Master of Arts in Addictions Counseling



48 credit hours

Program Length

3 years


Regionally Accredited by SACSCOC

The M.A. in Addictions Counseling provides graduates with general counseling knowledge and skills along with specialized knowledge and skills in addictions counseling that would lead to licensure as an addictions counselor in SC and other states.

What You'll Learn

Upon completion of the program, students will demonstrate the ability to

  • Assess and diagnose addictive behaviors.
  • Use effectively evidence-based treatments for a wide array of addictive behaviors.
  • Create effective treatment and relapse prevention plans
  • Create and maintain an addictions counseling practice that follows the legal requirements for record keeping, confidentiality, and other professional standards.
  • Assess for the presence of co-occurring mental and emotional disorders and integrate their treatment with treatment for addictive behaviors.

Why Earn Your Degree at CIU Online

A Christian counseling component runs throughout the program. The proposed design introduces a trauma course that is not often included in the curriculum but is essential, since trauma is often foundational to substance use disorder. The proposed program is grounded in evidence-based interventions with mention of other peer led programs, such as AA, NA, SA, OA, Celebrate Recovery, etc.


Next online class starts August 28, 2023

Featured Faculty

Core courses required in the program, including name and credit hours:

  • Trauma Response and Crisis Care   3
  • Care and Counseling Techniques   3
  • Sexuality Counseling     3
  • Group Care and Counseling    3
  • Short-Term Counseling     3
  • Multicultural Counseling    3
  • Foundations of Growth and Development  3
  • Counseling Theory     3
  • Professional Orientation and Ethics   3
  • Foundations of Marriage & Family Counseling   3
  • Research, Evaluation, & Statistics   3
  • Psychopathology     3
  • Assessment      3

Concentration and/or specialization courses required in the program, including name and credit hours:

  • Theories of Addiction     3
  • Assessment and Psychopharmacology   3
  • Interventions in Addictions Counseling  3
  • Treatment Planning and Relapse Prevention  3
  • Practicum in Addictions Counseling   3
  • Internship 1 in Addictions Counseling   3
  • Internship 2 in Addictions Counseling   3

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • An online interview
  • Professional Reference
  • Application Essay (800-2000 words total, typed) in response to the following items that explore your Christian experience and reasons for applying to the addictions counseling program: Describe your spiritual journey including:
    • What life experiences most influenced you to pursue a graduate degree in addictions counseling?
    • How do you envision your faith impacting your attitude toward those who exhibit the deep pain and dysfunctionality associated with a life marked by addictions? 
    • Reflect on how your faith helps guide you through life when you experience pain and suffering.
    • How does your personal relationship with God help you build a healthy faith community?

Professional uses of the program include:

  • Outpatient care centers
  • Mental health and substance abuse facilities
  • Individual and family services
  • Veteran’s Affairs hospitals and clinics
  • Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals and private practice
  • Probation and parole agencies
  • Juvenile detention facilities
  • Social service agencies
  • General medical and surgical hospitals
  • Halfway houses
  • Detox centers
  • Employee assistance programs
  • School systems
  • Centers for counseling the elderly, children, and families