Degree type(s): Master's
Degree field(s): Counseling
Location(s): Bismarck, ND; Fargo, ND

MS in Counseling: Addiction Counseling

Graduate degree; Master of Science

More than 40 million Americans ages 12 and older—or  about 1 in 7 people—have addiction involving nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs.* In the addiction counseling track of the M.S. in Counseling program, you will learn to provide treatment and guidance to individuals, groups, and families, affected by addictive behaviors.

With a master’s degree in counseling, focus in addiction counseling, you will be prepared to lead in clinical and direct practice in a variety of mental health, education, and human services settings.

The master’s degree in counseling is offered as an evening program at the University of Mary’s satellite campus locations in downtown Bismarck and Fargo, North Dakota.

*The National Institute on Drug Abuse

Addiction Counseling Program Highlights

Graduate counseling classes at the University of Mary meet two nights per week and are taught in seminar style, allowing for student participation and discussion. Graduates of the master’s program are prepared for professional credentialing and licensure in their specific field of practice in the state of North Dakota.

  • Complete your master’s degree in counseling in as little as 20 months while continuing to work.
  • Gain hands-on practice in the field of addiction counseling through coursework, practicum, and an internship that is completed in a training site approved by the North Dakota Board of Addiction Counselor Examiners.
  • Work closely in small classes with faculty who bring professional counseling experience to their classrooms.
  • Program faculty are members of the following organizations: North Dakota Board of Addiction Counseling Examiners, North Dakota Coalition of Addiction Training Consortiums, and the North Dakota Addiction Counselors Association.
  • Develop skills you can apply to your career and everyday life through a curriculum grounded in Christian, Catholic, Benedictine values.


Career Outlook

Employment of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is expected to grow rapidly in the years ahead, with a projected 31 percent increase from 2012 to 2022. Growth is expected as addiction and mental health counseling services are increasingly covered by insurance policies.*

*U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics

Students seeking a MS in Counseling will study in a cohort format and begin the program in the fall semester (August) of every year. Non-degree seeking students do not follow the cohort model and may register for courses, as needed.

In addition to the academic requirement of the program, Addiction Counseling students are required to complete a 100-hour supervised practicum (1st year of the program), and an 800-1400 hour supervised internship (2nd year in the program). North Dakota requires 1400 hours of clinical internship for an Addiction Counseling license; Minnesota requires 800 hours for an Addiction Counseling license.

  • COU 500 Counseling Orientation Seminar
  • COU 510 Professional Orientation and Ethics
  • COU 520 Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling
  • COU 530 Human Growth and Development
  • COU 540 Career Counseling and Testing
  • COU 551  Research and Program Evaluation for Counseling
  • COU 570 Counseling Methods and Techniques
  • COU 572 Counseling Theories
  • COU 574 Group Counseling Theories and Techniques
  • COU 580 Assessment Techniques
  • COU 582 Psychopathology and Assessment
  • COU 590 Counseling Practicum
  • COU 611 Crisis Counseling
  • COU 614 Counseling Internship Seminar
  • COU 650 Family Counseling
  • COU 695 Internship
  • HUM 799 Graduate Studies Assessment

Addiction Counseling Track Courses

  • COU 600 Psychopharmacology
  • COU 602 Prevention and Intervention Strategies
  • COU 604 Substance Abuse Counseling

Even as one of the most affordable private universities in the nation, the University of Mary does offer a variety of scholarships. In fact, 99% of main campus undergraduate students receive some form of scholarship! 

Some scholarships are available for specific academic programs, such as nursing, while other scholarships are available for certain student populations, such as military and veteran students

We strongly encourage you to contact your personal admissions representative to discover all of the options that might be available to you. In many cases, a program specific scholarship is just one component of a complete financial aid package. 

Our admissions professionals will work together with our Office of Financial Assistance to ensure that you get the best financial aid package possible to finance your education. 

Admission requirements for the MS Counseling program include:

  • Minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA equivalent of 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale.
  • Official Transcripts (undergraduate and graduate)
  • Applications will be considered from students with a GPA <3.0, and provisional acceptance into to the program may be granted, on a case-by-case basis.
  • Undergraduate major in Psychology, Counseling, Social Work, Education, Criminal Justice, or closely related human services or healthcare field is optimal.
  • Two professional recommendation letters
  • Professional statement of interest and career goals
  • FBI Background Check
  • Child Abuse and Neglect Check

For additional admission requirement details, please contact Dr. Julijana Nevland at 701-355-8014 or our admissions office at 800-288-6279.

Acceptance at the University of Mary does not automatically qualify you to pursue a program in one of the academic programs of study. Application requirements are specific to each major or academic program.

We recommend consulting your advisor for details. Applications are reviewed by the faculty members of the program. You will be notified that you have been admitted, admitted provisionally, or denied admission to the program.


If you are considering the addiction counseling track, you might also be interested in the following MS in Counseling programs offered at the University of Mary: