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Postdoctoral M.S. in Clinical Psychopharmacology (MSCP) Degree

“I really enjoyed my time at NMSU. I felt like the Instructors and Training Director(s) really cared about providing high quality education and training prescribing psychologists for the undeserved people of New Mexico. I cannot fully express how grateful I am for the training I received.  And preparation which allowed me to quickly pass the Psychopharmacology Examination for Psychologists; then move into applying my conditional prescribing license.”    – Jonathan Leggett, Ph.D., LP, MSCP (Iteration 8 Graduate)


“The opportunity to instruct trainees in order to increase the number of professionals providing proper [psychotropic] medications for a large group of underserved New Mexicans is spectacular!”  Paul Feils, MD


“One of the best parts of my job is working on an interprofessional team. Without a doubt, team-based care is more comprehensive, and it more effectively addresses the social-psycho-bio aspects of health. Working on a team also has a positive impact on clinician wellbeing.  Psychologists are crucial members of our team. The prescribing psychologists I have worked with are exceptionally knowledgeable about psychotropic medications. I especially appreciate their careful approach and attentive monitoring of safety and effectiveness.” – Davena Norris, Pharm.D., PhC, BCPS


*The next Application cycle is Spring 2023*

Thank you for your interest in the 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 MSCP degree 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 NMSU MSCP degree Student Handbook and instruct them how to register for fall 2019 semester courses. Please review this “Prospective Student” link (also to the right of this page).


An APA Designated Psychopharmacology Education and Training Programb1

The curriculum for the NMSU 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 MSCP degree 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, ever changing with the field, and has been modified according to the 2009 recommended revisions of the American Psychological Association; and internal controls of quality assurance and self-study.  Moreover, the ethical code of the American Psychological Association is stressed throughout the Program. 

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 postdoctoral 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 review the links to the upper right or contact: