M.S. in Clinical Psychopharmacology
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Contacts and Program Director:
The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (UH Hilo-DKICoP) Master of Science in Clinical Psychopharmacology (MSCP) is a two-year educational and experiential program through which students pursue the Master of Science degree. UH Hilo’s CoP MSCP program prepares the student for professional advancement to become a clinical psychopharmacologist. During the two years at UH Hilo-DKICoP, students will complete a total of 33 semester hours of credit (all required).
The mission of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy MSCP Program is the traditional mission of academic healthcare—education, research, and service with emphasis on patient care. More specifically, the MSCP mission is:
- To educate clinical psychology practitioners and leaders.
- To provide community service, including quality patient care.
Program Learning Outcomes
The program will prepare students to treat patients in need of a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for mental disorders. The program will have an impact on prescribing habits for mental health disorders, helping to improve patient care for Hawai`i residents and military personnel and their families.
Student Learning Outcomes
Each learning outcome addresses at least one of the following eleven content areas: 1) Integrating clinical psychopharmacology with the practice of psychology; 2) Neuroscience; 3) Nervous system pathology; 4) Physiology and pathophysiology; 5) Biopsychosocial and pharmacologic assessment and monitoring; 6) Differential diagnosis; 7) Pharmacology; 8) Clinical psychopharmacology; 9) Research; 10) Professional, legal, ethical, and inter-professional issues; 11) Clinical practice. Upon completing the MSCP program, successful students will be able to:
- Define, identify and recognize key concepts of terminology in all content areas
- Review and explain at a high level of proficiency, both orally and in writing, the most current theories of the pathophysiology, etiology, signs and symptoms underlying mental health disorders and their psychopharmacologic treatment
- Choose the appropriate diagnosis and effectively apply psychopharmacological knowledge to resolve clinical psychopathological cases using “Subjective, Objective, Assessment and Planning” (SOAP) notes and case presentations, and differentiate mental disorders that are drug-induced or caused by somatic disease
- Analyze, interpret, integrate and evaluate pharmacologically-based clinical findings in psychological settings through literature review, class presentations and written analysis
- Devise, formulate and plan medication therapy management specific to psychopathology, with an emphasis on drug selection based on relative efficacy for the disorder, adverse effect profiles, food and drug interactions, and pharmacokinetics, and determine appropriate pharmacologic assessment and monitoring
- Demonstrate the ability to compare and contrast and interpret epidemiological, professional, legal and ethical findings in the clinical psychopharmacology literature and case presentations using information technology.
Prospects for Graduates
Graduates of the MSCP program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo will be able to seek employment as clinical psychologists with a specialty in psychopharmacology in a variety of professional settings. Their professional duties may include, but are not limited to advising health care professionals on the prescription of psychotropic medications, advising patients on drug interactions, side effects and risk factors, and prescribing psychotropic medications in those locales in which prescribing authority for psychologists has been authorized. There currently is a shortage of prescribing professionals with expertise specifically in psychopharmacology in the military, in rural settings in Hawai`i, other parts of the country and the Pacific region.
Students need to submit all of their application materials to the UHH CoP MSCP Program Admissions Committee, who will select entrants into the program. The admission criteria and procedures conform to the UH Graduate Division’s standards post-graduate programs. The MSCP program accepts 4-10 students into the program each year.
Degree requirements: Degree requirements for the MSCP comply with UH Hilo Graduate study requirements outlined at http://hilo.hawaii.edu/catalog/candidates-for-masters- degrees.html. Those requirements that are specific to the MSCP are elaborated below.
Minimum Qualifications for Acceptance: Each applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree and a graduate (PhD or PsyD) degree in psychology from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or its equivalent from a recognized non-U.S. institution of higher learning. The standards of the degree in question must be equivalent in scholarship requirements to those maintained in the undergraduate program at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo.
Grade Point Average (GPA): The applicant must have a GPA of 3.0 or the equivalent from the last 60 semester credits (or equivalent) in the undergraduate degree completed, or must hold a graduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better in his/her graduate program. Under special circumstances, a GPA of 2.75 or higher will be considered based on the applicant’s other qualifications and subject to the petition process noted above.
The principal requirements for the MSCP degree are successfully passing every didactic course with a minimum of a grade of B and received a grade of P in the practicum. Students must participate in the clinical practicum for a minimum of 400 hours, see a minimum of 100 separate patients, and at the final evaluation must receive from their clinical supervisor a minimum of meeting the expected level of performance in all 15 clinical learning outcomes described in the course syllabus.
Note: Prerequisites are subject to change at the end of each application cycle. In addition, meeting the minimum qualification requirements does not guarantee admission.
Total semester hours required: 33
Fall Year 1:
- PHPS 450 The Biochemical Basis of Therapeutics – I Biomolecules (3)
- PHPS 451 The Biochemical Basis of Therapeutics – II Metabolism (3)
- PHPS 606 Human Physiology (3)
Spring Year 1:
- PHPS 601 Integrated Pharmacotherapy I (7)
Summer Year 1:
- PHPS 602 Integrated Pharmacotherapy II (7)
Fall Year 2:
- PHPS 603 Integrated Pharmacotherapy III (4)
- PHPS 604 Advanced Psychopharmacology I (2)
- PHPS 607 Practicum (2)
Spring Year 2:
- PHPS 605 Advanced Psychopharmacology II (2)
- PHPS 607 Practicum (2)
Summer Year 2:
- PHPS 607 Practicum (2)
Note: Credits for the Practicum are granted at its completion.