Category: Press Materials, Press Release

Title: Georgetown Announces Master’s Program in Addiction Policy and Practice

New program seeks to build a national policy workforce to respond to one of the most untreated chronic health conditions in the United States


(AUGUST 28, 2020 – WASHINGTON) – Today, Georgetown University announced a new Master’s program in Addiction Policy and Practice (MAPP) focused on training future leaders in the addiction policy field. This new Master of Science will provide students with an understanding of addiction science, addiction treatment and health care financing, data analysis and statistics, and addiction policy. 

“This program seeks to build the next generation of leaders in addiction policy, to develop a science and evidence-based approach to addiction, one of the most untreated chronic health conditions in the United States ,” explains Regina LaBelle, JD, director of the new Master of Science program.

LaBelle is currently with The O’Neill Institute at Georgetown University Law Center and served as chief of staff and senior policy advisor in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy during the Obama Administration. Graduates of the course will obtain the skills necessary to develop science and evidence-based addiction policies in government and the nonprofit sector. 

 “For too long, addiction policy in this country has been based on stigma, or preconceived notions about what causes addiction,”said LaBelle. “This course of study is intended to change that and build a future where we recognize that addiction is a chronic, preventable and treatable condition.”

Drawing on the faculty and resources of Georgetown’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center, Georgetown University Medical Center, the McCourt School of Public Policy and Georgetown College, the program will train future leaders in the field by providing students with a comprehensive view of substance use disorders and addiction, including public health and criminal justice policy, basic science and evidence-based medicine.

“The opioid epidemic has revealed significant problems with care delivery across our nation’s health system,” said Dr. Steve Epstein, professor and chair of the School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and MedStar Behavioral Health Physician Executive Director. “This new program will develop leaders who will be equipped to improve policies and practice for some of our most vulnerable individuals.”

This full-time program, designed to be completed in a 12-month term, will span from June until July of the following year, and will take a prescribed program of 30 credit hours to complete, including a capstone project. The MAPP degree will be conferred by the Georgetown Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Georgetown expects to begin accepting applications for the Masters in Addiction Policy and Practice this Fall (2020), with the first cohort of students beginning classes in July of 2021.

“This program embodies Georgetown’s commitment to the Jesuit principle of cura personalis,” said Alexander Sens, Interim Dean of Georgetown’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. “It will not only uphold Georgetown University’s mission of engaging in civic life and being of service to others, but it will also foster a more compassionate, comprehensive and evidence-based approach to the disease of addiction, and address the significant stigma to this disease.”

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About Georgetown University: 

Established in 1789 by Archbishop John Carroll, Georgetown is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the United States. Located in Washington DC, Doha, Qatar, and around the world, Georgetown University is a leading academic and research institution, offering a unique educational experience that prepares the next generation of global citizens to lead and make a difference in the world. For more information about Georgetown University, visit or connect with Georgetown on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.

Media Contact: Ruth McBain, Media Relations Manager, Georgetown University,