Doctorate in Addiction Studies


Program Description


  • There is a growing demand for further education and credentials in the area of addiction. You may have a professional and academic background similar to our current candidates. Are you a licensed addiction professional with a bachelor or master’s degree who has taken professional and continuing education courses or are you an addiction professional seeking bachelors and post-masters certification as well as an international certification? If you are, you may have completed all the needed coursework for your master’s or doctorate. An examination may be required to convert this coursework into graduate credit. The faculty is practicing professionals who possess at least one earned a doctorate and who are good communicators. Therefore, both theory and practice are integrated into the education that is required for your professional growth and recognition.

Instructional Philosophy and Mission

IUGS is dedicated to educating professionals in the Addiction Studies Programme to meet society’s needs in addressing the burgeoning addiction problems nationally and internationally. The Addiction Studies Doctoral and Master’s Programmes at IUGS require as a foundation the missions of the profession as outlined by the National Association for Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselors (NAADAC) “NAADAC's Mission is to lead, unify and empower addiction focused professionals to achieve excellence through education, advocacy, knowledge, standards of practice, ethics, professional development, and research." Adopted 1998. IUGS also subscribes to standards advanced by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) to advance international reciprocal standards in credentialing in the alcohol and drug treatment, prevention, and clinical supervision fields. Beyond the foundation of the professional requirements, the degree programmes are created to further enhance the knowledge and abilities of these professionals. E. Prospective students for IUGS’s Addiction Studies Programmes are individuals who desire to increase their knowledge and enhance their professional skills through graduate degree education. Our students include:

  1. Addiction counselors;
  2. Educators;
  3. Addiction-focused health care professionals.

These individuals specialize in addiction prevention, treatment, recovery support, and education. The areas of addiction include but are not limited to alcohol, drugs including nicotine, gambling, sex, and other process/behavioral addictions as well as eating disorders. Addiction Professionals:

  1. Are responsible for evaluating addiction disorders, and developing individualized treatment plans based on evidenced-based practices. Addiction professionals may work with patients individually or in group settings, and their families;
  2. Help with prevention and awareness of the danger of substance abuse and addiction in communities;
  3. Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to treat issues that are comorbid with addictions;
  4. Addiction studies candidates and graduates are also expected to uphold high standards of core competencies and ethics. In conclusion, the Addiction Studies philosophy at IUGS is to educate in order to ensure the highest quality of professionalism in the field of addictions.

Intended Outcomes

  • Students must demonstrate the following:
  1. Comprehensive knowledge of addiction theory and practice via literature review, bibliography, and development of annotated outline;
  2. Thorough knowledge of research methodologies via formulation of an addiction research question and selection of appropriate means of data collection and analysis;
  3. Well-developed critical thinking skills, including those of analysis, synthesis; along with divergent and convergent processes;
  4. Graduate level writing and oral communication skills;
  5. Ease with discourse about subject matter via Dissertation Defence or Oral Examination and when appropriate at roundtable discussions with peers and faculty;
  6. Competent practice skills in addiction practice with adults, children, adolescents, organizations, and systems;
  7. A minimum of 85% mastery of examination materials.


  • IUGS offers the following Degrees in Addiction Studies:
    • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.);
    • Doctor of Psychology (PsyD);
    • Master of Arts (MA);
    • Master of Science (MSc);
    • The Bachelor of Science (BSc).
  • The Ph.D. dissertation and the MA thesis tend to be theoretical and involves more secondary then primary research.
  • The PsyD project and the MSc project tends to seek a practical solution or outcome for a question or need. It involves more primary then secondary research.
  • Completion of the Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Psychology in Addiction Studies requires a minimum total of 93 post-baccalaureate credits.
  • Completion of the Master of Arts or the Master of Science in Addiction Studies requires a minimum total of 45 post-baccalaureate credits.
  • Completion of the Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies requires a minimum total of 120 credits* of which a minimum of 30 credits must be taken at IUGS.
    • The Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies is specifically designed for professionals who desire a bachelor’s degree and/or certification or licensing in addiction or related studies. The requirements for graduation are:
      • Documented Pertinent Professional Experience;
      • Certification or Licensure in Alcohol or Drug Counseling;
      • 120 credits* for the graduation of which 30 must be taken at IUGS.
  • Required course domains (or equivalency as assessed and approved by the Dean of Faculty) for Doctoral Degrees in Addiction Studies include:
  1. Addiction policy and effect on addiction diagnosis and treatment;
  2. Relationship between mental illness, physical illness, and addictions;
  3. Different clinical approaches to addiction treatment;
  4. Special populations, addition prevalence, and treatment;
  5. Clinical methods and case management in addictions;
  6. Addictions clinical practicum;
  7. Addictions research methods;
  8. Relevant addictions electives such as those related to behavioral/process addictions and dual diagnosis of mental illness and chemical addiction (MICA).

IUGS offers Doctoral and Master’s Programmes and academic graduate coursework for students to be prepared for addiction’s professional challenges. These graduate courses include but are not limited to:

  1. Diversity and Special Issues in Substance Abuse;
  2. Sexually Transmitted Disease and Other Medical Illnesses and Drug Abuse;
  3. Case Management for Substance Abuse Treatment;
  4. Psychopharmacology of Drug Abuse;
  5. Psychopharmacology of Mental Illness and Dual Diagnoses – Causes and Treatments;
  6. Methods, Models, and Applications in Addiction Treatment;
  7. Ethics in the Professional Practice;
  8. Introduction to Self Help Groups;
  9. Process/Behavioural Addictions.

Only grades of “C” or better will be accepted in transfer for academic standing. In addition the students overall average must be B or better.

*Includes all associate degree and college credits as well as certification, licensing, approved internships and continuing education coursework at 13½ contact hours or the equivalent for each academic credit.


  • The student’s portfolio and transcripts are examined by the Dean after discussion with the student to determine his or her goals.
  • The 66 required credits for advanced standing in the Doctoral Programme will be reviewed and approved after this process. The 27 required credits for advanced standing in the Master’s Programme will be approved after this process.
  • The research I must be completed, approved and filed before work on Research II begins.
  • The 8-day Graduate Seminar at the 10-day Residency may be completed at any time during the student’s enrolment at IUGS but must be completed prior to fulfilling their academic requirements in Addiction Studies.

Instructional Strategies: will include, but not be limited to:

  • Assigned readings of texts and academic journal articles;
  • Interactive lectures;
  • Small group discussions;
  • Use of electronic media (Questia online library provided by the University and other sources selected by the student, mentor, and Dean);
  • Cumulative and comprehensive examinations to ensure subject matter mastery.
Last updated Feb 2018

About the School

Designed for professionals with diverse educational backgrounds and experience, programmes at IUGS are structured to meet the needs of qualified people seeking to complete their formal credentials.

Designed for professionals with diverse educational backgrounds and experience, programmes at IUGS are structured to meet the needs of qualified people seeking to complete their formal credentials. Read less