Adult Education Bachelor of Arts in Addictions and Mental Health Treatment

With its connections to the closely related disciplines of psychology, social work and criminal justice, Alvernia’s adult education Bachelor of Arts in Addictions and Mental Health Treatment program develops broad-based skills necessary to address the challenges presented by today’s complex addictions and mental health treatment problems. The program provides students with a solid core of knowledge and skills to prepare them for professional positions in a wide range of areas.

With 40 years of history, Alvernia’s Addictions and Mental Health Treatment degree is one of the oldest and best of its kind to be found at the college or university level. It was recently ranked #10 among the Top 25 Small Colleges for Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees by SR Education Group, now known as Optimal.

Estimated Program Length2-4 years
Credit Hours123
Course Length7 weeks
Transfer Credits Accepted75
Cost per Credit$650*

*Tuition discount available. Ask for details!

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Adult Education Programs

Getting Started

Application Instructions

Through a rolling admission process, prospective students may apply to Alvernia at any time. Multiple start dates throughout the year allow accepted students to begin a program of study at an accommodating time. We continually review applications and accept students for each of the six term starts (August, October, February, March, May, and July).

Keeping on track is important throughout the process. We encourage you to work with an admission team member to submit all materials and meet all deadlines. Our dedicated team will work directly with you to identify the best options that work for you and your unique situation.

Once your application is complete, you will not have to wait long for a decision. We continually review applications and notify students as soon as a decision has been made.

To get started, visit our Adult Education Application page for a list of instructions and documents needed.

Financing Your Education

There are options to assist in financing your education and making the tuition affordable. Visit our Student Financial Services page for a detailed overview of the process, including a link to complete the FAFSA application, as well as more information about tuition, the tuition payment plan and the tuition deferment program we offer. Alvernia’s Title IV code for the FAFSA is 003233. The Office of Student Financial Services is available to help with any questions you may have. Call 610-796-8201 or email

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Adult student
Why Choose Alvernia?
• Alvernia University is a nationally ranked comprehensive regional university that has been a leader in adult education for over 35 years.
• Flexible scheduling with evening classes and in-person, hybrid and online formats meets the needs of the busy adult learner.
• Programs are offered at a growing number of convenient locations in Reading, Pottsville, and Philadelphia.
• With world-class facilities and resources and a dedicated advisor team to help you balance your studies, family, financial and work demands, Alvernia is the ideal choice for your personal and educational comeback.


Program Overview


Liberal Arts Core (54/55 credits)*
General Elective Requirements (as needed)**

Addictions and Mental Health Treatment Major Requirements (54 Credits):

  • AMH 201 Foundations of Addictions
  • AMH 202 Origins of Mental Illness
  • AMH 204 Theories of Counseling & Psychotherapy
  • AMH 230 Assessment and Evaluation
  • AMH 303 Counseling Techniques I
  • AMH 305 Group Counseling I
  • AMH 310 Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling
  • AMH 330 Crisis Intervention
  • AMH Practicums (12 credits)

Students must also choose 3 major elective courses from BH, CJ, PSY or SW (6 credits must be at 300-400 level)

Related Required Coursework

  • PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology
  • PSY 208 Human Development Across Life Span
  • PSY 215 Multicultural Issues in Psychology

*Students entering the program with 70+ credits or an associates degree must complete 30/31 Liberal Arts Core credits.

**A total of 123 credits including 3 credits in a human diversity course are required to complete a Bachelor’s degree. To adhere to Franciscan Values, community service hours are also required. In addition, at least 30 credits at the 300/400 level must be taken at Alvernia University.

Program Accreditation
  • Alvernia’s courses are approved by the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB), the foremost drug and alcohol credentialing organization in the state. Certification by the PCB is reciprocal among other U.S. states and internationally. A Bachelor of Arts in Addictions and Mental Health Treatment fulfills the requirement for certification and re-certification of addiction counselors by the PCB.
  • Alvernia is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Career Outlook

After earning your Bachelor of Science in Addictions and Mental Health Treatment, you can pursue a variety of careers, including:

  • Client advocate
  • Mental Health facility
  • Criminal Justice
  • Children and Youth
  • Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation
  • Hospitals
  • Corporate Employee Assistant Programs
  • Prevention specialist
  • Intervention
  • Advocacy
  • Social Services

Addictions and Mental Health Treatment is a dynamic and growing field with an increasing need for qualified, professional employees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of addictions and mental health counselors is projected to grow 18 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage in 2022 was $49,710.

Philadelphia campus student
Create Your Comeback: Driss Ouhdou
In 2009, Driss Ouhdou left Morocco. Thirteen years later, he received his bachelor’s degree from Alvernia’s Philadelphia campus, with a major in criminal justice and a minor in addiction and mental health.