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Here, you change lives.

OpenHouseRegisterButtonAddiction’s damage reaches beyond the addict. It affects loved ones and extends into the community through impact on healthcare, law enforcement, and occupational and educational arenas. Governors State University’s Master of Health Science in Addictions Studies prepares leaders in addictions prevention and treatment. As the number of people suffering from substance abuse and addiction grows, so too does the demand for licensed substance abuse counselors.

Through a curriculum fully accredited by the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association (IAODAPCA), you’ll receive the skills and background you need to meet the changing needs of clients and their communities. The program is also accredited by the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC), which is the only accrediting body that represents addiction-focused educators and practitioners.

Reach your career goals.

In the Addiction Studies program, you will prepare to enter the field as you translate research into practice. Expert faculty members integrate that knowledge into a thorough investigation of treatment programs, from planning to management. Complete your program with an internship that provides a hands-on opportunity to apply what you’ve learned, and enter the field with the education requirements to practice as a certified addictions counselor.

Qualified students may also take the criminal justice internship option to meet the requirements for the Certified Criminal Justice Addictions Professional.

Why get a Master of Health Science in Addiction Studies?

Treatment programs need professionals who understand addictions and how to empower individuals to overcome them. Cultural understanding and sensitivity are essential to your ability as a counselor to appreciate and respond to cultural and community influences on addiction and recovery. As a graduate student in the program, you will receive a comprehensive course of study emphasizing state-of-the-art, evidence-based approaches to addictions, which includes pharmacology, prevention, counseling, and group techniques.

Data collected in 2017 reflected the median annual salary for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors at $41,070 with an average range of $32,470    – $52,690 (salary.com). Chicago’s median salary for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors is $37,760.

Delivery Format

Governors State’s 32-credit hour MHS in Addiction Studies is offered in three flexible formats: courses can be taken fully on-campus, through hybrid courses in which 50% of the coursework is completed online, or fully online.

National Recognition

 GSU's online Master of Health Science in Addictions Studies degree program has been ranked as second out of five best online Addiction Studies programs in the nation by OnlineColleges.net.

The program has also been recognized by thebestschools.org as one of the best online Masters in Substance Abuse Counseling degree programs in the country


  • CHHS_AddictionStudies_JessicaLoveJordan

    Jessica Love Jordan, Addictions Studies MHS Candidate, Addictions Counseling Concentration

    At GSU, I have been presented with growth opportunities I could never have imagined. Last year, my professor invited me to sit as a student member on the board of the Illinois Association for Addictions Professionals, and this year I will serve as Treasurer. Through the Department’s newly awarded BHWET grant, I will also have the opportunity to complete paid internships, receive trauma and integrated behavioral care training, attend several workshops, and even a conference – all at no cost to me. I am very fortunate to have these experiences on my pathway to becoming an Addictions Professional.

  • CHHS_AddictionStudies_SerenaWadhwa

    Dr. Serena Wadhwa Psy.D., Assistant Professor of Addictions Studies and Behavioral Health

    With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, my colleagues and I saw a need for more substance abuse counselors in the field, and we wanted to prepare our students for that need. It’s an essential part of my role to encourage students to dream and to dream big. I tell them, ‘Dream big, and if you hold onto that vision throughout your time at GSU, your dream will come true.’ And it does.

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