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What do addiction counselors do? 
Addiction counselors work to prevent and treat addiction disorders. Working one-on-one in group sessions they help clients:

  • Understand addiction and develop strategies to maintain a sober lifestyle
  • Learn how to cope with stress and life's problems
  • Rebuild professional relationships and reestablish careers
  • Improve their personal relationships with family and friends

Where do addiction counselors work?
Addiction counselors work in a variety of settings, such as mental health centers, hospitals, prisons, private practice, and research institutions. They work closely with psychologists, psychiatrists and the legal system.

Admission requirements
There are no admission requirements for the Addiction Studies Program, however in order to graduate students must have a 3.0 in the course requirements for the major.

Coursework and research opportunities
Addiction studies majors take general studies core classes, psychology classes, and courses from other disciplines to provide a broader understanding of addiction and treatment. Students will study the physiological effects of drug use, the dynamics of addiction,
treatment methods, and receive practical experience in addiction counseling. Our students frequently conduct and assist faculty members with addictions research.

Internship required for licensing
A nine-month supervised clinical experience is a requirement for licensing as an addiction counselor in North Dakota. We offer students internship opportunities in inpatient hospital and outpatient addiction treatment settings and a residential treatment center
for adolescents. Graduates who complete their internships are eligible to take the state licensure exam.

Employment outlook
Employment of addiction counselors is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations in 2020. The highest demand, 44 percent higher than average for most jobs, is expected in residential mental health and substance abuse facilities.

Is Addiction Studies right for you?
Being an addictions counselor can be extremely rewarding, but it also can be stressful. The rewards include helping clients and families improve their health, well being, and prevent future generations from experiencing similar problems. Challenges include large workloads, high demand for services, and limited resources. You may have to intervene in crisis situations and work with agitated clients; you will be taught techniques and skills necessary to cope with these situations.

Department of Addiction Studies, Psychology, and Social Work
Our faculty members are sought after for their scholarly expertise and their contributions to the community. They have both the academic training and the real world experience to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to be an effective addictions counselor. Faculty members are involved in research related to addictions and are actively involved in state licensure and setting national standards for addiction studies education.

College of Education and Health Sciences
The College of Education and Health Sciences is internationally known for producing quality professionals and pre-professionals in education, human service and health science. Please contact us for more information. Better yet, plan a campus visit so we can arrange a tour and meet face-to-face.

Contact Information
Vicki Michels, Ph.D. 
Director of Addiction Studies
Department of Addiction Studies, Psychology, and Social Work
Phone: 701-858-3594, 800-777-0750 ext. 3594

Courses Required

Bachelor of Science with a Major in
Addiction Studies (120 cr)

General Education (38-40 cr)

Required Core (66 cr)
PSY 112 Foundations of Psychology (3)
PSY 241 Introduction to Statistics (4)
PSY 252 Child Psychology (3)
PSY 261 Psychology of Adjustment (3)
PSY 270 Abnormal Psychology (3)
PSY 297 Practicum (2)
PSY 338 Professional Relations and Ethics (3)
PSY 344 Dynamics of Addiction (3)
PSY 349 Psychopharmacology (3)
PSY 352 Adolescent Psychology (3)
PSY 379 Psychology of Adult and Aging (3)
PSY 411 Intro to Personality Theories (3)
PSY 423 Introduction to Counseling (3)
PSY 424 Advanced Counseling (3)
PSY 465 Physiological Psychology (3)
PSY 476 Group Dynamics (3)
SOC 201 Social Problems (3)
SWK 340 Social Welfare Policy (3)
SS 283 Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in America (3)
HMS 203 Health Care Through the Life Span (3)
ENGL 315 Professional and Technical Writing (3)
SWK 331 Systems Theory and Family Dynamics (3)

For a complete list of courses and descriptions, please go to course catalog.
All courses subject to change. Other coursework required.