Substance Use Counseling

Building Community Connections

College of Arts and Sciences

Location: Lincoln

Degree Type: Undergraduate

The Substance Use Counseling major is designed to provide students with an understanding of human behavior and to prepare students to provide treatment and services to individuals with a substance use diagnosis. Through the course work and clinical experience, students develop the knowledge and skills needed to provide direct care to individuals who need substance use disorder treatment in an agency setting.

Course work includes all of the courses required for licensure by the state of Nebraska as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC). Students complete a six-credit, 300 clock-hour internship experience which emphasizes the implementation and refinement of individual and group counseling skills through direct service work with clients as well as other core professional activities.

As educational requirements vary by state, students interested in these programs should consult the General Licensure and Certification Disclosure page prior to enrollment. Please be aware that states often have state-specific additional licensure and/ or certification requirements. Students considering relocating should contact their program representative in order to determine if the program meets the new state requirements.

Career Paths

Substance Use Counselor

2019 Median Pay: $46,240 per year
Job Outlook: +22% from 2018-28
Substance use counselors provide treatment and advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, or other mental or behavioral problems. 


Individuals with a degree in substance use counseling are employed in the following settings:

  • Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
  • Department of Corrections
  • Regional Centers and Hospitals 
  • Residential Substance Abuse Facilities 
  • Non-Profit Agencies

In the Lincoln area, potential employers include:

  • Lutheran Family Services 
  • St. Monica's 
  • The Bridge Behavioural Health Center
  • Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach 
  • Nebraska Department of Corrections 
  • Lincoln Regional Center

Courses consist of the Doane Core and the following classes:

  • CMS 220 - Interpersonal Communication
  • IDS 206 - Introduction to Research
  • HRE 232 - Case Planning and Management
  • HRE 315 - Group Counseling
  • HRE 318 - Medical & Psychosocial Aspects of Addictions
  • HRE 321 - Clinical Treatment Issues in Chemical Dependency
  • HRE 417 - Multicultural Counseling
  • HRE 421 - Internship in Human Relations
  • HRE 428 - Professional Ethics & Issues
  • HRE 497 - Senior Seminar I
  • HRE 498 - Senior Seminar II
  • PSY 234 - Intro to Counseling Theories & Techniques
  • PSY 259 - Lifespan Development
  • PSY 416 - Abnormal Psychology
  • SOC 288 - Deviance
  • BUS 215 - Statistics

The Doane Difference


A Respected Degree

Doane graduates have succeeded in their careers, achieved greater professional success, challenged themselves intellectually and personally, and become the best in their positions. That’s why Doane is well-respected by both graduates and employers.

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Professional Advising

Students and alumni have a partner when it comes to cultivating job search skills like networking, resume writing, interviewing, and more. We’re invested in career advancement, and foster key relationships with employers to open pathways for networking, mentoring, internships, and employment.

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Career Development

Support for students and alumni in advancing their carers and cultivating job search skills in resume writing, interviewing, and more. Key relationships are fostered with employers t open pathways for internships and employment.

Helpful Links

Whether you’re ready to apply or still testing the waters with a tour, we’re here for you. Here are some helpful links to assist you on your journey.
Four middle school girls work on creating paper models of shapes like pyramids, cubes and dodecahedrons with the help of Dr. Margaret Watts and Dr. Barbara Jennings Herzog, who teach math at Doane University, and Bailee Baack, a junior elementary and special education major. They are in one of the classrooms in Doane's Lied science building.

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