RTP Application Information

Applicants must have a medical degree prior to the residency program start date from one of the following: 

We encourage application by a broad pool of diverse applicants; UCSF is fully committed to nurturing diversity in all of its many permutations. (For more general information, go to the campus diversity website. For information specific to residency training at UCSF, go to the UCSF Graduate Medical Education website.)

As our vision statement reads, we are firmly dedicated to training “Leaders in Psychiatry,” and thus, we are particularly interested in recruiting residents planning careers in research, academic psychiatry, and/or leadership positions in clinical settings such as community mental health clinics or large health care organizations. 

Applying to our program

All applications to the UCSF Psychiatry Residency Training Program are accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Our NRMP Program Categorical Code is 1062400C0. If you are a current student or a graduate of a medical school located outside of the United States, please be sure to read the information below under the header “International Medical Graduates” before applying.

Our residency program has a dedicated pathway for residents committed to pursuing future careers as full-time physician-scientists in basic science, translational science, clinical, and health services research. The goal of our Resident Research Training Program (RRTP) is to help residents get into research post-doctoral fellowships following residency training. Applicants interested in applying to the RRTP should apply using the same NRMP Program Categorical Code, 1062400C0. In addition to ERAS, applicants interested in the RRTP must also complete a research supplemental application. A complete ERAS application and a research supplemental application are required for the RRTP.

Application checklist

To complete our application process, all of the following materials must be completed and submitted through ERAS: 

  • Medical/osteopathic school transcript
  • MSPE (dean’s letter) from medical/osteopathic school
  • Personal statement
  • Curriculum vitae
  • USMLE Transcript: A passing score on USMLE Step I and Step II (Clinical Knowledge and Clinical Skills) is required for all trainees prior to beginning a UCSF GME program. To meet this requirement, applicants should have passed USMLE Step II (CK and CS) prior to placement on UCSF rank order lists (i.e. prior to mid-February). In selected cases, with the approval of the program director and the Office of Graduate Medical Education, applicants may be placed on UCSF rank order lists without the USMLE Step II (CK and CS) score.
  • Three letters of recommendation. At least one letter needs to be from a faculty psychiatrist who can comment directly on your clinical performance in psychiatry (a departmental letter from your home psychiatry department is not expected; letters from individual faculty members are preferred.) Of the remaining letters, at least one needs to be from a non-psychiatrist commenting directly on your clinical work in a different specialty such as pediatrics, OB/GYN, medicine, etc.


Interviews cannot be scheduled until all required documents listed above have been received. It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure that his or her application is complete.  

  • Complete applications will be screened, and approximately 84 candidates will be invited to interview for 16 PGY-1 positions.
  • Interview days are held from mid-October to early February. Applicants coming for interviews are invited to first meet with a group of current residents at a local restaurant on the evening prior to interview.

Interview day structure

  • Orientation (with light breakfast) as a group starting at 8:00 AM with the program director and department chair
  • One-to-one interviews with the program director, two different faculty members, and a resident
  • Lunch with a group of current residents
  • Tours led by residents at all three of the program's main training sites; applicants will travel as a group in a dedicated van between sites, accompanied while in the van by the program director and/or a resident.
  • UCSF Parnassus tour with current residents
  • San Francisco VA Medical Center tour with second-year residents
  • Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center tour with first-year residents
  • Meeting with the program director from 3-4 p.m.
  • NOTE: if you are interested in applying to the Research Resident Training Program (RRTP), you will be invited for two days of interviews: Tuesday or Thursday will include an orientation to the RRTP and one-to-one meetings with research faculty, and Monday or Friday will be as described above. There will be four different RRTP interview dates: two in November, one in December, and one in January.

The explicit goals of the interview day are:

  • for you to get answers to any questions you may have about the program
  • for you to see all three of our main training sites (and you'll also see some of San Francisco!)
  • for you to have an opportunity to talk to residents from all four training years
  • for you to meet one-to-one with several faculty members and residents
  • for us to get to know you as well

In addition, at your interview you will receive additional written materials about the program and UCSF, and you will have an opportunity to review a sample contract.


The firm application deadline for Match 2020 is October 15, 2019. Applications received after this date will not be screened. Applications are screened on a rolling basis, so applicants should apply well before the deadline.

International medical graduate requirements

Each state has its own Medical Practice Act, and the requirements for training and licensure for graduates of international medical schools vary. The UCSF School of Medicine requires that all international medical school applicants:

  • Be a citizen or hold permanent resident status or qualify for a J-1 visa
  • Possess a valid ECFMG certificate
  • Possess a California Medical Board "Applicant Evaluation Status Letter" certifying that you may start post-graduate medical training in California
  • Register with the National Resident Matching Program

For more information, go to the Graduate Medical Education website for international medical graduates.

If you are not a citizen of the United States, and you do not hold Permanent Resident status, you will be required to secure the ECFMG-J1 visa to enter this institution for medical training. UCSF does not sponsor H 1 visas for medical trainees. Compliance with the above requirements must be met, without exception, before your application can be considered.

Additional resources for international medical applicants