Frequently Asked Questions

What is an assessment-based certificate program?
An assessment-based certificate program comprises (1) in-depth education or training in a specialized area and (2) a required assessment that measures whether the Candidate has attained the program's intended learning objectives. Only Candidates who meet the passing standard for the assessment are awarded a certificate.

An assessment-based certificate program is neither a degree-granting program nor a certification program. For more information about assessment-based certificate programs, please visit

Who can take part in the Master Psychopharmacology Program?
This program has been developed for prescribers specializing in psychiatry. All other health care providers interested in psychopharmacology are welcome for advanced study, especially nurse practitioners, primary care physicians, psychologists, and pharmacists.

Is there a fee for the program?
The Master Psychopharmacology Program is included as a benefit of NEI Membership. There is no additional fee to participate in the program.

What are the program requirements?
Candidates must complete the 10 Self-Assessments, complete 24 brief Learning Activities, and pass the Final Exam. The Final Exam cannot be accessed until the other requirements have been met. A Final Exam score of 75% or higher is required to earn the certificate. A score of 90% or higher qualifies for the designation of Completion with Distinction.

What topics does the program cover?
The Master Psychopharmacology Program covers ten core areas critical to the psychopharmacological management of patients with mental illnesses. For each core area there is a Program Study Guide that breaks the content down into subtopics; within each subtopic there are benchmarks (objectives) identifying the learning goals as well as a list of Recommended Resources that teach to those goals.

How long do I have to complete the program requirements?
The 2021-23 Master Psychopharmacology Program launched on January 1, 2021 and is valid for 3 years (through December 31, 2023). All requirements, including passing the Final Exam, must be completed during that timeframe. To be eligible for the Final Exam, all 10 Self-Assessments and 24 Learning Activities must be completed. You can track your progress by visiting the Progress Summary page.

What are the Self-Assessments?
The ten Self-Assessments (one per core area of the program) teach to the material in the Program Study Guides. Each Self-Assessment consists of case-based multiple-choice questions that are followed by an explanation of both the correct and incorrect answer choices [tactics recommended by the National Board of Medical Examiners and by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN)]. NOTE: how you do on the Self-Assessment has no bearing on your ability to earn CME credit, and you do not have to earn CME credit for a Self-Assessment to count towards the program requirements.

What are the Recommended Resources?
Based on your results on the Self-Assessments, you are provided with a personalized list of topics to study and Recommended Resources to facilitate your preparation for the Final Exam. The Recommended Resources include both Learning Activities, which are a required component of the Program, and supplementary educational material that is not required but may be of benefit.

What are the Learning Activities?
Learning Activities—formatted as articles, case studies, short videos, and animations—teach to the material in the Program Study Guides. You must complete 24 Learning Activities as part of the program. A library of Learning Activities is available to choose from, with new activities added on an ongoing basis. Use your personalized list of Recommended Resources, provided at the end of each Self-Assessment, for suggestions on which activities to complete. NOTE: you do not have to earn CME credit for a Learning Activity to count towards the program requirements.

Do the Self-Assessments and Learning Activities offer CME credit?
Yes. The Self-Assessments offer certificates of CME credit per individual therapeutic area. NOTE: the 10 Self-Assessments are considered a single activity and credits earned must be totaled and submitted as such to other organizations. The Learning Activities offer CME credit per individual activity.

What is the Final Exam?
The Final Exam serves as the assessment for the program. It consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that cover the topics in the Program Study Guides. Passing of the Final Exam indicates that the Candidate has attained the program learning objectives. A Final Exam score of 75% or higher is required to earn the certificate.

Once you open the Final Exam, you have 48 consecutive hours to complete it. You do not have to complete all 100 questions in one sitting; you can stop and come back to the Final Exam at any time during the 48 hours. If you exit the Final Exam and come back, you will return to the next question after your highest answered question; you cannot go back to previous questions.

What if I don't pass the Final Exam on my first attempt?
A final exam score of 75% or higher is required to earn the certificate. If you do not receive a passing score, you may retake the Final Exam an unlimited number of times. To prepare for future attempts, refer to the Program Study Guides and your personalized Self-Assessment feedback.

What will I receive for completing the program?
The Master Psychopharmacology Program is an assessment-based certificate program. Passing of the Final Exam indicates that the candidate has attained the specific learning objectives of the program. Candidates who pass the Final Exam will receive the Master Psychopharmacology Program certificate.

This program is not a certification.

Will this program help me in Board Recertification?
The Master Psychopharmacology Program provides education on the specialized practice of psychopharmacology and can be a valuable resource in studying for recertification. The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) has reviewed NEI's "Master Psychopharmacology Program Self-Assessments, 2021-2023 Edition" and has approved this program as part of a comprehensive lifelong learning and self-assessment program, which is mandated by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) as a necessary component of maintenance of certification. In addition, self-assessment and final exam questions are written with tactics employed by the National Board of Medical Examiners.