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Addictions Studies Minor

The minor in Addiction Studies prepares addiction professionals for employment in substance use disorder treatment and related settings, and prepares students in a variety of fields with basic knowledge in addictions. The program also offers many opportunities for students to gain experience that can lead to graduate education and certification or licensure in counseling and other helping professions.

The first of its kind (at the university level) in West Virginia, the WVU minor in Addiction Studies is an on-campus 15 credit hour, clinically-focused program that offers a service component and meets partial requirements toward state addiction certification. It is available to all disciplines of study across WVU.


COUN 240 Introduction to Addiction Studies

Overview of core concepts related to substance use and substance use disorders. Topics include the history of drug use/addiction, effects on societal members, pharmacology of common psychoactive drugs, theories of addiction, treatment approaches, mutual support, recovery and relapse. 3 credit hours

COUN 250 Addiction Screening & Assessment

(PR: or CONC: COUN 240) Skills, techniques and tools necessary for preliminary and in-depth evaluation for the presence of substance use disorders. Emphasis on establishing rapport, interviewing skills, diagnostic criteria, recognition of common co-occurring disorders, treatment planning and clinical writing. 3 credit hours

COUN 340 Addiction Counseling Techniques

(PR: COUN 240) Theory and skills necessary to support the change process for people with substance use disorders. Emphasis on motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral strategies to support recovery, prevent relapse, and address behavioral addictions in both individual and group settings. 3 credit hours

COUN 350 Families & Addiction

(PR: COUN 240) Overview of the impact addiction has on the family unit and the process of family recovery. Emphasis on the family as a system, attachment, adaptation, enabling and enmeshment, and techniques to support family healing. 3 credit hours

COUN 440 Addiction Studies Capstone

(PR: COUN 240, COUN 250, COUN 340; PR or CONC: COUN 350) Integration of addiction studies coursework through study of ethics, selected population research, and community-based service learning, culminating in a research paper and oral presentation. 3 credit hours

Course Sequencing

Option Semester One Semester Two Semester Three Semester Four Semester Five
One COUN 240 COUN 250 COUN 340 COUN 350 COUN 440
Two COUN 240
COUN 250
COUN 340 COUN 350 COUN 440  
Three COUN 240 COUN 250
COUN 340
COUN 350 COUN 440  
Four COUN 240
COUN 250
COUN 340
COUN 350
COUN 440    
Five COUN 240 COUN 250
COUN 340
COUN 350
COUN 440
Six COUN 240
COUN 250
COUN 340 COUN 350
COUN 440


Financial Aid

WVU Addiction Studies Scholarships

Annual scholarships offered during the spring semester. The application for awards are open to any current or prospective addiction studies student.

NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program

To combat the nation’s opioid crisis, HRSA launched the NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program (SUD Workforce LRP).