Bachelor of Arts in Addictions and Mental Health Treatment

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. Now, you can experience this same level of excellence in a flexible, online degree program.

Alvernia’s online degree 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. Through this program, you’ll earn academic credentials required to take you one step closer for the certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC) certification.

Addictions and Mental Health Treatment is also offered as an on-campus undergraduate program and an Adult Education program.


Estimated Program Length 2-4 years
Credit Hours 123
Course Length 7 weeks
Transfer Credits Accepted 75
Cost per Credit $640*

*Tuition discount available. Ask for details!


Online Programs

Getting Started

Application Instructions

For admission into Alvernia’s online Bachelor of Arts in Addictions and Mental Health Treatment degree, you must have a 2.0 GPA or higher. To apply:

  • Speak to an enrollment counselor
  • Complete an application
  • Provide evidence of high school completion/graduation. Documentation may include high school transcript, diploma, GED scores, or equivalent.*
  • Submit official transcripts of all previous college work (if applicable)
  • Submit a copy of DD214 from military (if applicable)

*This requirement may be waived if an official college transcript is provided to validate completion of 15 credits or more from an accredited school.

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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Online Learning
Benefits of Learning Online
• A nationally ranked comprehensive regional university, Alvernia offers a growing number of online programs to advance your career or prepare you for a new one.
• Online learning with Alvernia offers a high-quality education at an affordable price, with the flexibility to study at your own pace.
• Alvernia's rolling admissions policy allows you to apply to an online program at any time. The university continually accepts and reviews applications to fit your schedule, with many programs offering starts throughout the year.
• As an Alvernia online student, you’ll have access to an array of resources including our online bookstore, online library and our Office of Career Development.

Program Overview

Curriculum: Liberal Arts Core/General Elective Requirements

Liberal Arts Core (54/56 credits)*

  • All Alvernia University students are required to complete between 31-56 credits toward the Liberal Arts Core. Transfer work may be applicable for this area. As part of the application process, students receive specific information regarding remaining credits. Students entering the program with 70 or more transfer credits or an associate degree must complete 30-31 Liberal Arts Core credit hours.

General Elective Requirements (as needed)

  • A total of 123 credits, including three credits in a human diversity course, are required to earn a bachelor’s degree. To adhere to Franciscan values, community service hours are also required.

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

Curriculum: Addictions and Mental Health Treatment Major Requirements

Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. You’ll need to complete 54-56 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours. In addition, Addictions and Mental Health majors must complete 54 credits in the major. A Grade of “C” or better is required for all AMH courses.

Required Major Courses (24 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 (pre-requisites: PSY 201 and AMH 201)

Required Field Experience (12 credits/400 hours)

  • AMH 404: Practicum Field Experience 1 (pre-requisite: 24 credits in AMH courses)
  • AMH 405: Practicum Field Experience 2 (pre-requisite: 24 credits in AMH courses)
  • AMH 406: Practicum Field Experience 3 (pre-requisite: 24 credits in AMH courses)
  • AMH 407: Practicum Field Experience 4 (pre-requisite: 24 credits in AMH courses)

Related Requirements (9 credits)

  • PSY 101: Introductory Psychology
  • PSY 208: Human Development (pre-requisite: PSY 101)
  • PSY 215: Multicultural Issues in Psychology (pre-requisite: PSY 101)

Major Electives (9 credits)

  • Students must complete three courses in any combination from AMH, CJ, PSY or SW (6 credits must be at 300-400 level)
Curriculum: Addiction Studies Concentration
  • AMH 240 Addictive Behaviors (3 cr)
  • AMH 300 Case Management (3 cr)
  • AMH 304 Counseling Techniques II (3 cr)
  • AMH 306 Group Counseling II (3 cr)
  • AMH 315 Treatment Planning and Case Conceptualization (3 cr)
  • AMH 320 Neuropharmacology (3 cr)
  • AMH 400 Marriage and Family Counseling (3 cr)
  • AMH 402 Management of Human Service Agencies (3 cr)

Select one of the following:

  • AMH 411 Counseling Special Populations (3 cr)
  • AMH 413 Special Issues Seminar (3 cr)
Topics of Study
  • Issues surrounding prevention and treatment of substance abuse disorders
  • Fundamentals of mental illness and psychiatric disorders
  • Various theories and therapeutic approaches, including Freudian theory, Gestalt principles, and how they apply to treatment
  • Tools for assessing and evaluating behavioral disorders
  • Various counseling techniques and how to communicate with patients in 1-on-1 and group settings
  • Crisis theory and how to identify, intervene and de-escalate potentially dangerous situations
  • Ethical, legal and professional issues in behavioral health counseling practice, such as client rights and professional boundaries
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. Students who do not reside in Pennsylvania should contact the chemical abuse certification board in their state for information about requirements and certification.
  • 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 degree, you can pursue a variety of careers, including:


  • Addictions
  • Mental Health
  • Criminal Justice
  • Children and Youth
  • Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation
  • Hospitals
  • Corporate Employee Assistant Programs
  • Prevention
  • 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.

Create Your Comeback
Get a high-quality online education that’s relevant to your career. You’ll have the flexibility to study on your own time and receive the personalized attention you expect from a small private university.