MS Clinical Psychopharmacology Director Earns Industry Distinction


Dr. Derek Phillips

December 15, 2021 – Dr. Derek Phillips, Executive Director of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s M.S. in Clinical Psychopharmacology (MSCP) program received his prescribing license in late November. Dr. Phillips is now Illinois’ 12th licensed prescribing psychologist and one of only approximately 250 prescribing psychologists nationwide.

“As an FDU alumnus myself, I’m honored to lead FDU’s M.S. in clinical psychopharmacology program, building on the vision and successes of my predecessors. FDU’s program is very special and has been setting the standard for prescribing psychology education for over 20 years,” said Phillips. “As a licensed prescribing psychologist, I can emphatically say that the MSCP program prepared me very well to continue to address the lack of access to psychiatric prescribers with the additional clinical tools I now have, in addition to training the next generation of prescribing psychologists.”

FDU’s M.S. in Clinical Psychopharmacology was developed as a postdoctoral program for licensed psychologists in psychopharmacology to prepare for prescriptive authority. In fact, graduates of the program are currently prescribing in all settings where psychologists have achieved this authority, including Louisiana, New Mexico, Illinois, Iowa, Idaho, the Indian Health Service, the Public Health Service, and various branches of the United States military. The program is dedicated to training psychologists in clinical psychopharmacology in a way that respects and builds on psychologists’ traditional competencies in assessment and diagnosis, psychosocial intervention, and empirically-based methods.

“FDU’s clinical psychopharmacology program is a leader in preparing licensed clinical psychologists for prescriptive authority,” said Dr. Ben Freer, Director of the School of Psychology and Counseling at FDU. “Our program was started by President Capuano, continued by Dr. Bob McGrath, and Dr. Phillips is now taking the program to new heights. We are thrilled with the successes of the program and Dr. Phillips.”

Phillips also teaches psychopharmacology to Clinical Ph.D. students at FDU.  Phillips continues to serve the industry as president of Division 55 of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Society for Prescribing Psychology, and at the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in Mattoon, Illinois, where Dr. Phillips is on the medical staff as a clinical neuropsychologist and prescribing psychologist in the Department of Neurology.  

Dr. Phillips received his MSCP at Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2019, with partial funding from the American Psychological Foundation’s Walter Katkovsky Scholarship Award for Psychopharmacology Training. Phillips served as a Health Service Psychologist in the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2019-2021. Previous academic appointments include adjunct professorships at Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois and in the M.A. in Clinical Psychology Program at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. In 2020, Dr. Phillips was awarded the Patrick DeLeon Prize for Outstanding Student Contribution to the Advancement of Pharmacotherapy by APA Division 55. He received his Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology with a Clinical Neuropsychology concentration from Adler University, Chicago campus, in 2015.

FDU’s M.S. in Clinical Psychopharmacology (MSCP) program has continuously been an APA-designated program since 2010, the first MSCP program to achieve this status. APA designation means the program meets standards for preparing psychologists as prescribers outlined in APA’s Designation Criteria for Education and Training Programs in Psychopharmacology for Prescriptive Authority based on the APA Model Education and Training Program in Psychopharmacology for Prescriptive Authority.

To learn more about FDU’s M.S. in Clinical Psychopharmacology, click here.




go to what’s new