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 MHS Virtual Information Session

Meet Dr. Cheryl Mejta, the Chair of the Addictions Studies Program and Kelly Robinson the Academic Advisor.  Learn about the demand for licensed substance abuse counselors and what GSU is doing to prepare leaders in addictions prevention and treatment.

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The damage from substance use disorders reaches beyond the person who is using substances. It affects loved ones and extends into the community through impact on healthcare, law enforcement, and occupational and educational arenas. Governors State University’s Masters 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 Masters 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 2019 reflected the median annual salary for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors at $42,700 with an average range of $52,260    – $74,210 ( Chicago’s median salary for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors is $47,000.

Delivery Format

Governors State’s 32-credit hour MHS in Addictions 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 a top 5 online Addictions Studies program in the nation by Center for Online Education, The Best Schools, and Great Value Colleges.

  • CHHS_AddictionStudies_JessicaLoveJordan

    Jessica Love Jordan, Addictions Studies MHS Candidate

    At GSU, I have been presented with opportunities I could never have imagined. Last year, my professor invited me to sit as a student member on the board of the IL. Assoc. for Addictions Professionals, and this year I will serve as Treasurer. Through the newly awarded BHWET grant, I will have the opportunity to complete paid internships, receive trauma and integrated behavioral care training, attend workshops,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, Assistant Professor

    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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