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Addiction Psychology Specialization Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Harold Abel School of Psychology

Lead in Addiction Psychology

Open the door to opportunities with Capella University's online PhD in Psychology, Addiction Psychology degree. Designed for busy professionals seeking to serve as academic, research, or administrative leaders in the field of addiction psychology, this program is one of the few nonclinical doctoral specializations in addiction psychology available online. You’ll expand your expertise while exploring theories, issues, and trends related to substance use and addictive behaviors. And you’ll have the guidance of our experienced faculty as you work to complete your dissertation.

At a Glance

  • Online & In Person
  • 7 Core Courses
  • 5 Specialization Courses
  • 4 Elective Courses
  • 3 Dissertation Research Seminars
  • Comprehensive Exam
  • Dissertation

Classes Start October 8th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

Admission Requirements »  | $50 Application Fee (waived w/promo SUMMER)

What You’ll Learn

Fuse Theory & Evidence

Synthesize the principles and applications of addiction psychology theory and evidence-based practice.

Plan Your Career Growth

Make a plan for continued professional development on current issues and trends related to addiction psychology.

Contribute to Research

Contribute to the field of psychology by interpreting and applying addiction psychology research.

Evaluate & Measure

Become adept at using appropriate evaluation and outcomes measurement procedures.

Keep Up with Standards

Maintain an awareness of evolving cultural, ethical, and legal standards related to addiction psychology research, practice, and policy.

Communicate Professionally

Learn to communicate about addiction psychology using accepted professional community standards.

Program Features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Relevant, Real-World Learning

Get real-world skills. Our research in psychology course allows you to conduct research alongside Capella faculty.

Prepare to Teach

Our applied teaching track program helps you gain experience as a teaching assistant or tutor.

Scholar-Practitioner Faculty

Learn the latest in theory and practice from experienced doctoral faculty who are actively engaged in their professions.

Professionally Credible, Professionally Aligned

Capella’s PhD in psychology is competency-based, integrating common core psychology and research coursework with relevant and topical specialization content, providing alignment to the profession and an in-depth focus on your discipline.

Cost & Learning Format

Online education isn’t one size fits all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it.  We'll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$530 per credit, 104 total quarter credits, 25 max transfer credits

Get the Details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to Save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

Scholarships for New Students

Capella scholarships, available for qualifying students, aren’t need-based and never have to be repaid.

10% Military Discount

Active-duty military service members, their spouses, and veterans could be eligible for a discount.

Employer & Association Discounts

Many employers and organizations partner with Capella to offer tuition discounts. Talk to an enrollment counselor to learn more. 

Accredited & Respected

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Sample Courses

Our online PhD in Psychology, Addiction Psychology curriculum integrates addiction theory and research with practice. You’ll develop expertise in addiction research, prevention and treatment, and program design and evaluation.

Dissertation Research Seminar

Allows you to work extensively on your dissertation topic, methodology, literature review, and research plan from the beginning of your program. 

Support to Reach the Finish Line

Our doctoral curriculum is designed to give you dedicated support early in your program—so you can be confident in the steps to completing your degree.


Enhance the skills you develop in your program coursework through these intensive, onsite experiences with students and faculty.  

Some of the courses you will take:

Course Number Course Title
PSY8405 Practical Psychopharmacology in Addiction Treatment
PSY8415 Substance-Use Program Design
PSY8420 Multicultural Issues in Addiction
PSY8430 Issues and Trends in Addiction-Related Treatments
PSY8445 Addiction Research

Faculty & Support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment Counselors

These folks are superstars. We hear it from our students (and grads). They’re here to help find a program fit and set you up for success.  


Our distinguished faculty members hold top credentials in their fields. They’re here to teach the knowledge and skills you’ll need, now.

Doctoral Advising

A doctoral degree takes special effort. It's why we offer expert support at every step to keep you moving forward toward your goal.

Dissertation Mentors

During your dissertation, you’ll be matched with an experienced mentor who will help you to succeed. 

Relevant Blog Posts

Understanding the Differences Between Clinical and Non-Clinical Psychology

Learn how licensure, education methods, and workplaces differ in clinical vs. non-clinical psychology.

PhD in Psychology: Which Is Right for You?

Learn more about Capella's PhD in Psychology program and available specializations.

What Is Addiction Psychology?

Learn about addiction psychology and how it's different from addiction counseling.

Move Forward in Your Career

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our online addiction psychology doctoral degree.

Related Job Titles to Explore*

  • Adjunct or part-time faculty
  • Center administrator
  • Center director
  • Consultant
  • Full-time, part-time, or adjunct faculty
  • Grant writer
  • Lecturer/speaker
  • Program administrator/director
  • Program director
  • Program evaluator
  • Researcher
  • Scientific investigator
  • Supervisor (if previously licensed provider)

Related Employment Settings to Explore

  • Community college
  • Correctional facility
  • County or state mental health facility
  • Government—local, state, federal
  • Hospital—inpatient or outpatient
  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Mental health clinic
  • Nonprofit organization
  • Rehabilitation center
  • Research institute/network
  • Residential facility
  • Self-employment

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other Programs to Explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.