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Psychiatry Graduate Schools: Info on Choosing a School

Aspiring psychiatrists in Doctor of Medicine (MD) programs learn how to diagnose and treat patients with mental and emotional disorders. Typically, students enroll in a psychiatric residency program or internship program at a medical school for specialized training after earning their MDs.

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Aspiring psychiatrists must earn a Doctor of Medicine, then complete a focused residency and fellowship period. MD programs and some residency programs can be found at medical schools, but much of the training occurs in hospitals and psychological treatment facilities.

Top Psychiatry/Psychology Schools

According U.S. News & World Report's 2016 ranking, the following schools offer some of the best psychiatry/psychology programs in the country.

College/University Location Institution Type Tuition (2015-2016)*
Harvard University Boston, MA 4-year, Private $55,850
Stanford University Stanford, CA 4-year, Private $52,491
Yale University New Haven, CT 4-year, Private $55,680
University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Public $31,731 in-state, $43,976 out-of-state
Columbia University New York, NY 4-year, Private $55,418
University of California-San Diego Sand Diego, CA 4-year, Public $31,731 in-state, $43,976 out-of-state
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Public $50,010 in-state, $51,464 out-of-state
Duke University Durham, NC 4-year, Private $53,575
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public $32,428 in-state, $50,854 out-of-state

Source: U.S. News & World Report

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School Selection Criteria

These considerations may be helpful to students choosing a graduate school with a psychiatry program:

  • There are nine main sub-specialties in psychiatry, including pediatric and geriatric psychiatry, so students may want to decide which specialty interests them most and choose a school that has strengths in that field.
  • Students should find a school with an environment similar to one in which they wish to work in the future. Therefore, they should find out about the number of doctors and nurses on staff, the number of inpatient admissions and outpatient visits, and the number of psychiatric patients who are treated at the facility.
  • Students should consider the national rankings of the schools they are considering, as schools that are well-respected may be better funded.

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Program

This psychiatric specialty program focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional problems among children, adolescents and their families. It is usually a 2-year program and teaches students how to interview patients to arrive at a diagnosis and form a treatment plan, which may include medication and therapy.

Addiction Psychiatry Residency Program

This 1-year program can prepare residents to successfully evaluate and treat those suffering from addiction and substance abuse disorders. The program allows participants to provide supervised in-patient and out-patient care to individuals who may have both addiction and mental health issues.

Aspiring psychiatrists should choose a medical school with a strong reputation and an academic environment that supports their educational and career goals. When they finish, they can enter a residency program in a particular subfield of interest.

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