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MS in Clinical Psychopharmacology

The MS in Clinical Psychopharmacology (MSCP) is a post-doctoral program designed to provide licensed psychologists with training in the use of medication as part of the treatment of mental disorders.

The program is available in a hy-flex model with either in-person or distance learning options.

The MS in Clinical Psychopharmacology (MSCP) is a post-doctoral program designed to provide licensed psychologists with training in the use of medication as part of the treatment of psychological disorders. Prospective applicants should be licensed psychologists who have earned a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited program and institution.

The MSCP program at ISU has been granted American Psychological Association (APA) designation. This makes ISU the 4th program in the country to achieve APA designation and is professional recognition that ISU’s education and training program meets the highest level of academic and training standards.

For distance learning, campus visits are required during the program. In person instruction is offered at Idaho State University-Meridian Sam and Aline Skaggs Health Science Center. The two-year program combines traditional classroom coursework with supervised clinical experience during the summer semesters.

A non-traditional, part-time route is also available for current practitioners. If a non-traditional route is desired, students should contact the program training director to determine an appropriate schedule to complete requirements, keeping in mind prerequisites and co-requisites.


In the first year of the program, students will complete foundational courses in pharmacology and physical assessment. In the second year, students will complete integrated coursework in pharmacology and therapeutic treatment. Content in law, ethics, research, writing, and practice management will also be covered. Based on the requirements of Idaho state law and APA training recommendations, supervised clinical experiences will be required in both years of the curriculum.

Goals and Outcomes


To enhance access to safe and evidence-based mental health services as the foremost training and research program in psychopharmacology.


We train psychologists to deliver comprehensive services in interprofessional settings and through research, further the understanding of psychopharmacology.


Access: Serving underserved and rural communities
Collaborative: Interdisciplinary education and practice
Rigor: Undiluted standards for academics, professional training, and ethical behavior
Innovative: Impact learning and research utilizing advanced technology and best practices in teaching
Safety: Prioritize patient well-being
Relationships: Forging partnerships promoting excellence in everything we do



ISU MSCP Optum Scholarship

Optum Idaho has provided the Idaho State University’s Masters of Science in Clinical Psychopharmacology (MSCP) program with funding opportunities for psychologists seeking clinical psychopharmacology training.   

Financial support of up to $20,000 is available for up to 5 Idaho Behavioral Health Plan (IBHP) credentialed psychologists interested in acquiring the training offered through ISU’s MSCP program.

2021-2022 MSCP Cost of Attendance            

Fees per semester 

Graduate Full Time Student



Full Time (9 Credits or More) per semester



Mandatory Consolidated Fees per semester



Total Tuition and Consolidated Fees per semester




Graduate Part Time Student 



Part Time per credit



Mandatory Consolidated Fee per credit



Total Tuition and Consolidated Fee per credit




Scholarship Link:


Eligibility Criteria

Idaho licensed psychologists who are credentialled and participating in the Optum Idaho Behavioral Health Plan.

Contingent on admission to the MSCP program.

Prospective applicants to the MSCP program must have:

  • A doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited program and institution
  • Current licensure as a psychologist and have practiced as a health services provider as defined by state law, where applicable, or by the APA
  • A minimum graduate GPA of 3.0
  • Transcripts
  • Current CV
  • Two letters of professional recommendation from faculty or professional colleagues
  • A letter of intent with a brief statement explaining why the candidate wishes to pursue this degree at Idaho State University and how this would help them attain their professional goals
  • GRE scores (scores can be waived if the student graduated from a doctoral program in psychology with a 3.5 GPA or above)

To apply to the MSCP program, begin by creating an account at



Up to $20,000 in tuition support to complete the two-year training and supervision track for credentialing of prescription privileges.


Scholarship Application

Are you an Idaho licensed psychologist?

Are you credentialled and participating in the Optum Idaho Behavioral Health Plan?

Do you have doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited program and institution?

Name of Institution and year of graduation

Idaho License Number?

Graduate GPA?

Current Work Setting?


Essay: MSCP Intent

A brief statement explaining why the candidate wishes to pursue this degree at Idaho State University and how this would help them attain their professional goals. 250 Word Limit

Essay: Fostering Recovery and Resiliency in Idaho

ISU and the MSCP program share a vision with Optum Idaho in the role licensed psychologists will have with integrated healthcare in Idaho. A critical component of that vision is the shared goals of recovery and resiliency in mental health treatment in Idaho. The MSCP program training will enhance access to


More Information

Eric Silk, PhD, MSCP

Department Chair of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Clinical Associate Professor

Prospective applicants to the MSCP program must have:

  • A doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited program and institution
  • Current licensure as a psychologist and have practiced as a health services provider as defined by state law, where applicable, or by the APA
  • A minimum graduate GPA of 3.0
  • Official transcripts submitted with application materials (any coursework completed more than 7 years prior to applying to the program, will require special review and may not be accepted)
  • Two letters of professional recommendation from faculty or professional colleagues
  • A letter of intent with a brief statement explaining why the candidate wishes to pursue this degree at Idaho State University and how this would help them attain their professional goals
  • GRE scores (scores can be waived if the student graduated from a doctoral program in psychology with a 3.5 GPA or above)

We are now accepting applications!

To apply, begin by creating an account at

Select Graduate Degree Seeking for Application Type and Masters/Post-Masters for Degree Type. Choose Clinical Psychopharmacology for the Program Selection.

The application will require a Letter of Intent briefly explaining why you wish to pursue this degree at Idaho State University and how this would help you attain your professional goals.

Additional application materials include:

  • Copies of transcripts
  • Names and contact information for 2 professional references
  • GRE test scores
  • Resume/curriculum vitae
  • Proof of current licensure and practice as a health service provider

The application fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding the application process.

Jen Adams, PharmD, EdD

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor
Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, Pharmacy Law

Office: M757

(208) 373-1868

Jennifer Adams, PharmD, EdD, a graduate of Boise State University, Idaho State University, and The George Washington University is currently employed as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs  at the Idaho State University, providing oversight for the PharmD curriculum, experiential education, interprofessional education, and assessment.

Her previous experience includes working in hospital and community pharmacy settings and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) with student pharmacists, helping them to develop as professionals and leaders in the pharmacy profession. Dr. Adams's experience at APhA includes developing and managing several national patient care programs, as well as the National Patient Counseling Competition. Dr. Adams also served for nearly 10 years as the Senior Student Affairs Advisor at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, providing leadership and oversight for association national student affairs activities including PharmCAS, PCAT, the Pharmacy Career Information Council, and student recruitment.

She has received national awards in recognition of her leadership skills and is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the American Pharmacists Association, Phi Lambda Sigma - the pharmacy leadership society, the Idaho Society of Health System Pharmacists, and the Idaho State Pharmacists Association.

Mark Austin


Office: LH 234

(208) 282-4003

Dr. Austin’s research has focused on the molecular neurochemistry of the serotonin system in major depressive disorder. During his career it become evident that major depression is a very heterogeneous disorder that is associated with a high rate of other serious medical comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, dementia, diabetes, obesity and repetitive concussion syndrome. Dr. Austin has begun to develop a broader research program that has expanded and evolved into investigating epigenetic, developmental, cytoskeletal and signal transduction mechanisms underlying depression, chronic stress, obesity and repetitive traumatic brain injury. His research projects involve a multi-disciplinary approach that encompasses neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, neuropharmacology, biochemistry, and molecular biology disciplines and utilize a variety biochemical and molecular biological techniques as well as in vitro cell culture and in vivo small rodent models.

Dr. Austin is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. He earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Washington State University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular and behavioral neuroscience at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD.

Dean Walter Fitzgerald with black tie and jacket and black framed glasses

Walter L. Fitzgerald, Jr., BPharm, MS, JD

Dean, Professor

Office: BTC 120M

(208) 282-2175

Walter L. Fitzgerald, Jr. serves as Dean of the College of Pharmacy, and Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Administrative Sciences, at Idaho State University. He received the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy in 1979 from Mercer University School of Pharmacy in Atlanta. In 1982 he received the Master of Science in Pharmacy Administration from the University of Tennessee, College of Graduate Health Sciences, in Memphis. And in 1983 he received the Juris Doctor degree from the University of Memphis, School of Law.

Dr. Fitzgerald has nearly four decades of educating student pharmacists and pharmacists, as well as other health professions practitioners and students. The focus of his teaching and research is on healthcare law and ethics, research law and ethics, pharmacy and drug law, and risk management. He has presented many lectures at professional and scientific meetings and has authored numerous articles. He has authored four books, including The Pharmacist’s Guide to the Pharmacy and Drug Law of Tennessee, published by the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, and the HIPAA Compliance Handbook for Community Pharmacy, published by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). He also co-authored NCPA’s HIPAA Security Handbook for Community Pharmacy.

His professional career began in 1983 when he was appointed to the faculty of the University of Tennessee, College of Pharmacy. While appointed in the College of Pharmacy, his teaching extended to other health professions colleges. He also was a frequent continuing education program speaker for a variety of healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, physicians, advanced practice nurses, and physician assistants. His career at the University of Tennessee also provided several diverse experiences, such as serving as the project director for the retrospective drug utilization review program for TennCare, Tennessee’s managed care Medicaid program and General Counsel for the American College of Apothecaries. He has also served as a consultant to healthcare organizations, professional associations, and the pharmaceutical industry In 2005, he departed the University of Tennessee to become Founding Dean of the South College School of Pharmacy in Knoxville. As part of this role he supported the Provost/Executive Vice President with institutional preparation and regional accreditation necessary to founding of the School of Pharmacy.

During part of his time at South College he also was an adjunct faculty member teaching law and ethics at East Tennessee State University College of Pharmacy and Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy. After 13 years in this Deanship, in June 2019 Dr. Fitzgerald arrived in Pocatello, Idaho to begin his service to Idaho State University.

Dr. Fitzgerald has received many prestigious awards, including being the first recipient of the Albert B Prescott Pharmacy Leadership Award. He also received the University of Tennessee National Alumni Association Public Service Award, the Tennessee Pharmacist of the Year Award, and membership in the Academy of Distinguished Teaching Professors at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Dr. Fitzgerald was the inaugural recipient of the South College Distinguished Service Award.

Gustavo Gonzalez-Cuevas

Associate Professor

Office: M 731

(208) 373-1776

Dr. Gonzalez-Cuevas currently serves as an Associate Professor at the Idaho State University. The broad objective of his interdisciplinary research agenda is to contribute to the application of neuropharmacological principles to cognitive function and behavior in animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders. His research interests have centered on the role of the cannabinoid neural system in drug seeking behavior in rodents; more recently, in the therapeutic prospects of cannabidiol (CBD) for relapse to drug use. In addition, he has a strong background and focus on advanced research methods, which allows him to play a pivotal role in many fruitful collaborations among multiple research groups, both in academia and industry. He recently joined Idaho State University and has set up his Zebrafish Neurobehavioral Lab (ZNL) (, which aims at developing a wide variety of neurobehavioral investigative procedures to assess cognitive and emotional functioning in both larval and adult zebrafish. These zebrafish models of behavioral pharmacology serve the ultimate purpose of screening test compounds for drug development and determining the key mechanisms for new neurotherapeutics of human brain disorders.

Noah Harper

Associate Laboratory Manager, Bioskills Lab Supervisor

(208) 373-1828

Noah Harper is the Supervisor of the Bioskills Laboratory and has been integral in its development. He is actively engaging groups both locally and nationally to foster the success of this unique enterprise. In his position as the Associate Laboratory Manager, Noah assists in the supervision of the Gross Anatomy Laboratory, including training and oversight of Lab Technicians and Interns.

Noah joined the Treasure Valley Anatomy & Physiology Laboratories as a Laboratory Specialist in August, 2015 and was promoted to Bioskills Supervisor and Associate Laboratory Manager in July, 2016. He received his training in the anatomical sciences at the University of Utah and began teaching anatomical sciences in 2007. Noah is an active member of the American Association of Anatomists and has served on the Public Affairs and Strategic Planning Committees. As an outdoor enthusiast, Noah spends his free time exploring the mountains and river canyons surrounding the Treasure Valley and beyond.

Christopher Owens PharmD, MPH, RPh

Christopher Owens, PharmD, MPH

Associate Vice President for Health Sciences, Associate Professor
Interprofessional Education, Medical Ethics

Office: Gravely Hall 136

(208) 282-2762

Dr. Christopher Owens is currently the Associate Vice President for Health Sciences at Idaho State University. In this capacity he works with the Vice President for Health Sciences to oversee the 30+ health programs housed in the College of Pharmacy, School of Nursing, School of Health Professions, School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences, and the Office of Medical and Oral Health. He also maintains his position as an associate professor of pharmacy practice with the College of Pharmacy where he provides clinical and professional instruction.  

Dr. Owens served in the U.S. Naval Reserve as a hospital corpsman and was honorably discharged in March of 1999. He earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in German with a minor in Philosophy at Utah State University in 1998. During his undergraduate studies he worked as a pharmacy technician at Shopko Pharmacy in Logan and developed an interest in studying Pharmacy. He graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from Idaho State University in 2002. He then completed a specialty pharmacy residency at the Southeast Idaho Veterans Affairs (VA) Outpatient Clinic and became a board certified pharmacotherapy specialist. He has practiced as a pharmacist in both the community retail setting and also in the capacity of clinical pharmacist at the Health West Pocatello Clinic from 2003 to 2012. As a clinical pharmacist, he assisted in the management of patients on anticoagulation therapy and provided diabetes education and counseling for patients, as well as drug information and other related clinical services to providers and nursing staff.

He was the clinical coordinator for the Idaho Drug Utilization Review (DUR) program from 2003 to 2007, which conducted quarterly educational interventions with the goal of improving patient care and reducing overall healthcare costs in the State of Idaho. During that time, he and other faculty at the College of Pharmacy collected and analyzed medication use and pharmacy fill data for the Idaho Medicaid Pharmacy Program and provided input to the State’s Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) committee during medication class reviews and preferred drug list (PDL) discussions.

Dr. Owens is the author of ten peer-reviewed publications that have appeared in journals including Annals of Pharmacotherapy, the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, Clinical Therapeutics, and the American Journal of Medicine. He has also authored over two dozen abstracts at local, state, and national pharmacy meetings and several other articles and commentaries in Idaho Medicaid newsletters. 

He earned his Masters in Public Health (MPH) degree in May of 2013 at Idaho State University. His teaching and research interests range from professionalism and medical ethics to evidence-based complementary and integrative medicine and he gives lectures on a variety of clinical topics throughout the pharmacy and physician assistant professional curricula -- including in areas of pain management, endocrine disorders, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and appropriate drug therapy for the elderly. He has been named Teacher of the Year for the College of Pharmacy several times and was nominated for ISU Distinguished Teacher in 2016. He is a regular presenter at local and state meetings. Nationally, he is a member and has served as President of the Pharmacy Ethics Special Interest Group as part of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

Eric Silk

Department Chair of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Clinical Associate Professor

Office: M 729

(208) 373-1802

Dr. Silk is the Training Director of the Clinical Psychopharmacology Program and a Clinical Associate Professor in the College of Pharmacy at Idaho State University. Dr. Silk has an extensive history of experience in psychopharmacology and assessment of psychological, neuropsychological, and substance use disorders.

Dr. Silk earned a B.S. in psychology from Michigan State University. He completed a M.A. in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. He then worked as a Research Coordinator at the Substance Use Research Center at the New York State Psychiatric Institute affiliated with the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry. His Ph.D. is in Clinical Psychology with a Specialization in Neuropsychology from Nova Southeastern University. He also completed a post-doc M.S. in psychopharmacology at Nova Southeastern.

Dr. Silk’s career path led him to Wyoming, where he continued to teach, developed a psychological practice, and pursued leadership in the Wyoming Psychological Association. He was an associate professor of psychology at Northwest College and is currently an Assistant Lecturer at University of Wyoming and University of Idaho. He was the president of the Wyoming Psychological Association from 2017-2018. Dr. Silk is a licensed clinical psychologist in Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho.

Lorinda K. Smith

Treasure Valley Anatomy & Physiology Laboratories Manager, Clinical Assistant Professor

(208) 373-1771

Lorinda Smith is the manager of the Treasure Valley Anatomy & Physiology Laboratories and oversees the personnel, operations, and development of all the laboratories. Lorinda began at TVAPL in May, 2015. Prior to ISU, she taught human gross anatomy, neuroanatomy, and related courses to graduate professional students at University of Utah. She started teaching gross anatomy in 2004.

Lorinda completed a B.S. in Biological Science at Northern Arizona University. She has a Master’s in Occupational Therapy and worked in physical rehabilitation before returning to the University of Utah to complete a Master's of Philosophy, a Higher Education Teaching Specialist Designation, and advanced graduate work in the neural control of movement in Parkinson's Disease. She has served on the American Association of Anatomists Advisory Committee for Young Anatomists and the Educational Advisory Committee and has received several graduate student and young faculty research presentation awards for both educational and motor control research.

G. Lucy Wilkening

Clinical Associate Professor

(208) 373-1802

Dr. Wilkening is a clinical associate professor in the College of Pharmacy at Idaho State University. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy from Southwestern Oklahoma State University College of Pharmacy. Dr. Wilkening completed an ASHP-accredited pharmacy practice residency, and graduated as Resident of Distinction from the psychiatric pharmacy specialty residency at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She was previously an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at the University of the Incarnate Word Feik School of Pharmacy.

Dr. Wilkening is an active member of the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP), and serves as an editor for CPNP’s peer-reviewed publication, the Mental Health Clinician. Her other professional affiliations include the Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society, Phi Delta Chi, and the Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society.

Dr. Wilkening’s research interests include innovative teaching methodologies, impacts of teaching strategies on student interactions with patients with mental illness, and integration of transgender health education into health sciences curricula. Dr. Wilkening has recently published in several areas including: the use of virtual patients for interprofessional education of psychiatry residents; second generation antipsychotic utilization and metabolic parameter monitoring in an inpatient pediatric population; and the current status of transgender health education in doctor of pharmacy curricula.

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