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Degree Overview: Master’s Degree Program in Psychopharmacology

Majors Overview April 26, 2015

Get information about master’s degree programs in psychopharmacology and their educational requirements, coursework, and career choices.

Master’s Degree Programs in Psychopharmacology

Health care professionals, such as nurse practitioners and licensed psychologists, with an interest in learning how to write prescriptions for patients may benefit from a graduate degree in psychopharmacology.

A master’s degree results from most psychopharmacology programs whose curricula include a clinical experience. The master’s degree program in clinical psychopharmacology aims at providing licensed health care professionals with specific training in prescription medications delivered for psychological ailments as well as in pharmacology. Enrolled students are taught about psychotropic medications and how they impact the conditions of patients.

Medical professionals from several different backgrounds can benefit from psychopharmacology programs that give them a broad overview of pathophysiology, physiology, and anatomy, in addition to treatment techniques and patient assessment. Courses are split up in some programs in accordance with the students’ professions. General education in DSM-IV diagnosis procedures, professional ethics, and pharmacology, among other areas, is available in others.

Regardless of the instruction methods used in master’s degree programs in clinical psychopharmacology, they impart students with a strong grasp of diagnoses in the mental health field. Students also gain the ability to judge the best times for application of psychopharmacology treatments.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to master’s degree programs in psychopharmacology to be licensed health care providers, such as licensed advanced practice nurses, licensed pharmacists, or licensed nurse practitioners. Each of these specializations has its own degree requirements for each of these specializations is unique, such as a Master of Science (M.S.) in Nursing or a Pharm.D.


Program coursework combines clinical experience and classroom seminars. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Introductory pharmacology
•Integrative methods of care
•Physical assessment and laboratory
•Anatomy and physiology
•Clinical psychopharmacology
•Legal and ethical issues in pharmacology

Career Choices

With a master’s degree in psychopharmacology, graduates may choose from various career options in the healthcare field, including the following:

•Health psychologist
•Nurse practitioner
•Geriatric psychologist
•Clinical researcher
•Clinical psychologist
•Behavioral psychologist
•Child psychologist

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