Curriculum:Master of Science in Clinical Psychopharmacology


As a student in the online MS in Clinical Psychopharmacology (MSCP) program from Drake University, you will complete 10 required courses for a total of 30 credits. The curriculum includes online coursework, in-person labs, and a post-degree fellowship. The Experiential Education Office will help you identify fellowship opportunities and connect with potential practice sites in your local area. Courses are six weeks in duration and are a blend of synchronous and asynchronous content, so you can study when it’s convenient for you.

Drake’s MSCP degree is one of the few programs in the country housed within a pharmacy program. The close connection with our College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences allows you to gain a comprehensive understanding of basic and clinical pharmacology related to psychology, psychiatry, and the prescription process.

Program Information Sessions

Our virtual program information sessions include a short information presentation followed by an open Q&A. These sessions are designed for those who are considering a Drake University graduate program but have not yet applied.

Required courses – 10 Courses; 30 Credit Hours

Physiology/Pathophysiology I-II – 6 Credit Hours

This two-course series covers anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and laboratory medicine.

Pharmacology/Clinical Pharmacology I-II – 6 Credit Hours

This two-course series covers basic and clinical pharmacology of major classes of drugs. It will include concepts of pharmacokinetics, drug dosing, drug metabolism, and genetic differences in drug response.

Neuroscience/Neuropharmacology – 3 Credit Hours

Course covers basic principles of neuroscience with a focus on neuropharmacology.

Psychopharmacotherapy I-III – 9 Credit Hours

This three-course series covers the pharmacotherapy of psychiatric disorders with an emphasis on clinical decision-making and the development of patient-centered, evidence-based, pharmacotherapeutic plans.

Practice Skills and Assessment I-II – 6 Credit Hours

This two-course series covers patient assessment skills, concepts of health systems, prescribing practices, laws, and regulations governing prescriptive practices, professional standards, and ethical issues. Evaluation of drug literature to develop patient care plans will be incorporated into the course series. Additionally, the course will consider special populations (e.g., racial, ethnic, pregnancy, pediatrics, LGBTQ, transgender) and situations that occur in psychopharmacotherapy. There will be two in-person events and assessments of skills, one in each course of the series.

Additional Curriculum Details

Psychologists seeking credentials for prescribing medication must complete an experiential fellowship. This consists of a one-credit-hour course to be taken after completing the online MS in Clinical Psychopharmacology degree. Responsibility for the fellowship will be that of the individual student with oversight from Drake. The psychologist fellow and supervising prescriber will be responsible for providing the necessary documentation to the state for certification as a prescriber.

Students must have a grade of C or better in all required courses in the program. For courses that may have prerequisite course requirements, a grade of C is required in prerequisite courses prior to progressing in the curriculum.

Similar to academic requirements in other professional degree programs at Drake, failure to achieve a grade above a C after repeating a course will result in being dropped from the program. Other academic requirements to be consistent with APA designation standards may be implemented.

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