. This program will be a good fit for anyone interested in developing a career in the field of substance abuse or for anyone already working in the field of human services that wants to enhance their capacity to serve individuals and families impacted by the disease of addiction.

    Courses include: Ethics in Substance Abuse Counseling; Crisis Management Skills; Co-Occurring Disorders in Treatment; Theoretical Foundations of Substance Abuse Counseling; Basic Pharmacology; Drugs and Behavior; Abnormal Behavior; Maintenance Strategies for Long-Term Substance Abuse Recovery; Advanced Cultural Competence in Substance Abuse Counseling; Alcoholism; Drug and Alcohol Use Impacting Children and Adolescents: A Developmental Concern; Stress Management in Clinical and Community Settings; and Assessment and Diagnosis in Substance Abuse Counseling.

    • Graduation Rate: 69%
    • Retention Rate: 86%
    • Net Price: $21,050
  3. Crown College

    St. Bonifacius, MN

    An online Bachelor of Science in Alcohol and Drug Counseling is available at Crown College. Crown College offers a Christian focused counseling program for students moved to serve individuals and families suffering from the negative impacts of the disease of addiction. The program emphasises utilizing faith in the recovery process. Students in this 100% online program will complete both coursework and supervised internship experiences while receiving support from an advisor throughout their time in the program. The curriculum and internship experiences are designed to prepare graduates to successfully pursue licensure as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. All applicants are encouraged to consult their home state licensure board to determine individual state licensure requirements.

    Courses include: Statistical Concepts; General Psychology; Social Science Research Methods; Abnormal Psychology; Introduction to Drug and Alcohol Counseling; Psychopharmacology; Psychopharmacology; Diversity Issues in Counseling; Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy; Case Managment for Alcohol and Drug Counseling; Group Dynamics; and Alcohol and Drug Counseling Internship.

    • Graduation Rate: 67%
    • Retention Rate: 66%
    • Net Price: $22,622
  4. SUNY College at Brockport

    Brockport, NY

    The State University of New York (SUNY) College at Brockport offers a Bachelor of Science in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Studies. The Department of Healthcare Studies offers this major which is designed to meet some of the necessary requirements for credentialing as an Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor. Graduates of the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Studies major will have the education and clinical training to provide critical care to individuals struggling with alcohol and substance abuse such as: evaluate; treat; provide education; provide appropriate referrals; and meet the ethical standards of the profession. Unique electives offered include: Criminal Justice and Addictions; and Grief and Loss for Alcohol and Other Drugs.

    Courses include: Introduction to Alcohol and Other Drugs; Group Counseling Skills for Alcohol and Other Drugs; Individual Treatment Planning for Alcohol and Other Drugs; Theories of Alcohol and Other Drugs; Counseling Diverse Populations for Alcohol and Other Drugs; Evaluation and Assessment of Alcohol and Other Drugs; Dual Diagnosis of Alcohol and Other Drugs; Psychopharmacology of Alcohol and Other Drugs; and Ethics for Alcohol and Other Drugs.

    • Graduation Rate: 66%
    • Retention Rate: 78%
    • Net Price: $14,960
  5. University of St Francis

    Joliet, IL

    A Bachelor of Arts in Substance Abuse Counseling is available at the University of St. Francis. The program offers a number of electives in the areas of: Criminal Justice; Psychology; Social Work; and Recreation and Sport Management. The program strives to offer unique electives to students with the overall goal of providing an education in substance abuse counseling that will prepare graduates to successfully complete the Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselors (CADC) certification examination. Additionally, graduates of the program will be well positioned to pursue a graduate degree in counseling or a related field.

    Courses include: General Psychology; Introduction to Chemical Dependency; Group Dynamics; Lifespan Development; Abnormal Psychology; Introduction to Forensic Psychology; Ethics in Addiction Counseling; Psychopharmacology for Addiction Counselors; Introduction to Counseling and Psychotherapy; Diverse Populations in Addictions Counseling; and Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention.

    • Graduation Rate: 63%
    • Retention Rate: 80%
    • Net Price: $18,766
  6. Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion

    Marion, IN

    Indiana Wesleyan University offers a Bachelor of Science with a major in Addictions Counseling. The program emphasises a commitment to looking at all aspects of the disease of addiction and recovery with the biopsychosocial-spiritual perspective of health. The program offers students the opportunity to engage in hands on learning through activities and engagement with local community programs such as drug court and recovery homes. Students with a commitment to integrating their spiritual commitment to Christ with their desire to support individuals and families heal from the disease of addiction will find this program to be a good fit.

    Courses include: Addictions Theory; Psychopharmacology; Addictions Counseling Skills; Theory and Practice of Group Counseling; Counseling Addicted and Dysfunctional Family Systems; Addiction Programs and Professional Development; Developmental Psychology; Child Development; Adolescent Growth and Development; Psychology of Abnormal Behavior; and Theories of Personality.

    • Graduation Rate: 63%
    • Retention Rate: 78%
    • Net Price: $20,008
  7. University of Detroit Mercy

    Detroit, MI

    A Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies is available at the University of Detroit Mercy. This major is designed to provide students with the education and clinical training necessary for direct service in the field of substance abuse and for advanced study in top graduate programs in the field of counseling and social work. This Addiction Studies program also offers post-degree certificates in addiction studies for individuals that already hold a bachelor's or master's degree but wish to earn credentials as a Certified Advanced Addictions Counselor (CAAC) and pursue a career in alcohol and drug treatment. Department faculty come from variety of professional and clinical backgrounds and bring a depth of experience and research interests to the program.

    Courses include: Introduction to Addiction Studies; Assessment of Substance Use Disorders; Techniques of Individual Counseling; Addiction Counseling Internship; Substance Use Disorders in Youth; Process Disorders: Gambling and Sexual Addiction; Family Theory and Therapy; Group Methods; Advanced Internship; Prevention and Intervention of Substance Abuse; Spirituality and Recovery; and Multicultural Competence in Treating Substance-Related-Disorders.

    • Graduation Rate: 62%
    • Retention Rate: 87%
    • Net Price: $20,904
  8. Keene State College

    Keene, NH

    The School of Sciences, Sustainability, and Health at Keene State College offers a Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a minor in Addictions. Students will complete courses in the Public Health Major along with the coursework in the Addictions Minor. Through this combined coursework students will learn about the various aspects that impact and influence an individuals health, the families health, and the health of our communities. Students will learn how to promote health at all levels in their individual area of concentration. Graduates will be prepared to work to pursue licensure and certification and/or continue their education in graduate studies in the fields of counseling and addiction.

    Courses include: Health and Wellness; Health in Society; Physical Activity and Health; Addiction: Theory, Practice, and Research; Behavior Change; Health Promotion Practice; Alcohol and Other Drugs: The Fundamentals; Addiction Counseling; Assessment to Treatment in Addictions; Internship in Addictions; Advanced Drug Treatment Methods; and Co-Occurring Disorders.

    • Graduation Rate: 62%
    • Retention Rate: 71%
    • Net Price: $19,494
  9. Alvernia University

    Reading, PA

    A Bachelor of Art in Behavioral Health is offered at Alvernia University. This degree focuses on providing education and training on working with individuals struggling with mental health challenges and addiction. Graduates that pursue careers as behavioral health professionals will be prepared to provide services such as prevention, intervention, and treatment to diverse populations working to recover from addiction and mental health difficulties. Students will learn theory in the classroom and clinical skills in field placements at approved programs and agencies. This program is offered both in the classroom and fully online.

    Courses include: Foundations of Chemical Dependency; Origins of Mental Illness; Counseling Theories; Assessment and Evaluation; Counseling Techniques; Group Counseling; Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling; Crisis Intervention; Introduction to Psychology; Development Across the Lifespan; Multicultural Psychology; Addictive Behaviors; Case Management; Treatment Planning and Case Conceptualization; Neuropharmacology; Marriage and Family Counseling; Management of Human Service Agencies; and Counseling Special Populations.

    • Graduation Rate: 60%
    • Retention Rate: 74%
    • Net Price: $26,895
  10. University of South Dakota

    Vermillion, SD

    The University of South Dakota offers a Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies. Students can choose to complete this major through either the on campus or online program of study. The major emphasises addiction as a public health concern that impacts individuals from diverse backgrounds across the lifespan. Students have the opportunity to select an area of focus with the Treatment Specialization or the Prevention Specialization or students may choose to complete both areas of specialization. The department offers a number of unique electives that provide students concentrated study in an individual area of interest such as the courses: Native Americans and Substance Use and Addiction; and Gambling and Process Addiction.

    Courses include: Study of Alcohol Use and Addiction; Study of Drug Use and Addiction; Fundamental Skills of Individual Counseling for Addiction; Fundamental Skills of Group Counseling for Addiction; Ethical and Legal Issues in the Addiction Profession; Addictive Family systems and Family Counseling; Individual Addiction Counseling Practicum; Group Addiction Counseling Practicum; Field Experience; and Major Issues in Health and Human Services.

    • Graduation Rate: 55%
    • Retention Rate: 72%
    • Net Price: $16,647

Methodology: To develop the ranking of The Top 25 Bachelor Degrees in Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling, we used information gathered from the Institute of Education Sciences’ College Navigator to evaluate colleges and universities offering programming in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling. Next, we checked the schools for regional accreditation with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), only regionally accredited programs were retained. Finally, we sorted the schools by graduation rate, and we present the top 25 schools in our ranking.

Recommended Reading

Helping you prepare and gain the most out of your educational experience.

Are you ready to do impactful work in your community?

Choose what you’d like to specialize in, and discover which schools offer a counseling degree that can help you make a difference.