Because of complexities related to the COVID pandemic, this year’s application cycle may be particularly stressful for our medical student applicants. We are here to support you in every way we can and would like to offer clear, transparent guidelines about our recruitment process. Our program commits to following our national organization's recommendations for the 2021-2022 interview season.

  1. We offer a limited number of interviews relative to the number of positions that we have available. We will NOT offer more interviews than interview slots available. As a result, applicants will have 72 hours to either accept or decline an interview
  2. We require three letters of recommendation, but only one needs to come from a psychiatrist
  3. All interviews will be conducted online for the entire interview season, including those for local trainees. Our interviews will be structured to respect the trainee’s time, including proper notice and consolidation of meetings
  4. We will also offer virtual opportunities to meet our current residents and view our facilities. All applicants are invited to follow our residency program’s Twitter account @UMNPsychRes for updates. These opportunities will also be communicated to applicants prior to interview day via our website/email
  5. We commit to holistically reviewing all applicants with an understanding of the complexity the pandemic has introduced
  6. We commit to equitable and antiracist practices. We recognize that historically marginalized applicants are potentially experiencing an even greater degree of the burden associated with the current state of affairs
  7. Uncertainty about the future can cause intolerable anxiety. It is our joy and our commitment to you to ensure that you are as successful as possible this interview season. We are here to address any concerns that you may have, big or small. Please do not hesitate to reach out at

For information about managing intolerable anxiety, we recommend this podcast developed by our Vice Chair for Education, Dr. Kaz Nelson.

PGY2, PGY3 or PGY4

Typically, such applicants are considered only if there is an opening in the program or the applicant has outstanding credentials and is seeking a specific experience offered at the University of Minnesota.

The program requires:

  • Letter of application explaining the circumstances
  • USMLE scores
  • Medical School transcript
  • Contemporary letters of recommendation
  • Confirmation of previous training and delineation of the specific rotations from the program's Director

An interview, if offered, is conducted in the same manner as described for PGY1 applicants. The Residency Training Committee decides whether to offer the applicant a position.

Visa Sponsorship

The J-1 alien physician visa sponsored by ECFMG is the preferred visa status for foreign national trainees in all UMN graduate medical education programs; therefore, the Department of Psychiatry sponsors only J-1 visas. We do not sponsor H-1B visas.

More information on the J-1 visa can be found on the UMN-GME webpage: International Medical Graduates & Visas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What percentage of your residents are foreign medical graduates?
As an example, our PGY1 class is comprised of 67 percent foreign medical graduates.

What percentage of your first-year residents graduate to second year?
100% for the past 10+ years

Can residents leave midway through training?
Some residents have transferred to other programs due to a family necessity (spouse’s job, family illness, etc.). We encourage residents to do what’s best for their families and individual life goals and are happy to support them along that journey.

What are the chances of someone who graduated in 2012 matching?
We do not filter applications based on time away from medical training.

What are my chances of matching when I have not written Step 3 USMLE?
We do not require or expect Step 3 completion before applying to our program.

Can someone who has no letter of recommendation authored by a U.S.-based physician match in your program?

Can someone who has no publications to his name still match on your program?
We are an academic program, and as such, we do prefer to see scholarly work on an application. We do not filter based on scholarly work; therefore, it is not a requirement.

How many residents do you take in the categorical track each year?
This changes year to year based on our ability to provide an excellent training experience and funding to support our trainees. In the past few years, it has ranged from 7 to 10 in the PGY-1 class. We are eager to train more psychiatrists for the state of Minnesota and the world. Therefore, we will increase the size of our classes as we are able.

Do you sponsor any visa?
For an answer to that question, see Visa Sponsorship on this page.

What is your application criteria when it comes to USMLE attempts?
We do not filter by USMLE attempts, but by doing a holistic application review. One primary goal of our program is to graduate clinicians who are board-eligible in the state of Minnesota. If there is a reason an applicant would not qualify for MN board eligibility, then we would consider that a reason not to interview that person.

Do I need an ECFMG certificate to apply?  
Yes, unless you have not graduated from medical school.  If you have graduated, you must be ECFMG-certified at the time you submit your application. We request that you submit a copy of your ECFMG certificate with your application.