NMSU Psychopharmacology Training for Practicing Psychologists (RXPP) Program

“I really enjoyed my time at NMSU. I felt like the Instructors and Training Director(s) really cared about both providing high quality education and helping to create prescribing psychologists for the needs of New Mexico. I really cannot express how grateful I am for the training I received; and preparation which allowed me to quickly pass the PEP and move into my conditional prescribing license.”   

– Jonathan Leggett, Ph.D., LP, MSCP (Iteration 8 Graduate)

* Now accepting pre-screening applications for iteration 10 (August 2019)! *

Thank you for your interest in Postdoctoral Master of Science in Clinical Psychopharmacology (MSCP degree) Education and Training Program; offered through the NMSU College of Education, Department of Counseling & Educational Psychology. We review pre-screening materials continuously. However, the NMSU Graduate School only admits qualified students into the Program every two years; with new students beginning the program on odd years. The Curriculum for prospective Iteration 10 applicants is scheduled to begin August 2019.  Prospective applicants are required to complete the RXPP Program pre-screening process. Once pre-screening materials have been reviewed, qualified applicants will be instructed how to apply for formal admission with the NMSU Graduate School.  Only the Graduate School can admit applicants into the Program.  Once enrolled, the Program will provide registered students with a RXPP Student Handbook and instruct them how to register for fall 2019 semester courses. Please review the “Prospective Student” link the right of this page.

An APA Designated Psychopharmacology Education and Training Programb1

The curriculum for the psychopharmacology training for practicing psychologists program is modeled upon the American Psychological Association recommended curriculum.  Which was first adopted in 1998 from the Blue Ribbon Task Force (comprised of national experts in psychopharmacology including physicians, psychiatrists, Department of Defense Demonstration Project prescribing psychologists, neuroscientists, pharmacists and nurses.)  In addition, the NMSU RXPP Program adheres to all regulations set forth by the New Mexico Board of Psychologist Examiners and the New Mexico Board of Medical Examiners.  The Program was further designed in congruence with New Mexico state law for prescribing psychologists.  The Program is dynamic, changing with the field, and has been modified according to recommended revisions of the American Psychological Association in 2009 (http://www.apa.org/education/grad/rxp-policies-procedures.pdf).  Moreover, the ethical code of the American Psychological Association is stressed throughout the Program (http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/). 

Trainees develop psychopharmacologic knowledge and skills in the following, APA Designated, core clinical competencies:

  • Basic Science
  • Neuroscience
  • Physical Assessment/Vital Signs & Laboratory/Radiological Studies
  • Clinical Medicine/Pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology and Psychopharmacology
  • Clinical Pharmacotherapeutics
  • Pharmacological Research Methodology and Drug Evaluation
  • Professional, Ethical, and Legal Issues

Completion of the NMSU post-doctoral MSCP degree typically requires two years of comprehensive, didactic course work; followed by 1-2 years of supervised (clinical experience) practica.  However, students are authorized to begin one of the two approved practicums after completion of the pathophysiology and physical examination sequence.  Both requirements must be completed before a student trainee may request to sit for the final Capstone Examination.  Therefore, course work, practica, and the Capstone are essential components of the Program; requiring completion before an enrolled student is authorized to apply for graduation.


For more information, please contact (and click the link below):

Casey L. McDougall, Ph.D., LP, MSCP


Psychopharmacology (RXPP) Training Director

College of Education Counseling & Educational Psychology


New Mexico State University P.O. Box 30001

Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001