Most Affordable Online Master’s in Addictions and Recovery Degrees

More than 72,000 US adults died from drug overdoses in 2017. Quitting drugs is one of the hardest things that a person can try to do, which is why people need strong supports to help them try to break their addiction. Learn to provide that support with one of the 5 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Addiction & Recovery.

Most Affordable Online Masters Addictions Recovery

What Is Addictions & Recovery Counseling?

Addiction and recovery counseling is a psychological field focused on helping people to overcome dependence on drugs, alcohol, and other risky behaviors like gambling. Counselors often begin their work with patients at low points in their lives or moments of crisis, and slowly help them to break their addictions and self-destructive habits.

Not sure Addictions Counseling is for you? Check out the Most Affordable Online Colleges with Master’s Programs.

How Much Money Can I Earn Working in Addictions & Recovery Counseling?

Because of the high demand brought on by drug epidemics like the opioid crisis, addictions & recovery counselors are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an expected growth of 23 percent in this job market over the next ten years, which is considered “much faster than average.”

Counselors earn around $21 per hour, which translates to around $45,000 per year. However, counselors with advanced degrees such as Master’s in Addiction & Recovery can earn upwards of $71,000 per year.

Why Choose An Online Master’s Degree in Addictions & Recovery Counseling?

The national news has been plagued by stories about students leaving school with mounds of debt in the form of student loans. It’s important to get the best education possible, but students should also be able to leave college unburdened by tens of thousands of dollars in loans.

Online programs offer comparable academic rigor to traditional academic programs, but they also allow students to have a life outside of school. Classes can be accessed in the day or at night, in a café or on a student’s couch. And the technological interactions that online students have will help them transition more smoothly into the modern workforce, where all jobs involve interactions with technology.

What Are the 5 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Addictions & Recovery?

College Choice considers several factors when developing rankings, including institutional merit, student fulfillment, and return on investment. Institutional merit combines metrics such as student-to-faculty ratios, graduation rates and endowment to measure each school’s ability to provide excellent and cost-effective education for each student. Student fulfillment measures how fulfilled current and former students felt with the services and programs offered at each school. And finally return on investment looks at the fiscal benefits students are likely to receive from each school’s education, weighted against the costs of attendance, namely tuition and student loans.

But this list is all about the price. These are the schools that meet our qualifications, organized by Average Net Tuition – how much you’ll pay in total, including financial aid and fees. In the end, these are the 5 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Addictions & Recovery.

2018 Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.


West Virginia University

Average Net Price: $10,814

School Website


West Virginia University is a public university located in Morgantown, WV. The school has secondary locations in Beckley and Keyser, as well as clinical campuses for their medical programs located in Charleston. Around 29,000 students attend the main campus, while another 3,000 students attend classes through the secondary locations. Their endowment is over $560 million.

Program Features

West Virginia offers an online Master of Science program in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. It is a 63-credit hour program and qualifies graduates for professional licensure in a number of states. Courses from the program include:

  • Medical Aspects of Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation Client Services
  • Career Placement and Job Placement
  • Cultural Issues

Students complete 12 credit hours worth of clinical practice in the program, which takes places in selected agencies, rehab centers, clinics, or hospitals.


Online students are required to complete two residencies in Morgantown. GRE or MAT scores are required for application to the program. Students also submit a statement of purpose and a supplemental department application.


Washburn University

Average Net Price: $11,604

School Website


Washburn University is a public university located in Topeka, KS. Washburn was founded in February 1865 as Lincoln College, since growing to a student population of nearly 6,700 students. They also have around 1,000 academic staff members and an endowment of $158 million.

Program Features

Washburn offers a Master of Arts degree program in Human Services/Addiction Counseling. It is a 36 credit hour, online program that can be completed by either part-time or full-time students.  The degree plan typically takes two years to complete, with sample courses such as:

  • Integrative Human Services
  • Professional Ethics/Practice
  • Addict and Recovery Services
  • Adv. Pharm/Subs. Use

Students also complete fieldwork in their own community, to take their classroom learning and turn it into real-world experience, even before graduation.


Washburn students in their senior year can apply for early-entry into MA program coursework. Students graduating from the program will be qualified to become a Licensed Master’s Addiction Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor in Kansas. The program may also qualify students for other states, depending on their licensing requirements.


Montana State University

Average Net Price: $14,953

School Website


Montana State University is a public university located in Bozeman, MT. It is the largest university in the state of Montana, with 16,000 total students, most of whom are undergraduates. They have around 1,300 academic staff members and an endowment of approximately $120 million.

Program Features

Montana State offers a graduate certificate in addiction counseling. Students may complete the required coursework in just one year, including a summer semester. Courses from the program include:

  • Alcohol and Drug Studies
  • Chemical Dependency Counseling II
  • Psychopharmacology and Addictions
  • Assessment, Treatment, Planning, and Ethics of Addiction Counseling

Students also complete two courses in group counseling in addiction settings. Students must complete 12 credits to earn the certificate.


The program is intended for anyone with a bachelor’s degree who is interested in working in the area of addiction counseling. The counseling certificate program provides individual academic assessment and tailors each student’s course of study based on their unique background. Courses from the program may be counted towards the Montana Licensed Addiction Counselor Credential.


Governors State University

Average Net Price: $16,143

School Website


Governors State University is a public university located in University Park, IL. GSU was founded in 1969 and is divided into four different colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Health and Human Services. They have around 3,500 undergraduate students and 2,100 postgraduate students, as well as 1,200 academic staff members.

Program Features

Governors State offers a Master of Health Science in Addiction Studies program, which can be completed fully online. Students complete 32 credit hours of study, taking courses such as:

  • Substance Abuse Prevention
  • Clinical Models of Addiction
  • Seminar in Substance Abuse
  • Etiology and Epidemiology of Substance Abuse

Students complete the program by pursuing three credit hours of coursework that are appropriate to the student’s career or educational goals. Students also complete a four credit internship as part of the program.


Applicants to the program should have at minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher for all undergraduate coursework. They should also have completed at least six hours of study in behavioral sciences and six hours in biological/chemical science. Some prerequisites may be completed after admission but before beginning some of the master’s coursework.


Mid-America Christian University

Average Net Price: $16,241

School Website


Mid-America Christian University is a private, liberal-arts college located in Oklahoma City, OK. The school was previously located in Houston Texas, and was known as the Gulf Coast Bible College. They are associated with the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) and have a student population of approximately 2,500.

Program Features

Mid-America Christian University offers a Master of Science degree in Counseling- Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling. The program can be completed online or by completing one on-campus course per week. Courses in the program include:

  • Career Counseling and Development
  • Inventions for Individuals and Families in Crisis and Trauma
  • Group Dynamics and Counseling
  • Pharmacology of Drugs of Abuse

Students complete 60 hours of coursework, which generally takes around 2.5 years. The program also includes clinical practice and professional experience in counseling for students.


Classes begin at the start of each month. It is the only Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling program offered 100 percent online in the State of Oklahoma. Graduates from the program have around an 80 percent pass rate on licensure tests in the state of Oklahoma.