Masters in Addiction Science



When is the application deadline?
The final deadline to be considered for Fall 2024 admission is May 1, 2024.

Is there an early admission deadline?
Yes – the early admission deadline for Fall 2024 enrollment is February 1, 2024.

What is the application process/timeline (application materials, interview)?
Prospective students need to fill out a USC application on the USC Graduate Admissions website. The materials needed are: 3 letters of recommendation, official transcripts, a C.V./resume, and a personal statement. If you are an international student, we also require TOEFL/IELTS scores. Once your application is submitted, you may be contacted for an interview. 

When will I know I was accepted?
Acceptance letters for Fall 2024 will be distributed some time in July 2024

When do classes begin?
Classes being 8/26/24. You can find out more about the USC class schedule here.

What are my financial aid options?
For information on financial aid, visit

What are the admissions requirements?

  • A Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Official transcripts from each accredited college or institution attended
  • A minimum of 3 letters of recommendation
  • A Personal Statement of approximately 1,000 words
  • Response to program prompts (approximately 250 words)
  • A curriculum vitae (C.V.) or resume
  • TOEFL/IELTS scores if you are an international student

Are students admitted in both the fall and spring semesters?
Students can only apply for the Fall semester at this time.

What is the academic profile of a competitive applicant for admission to your college?
We are looking for students with a strong academic record but most importantly, candidates must be passionate about addiction science. We accept students who want to apply the knowledge learned in this program to tackle the addiction problem in the real world. We strongly encourage candidates from various backgrounds and experiences in any field to apply. This is a multi-disciplinary degree, and we believe a diverse group of students enriches the program. Previous addiction science experience is not required.

What tests do you require for admission (GRE, GMAT, etc.)?
We do not require GRE scores or any additional tests. TOEFL/IELTS scores are required for international students only.

What additional experience (volunteer, internship, work) do I need to be competitive? How many years?
We value all backgrounds and all types of experience. 

What types of funding are available (fellowships, assistantships, scholarships, loans)?
There are no scholarships available at this time. More information on financial aid can be found at

Do you reserve spaces for in-state residents?

Is on-campus housing available for graduate students?
Yes. There is first come first serve housing available. The closest housing to our program would be at the Hyatt House on the Health Sciences Campus. More information can be found here:

What advice would you give someone who wants to apply to your school/program? How can I improve my chances for admission?
We advise you take extra care to complete the Program Prompts in the application. They will be given the most consideration in the application process.

Program Curriculum and Completion

Is the program full-time or part-time? Is it possible to work full-time and complete the degree as a part-time student?
This is a full-time program. However, you can take fewer units per semester and delay your graduation date. It is important to note that all classes are held during regular business hours (9am-5pm).

Are there opportunities for students in the program to conduct research?
Absolutely! Students in the Research Track will be paired with a mentor and given hands-on research experience to conduct their own studies.

Are there opportunities for students in the program to teach?
Unfortunately, it is USC policy that Masters students are not permitted to teach or TA for this program.

Will I complete an internship as part of the program? How much choice will I have about where I do my internship?
Students in the Clinical Track will have real-world shadowing experience at a clinic in the community. Students will be able to choose from a list of organizations that they wish to shadow at.

How big is the department/program (faculty and students)?
We are a multidisciplinary program spanning across 11 different USC schools. There are about 80 USC faculty participating in IAS.

What is the projected size of the entering cohort?
We anticipate a cohort of about 30-50 students.

Could you tell me more about the facilities (labs, lecture rooms, etc.)?
Located in the heart of Los Angeles, USC is one of the world’s leading private research universities. Our classes span across multiple schools within USC so you will be using facilities in several locations.

Is a thesis, dissertation, or comprehensive examination(s) required for completion of the degree?
Yes, a thesis is required for degree completion. Students will take a thesis class as part of their program.

How long does it take a student to graduate from your program on average?
About 2 years.

Career Development

Will completion of the program meet the educational requirements for licensure or certification needed to enter a particular occupation?
Those who are interested in counseling licensure (ex: LMFT and LCSW) will NOT be able to use this degree to meet the educational or practicum requirements for licensure. Additional certification is currently in development.

Where can the graduates of the program be employed?
Graduates are expected to be employed in leadership positions at clinics, schools, hospitals, research institutions, and more.

What type of career/jobs and salaries are available to graduates of your program?
Positions and salaries range across a wide span of fields. Some possible job positions are:

  • Clinical Director
  • Program Manager
  • Case Manager
  • Staff Research Associate
  • Director of Behavioral Sciences
  • Research Scientist
  • Prevention Outreach Specialist
  • Substance Use Navigator
  • Director of Addiction Research
  • Site Director
  • Clinical Implementation Manager

Do you offer career counseling and job placement assistance? 
Yes. Contact Jillian Boelke at for more information


Who may I contact from the department to learn more information about the program (faculty, student, alumni)?
Jillian Boelke, Academic Advisor or 323-442-2695

Would it be possible for me to arrange a campus visit in which I could meet with admissions representatives, current students, and faculty? 
Yes! Please contact Jillian Boelke at