Substance Use Disorder Counseling Concentration

Substance use disorders impact all of us—our communities, our families, and our spirit. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, an estimated 21.5 million Americans have substance use disorders, and fatalities are still climbing. Discover how you can make a difference as an addiction and prevention professional.

Substance use disorder counseling students in the classroom

The mission of the substance use disorder counseling concentration is to assist you in becoming an effective addictions counselor by equipping you with the knowledge, competency, and skills needed to prepare for a state credential in addictions counseling. The program allows students to substantially/significantly move toward licensure or certification for substance abuse counseling in many states. However, to be fully knowledgeable about requirements, students should investigate in advance the specific requirements in their home state and/or the state in which they wish to practice, given that states' requirements differ.

This concentration is offered at all regional campuses.

Substance Use Disorder Counseling (Addiction Studies) Careers  

As an addiction and prevention professional, you’ll be engaged in meaningful work in a demanding field. The U.S. Department of Labor is predicting that careers in substance abuse counseling requiring bachelor’s degrees will increase by 23 percent between 2016 and 2026, and the need for related community and social service specialists will increase by 14 percent during that same time period. Demand for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors may also increase as states seek treatment and counseling services for drug offenders rather than jail time.

Through our program, which offers academic and practical lessons in substance abuse theory, prevention, and treatment, you will advance in a fulfilling career, helping those who suffer with addictions to manage their conditions. 

Program graduates work in outpatient and inpatient addiction centers, nursing and residential care facilities, individual and family service agencies, state and local government offices, and other state, local, and private hospitals and centers.

Create Your Own Flexible Schedule

Choose a fully online substance use disorder counseling degree program or a hybrid program, which includes a mix of online and in-class courses. Whichever you choose, we are prepared to support you. Please note that all concentration courses are delivered online.

Hybrid Evening Courses

Tuesday and Thursdays evening classes (typically twice per month), approximate 50:50 split between face-to-face and online hours

Hybrid Weekend Courses

Saturday and Sunday classes (typically twice per month), approximate 50:50 split between face-to-face and online hours

Fully Online Courses
All coursework is completed online in a social and interactive learning environment


To graduate, you will need 120 credits, 48 of which must be completed at Springfield College. In order to earn a Bachelor of Science in Human Services with the substance use disorder concentration, you must take the 12 required credits in substance use disorders, plus an additional 12 elective courses. Students may take the required and elective courses at Springfield College, or transfer in courses from other regionally accredited higher education institutions. Credits also may be awarded through the experiential learning process.

Student Projects

Bring learning to life with hands-on community projects.

Recent projects by students in our substance use disorder counseling concentration:

  • All in For Springfield, addressing gambling addiction on the Springfield, Mass. Campus in response to MGM's casino in downtown Springfield.  
  • Addressing the Effects and Consequences of Substance Abuse among African American Males in Rhode Island
  • Serenity EROS (Empowering Recovering Opportunities for Success)
  • The Broken Bird Transitional Housing Program
  • Methadone to Abstinence Program
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