2016-2017 Walden University Catalog (September 2016) 
    May 27, 2022  
2016-2017 Walden University Catalog (September 2016) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Accredited by CACREP

MS in Addiction Counseling

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The focus of the MS in Addiction Counseling program is on the skills students need to support people who are dealing with substance abuse and addictive behaviors related to gambling, exercising, technology, and pornography. Coursework provides an overview of history, theories, and trends in the addiction counseling field. Students examine the factors that put individuals at risk for developing addictions, and they study how to treat addictions that may coexist with other mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. By analyzing various diagnostic and assessment tools, students learn best practices for conducting clinical evaluations to identify and address addictive disorders.

Learning Outcomes

The following Learning Outcomes are common to all MS in counseling programs. The competent and confident counseling professional will:

  1. Analyze the different roles and settings of a counselor.
  2. Apply sound ethical and legal practices in the work of a counselor. 
  3. Analyze cultural development theories and models. 
  4. Examine empirically based theories of human development.  
  5. Evaluate approaches of career development appropriate to diverse needs and life experiences.
  6. Examine appropriate evidence-based counseling practices for prevention and intervention.
  7. Apply essential counseling skills across multiple settings. 
  8. Select group facilitation strategies that are culturally and ethically relevant. 
  9. Analyze assessment procedures to support planning for appropriate counseling interventions.
  10. Evaluate research methods commonly used in the counseling profession. 

Graduates of the MS in Addiction Counseling program will also be able to:

  1. Assess the factors that increase risk for substance abuse and addiction.
  2. Develop biopsychospiritual treatment approaches for addressing the needs of addiction clients.
  3. Evaluate philosophical principles of addiction-related self-help.
  4. Design strategies for helping clients identify the effects of addiction on life problems.

Degree Requirements

  • 90 total credits for General Program (100 cr. with optional 10-credit specialization)
  • Foundation course (1 cr.)
  • Core courses (80 cr.)
  • Optional specialization courses (10 cr.)
  • Field experience (9–15 cr.: Practicum, 100 hours; Internship, 600 hours)
  • Professional development plan, program of study, licensure plan
  • 12 days of residency (two 6-day residencies)


Note on Requirements to Practice as an Addiction Counselor

Students who are pursuing licensure as a State Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or a state substance abuse counseling certification should verify individual state laws to determine if this program meets eligibility requirements for licensure and/or certification in the state in which they intend to practice. Designation as a Master Addictions Counselor requires the successful completion of the Examination for Master Addictions Counselors (EMAC), in addition to other requirements.

Walden University’s MS in Addiction Counseling program is not accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which is a requirement to practice addiction counseling in some states. The MS in Addiction Counseling program is designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for national and state addiction counseling certification exams, to sit for counseling licensure exams, and to practice as addiction counselors. Because no program can guarantee licensure or certification upon graduation, we encourage students to consult the appropriate agency to determine specific requirements. However, each state board responsible for regulating the practice of addiction counseling has its own academic, licensure, and certification requirements and issues its own credential for an individual to practice as an addiction counselor in that state. Walden enrollment advisors can provide information relating to national and state certification exams and guidance relating to the state-by-state requirements for counseling licensure and practice as an addiction counselor; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to certification exams and licensing requirements for the state in which he or she intends to practice. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of its coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain certification or to obtain state licensure, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential.

Licensure as Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Minnesota: Students in the MS in Addiction Counseling program who plan to seek licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Minnesota must add the Family Studies and Interventions specialization to their program to meet specific MN academic requirements for licensure.

Licensure as Minnesota Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC)  in Minnesota: Students in the MS in Addiction Counseling program who plan to seek licensure as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) in Minnesota must enroll in the Addictions General Program and complete an additional 180 hours of field experience across the three terms of required practicum and internship or add one additional field experience term to meet the LADC licensure requirement for a total of 880 hours of field experience.

As academic requirements may change, students seeking licensure are encouraged to check Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy licensing requirements on a regular basis. 

Program Data

Walden is committed to providing the information you need to make an informed decision about where you pursue your education. Click here to find detailed information for the MS in Addiction Counseling program relating to the types of occupations this program may lead to, completion rate, program costs, and median loan debt of students who have graduated from this program.

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