Education and Training Programs

The UCSD Department of Psychiatry is home to between 25-30 formal training programs, and about 350 trainees. Our programs serve different disciplines, including Psychiatry, Psychology and Allied Mental Health Professions, and different levels of training, from predoctoral medical and graduate students to postdoctoral Residents and research Fellows. Topics range from general to highly specialized and cover developmental phases from childhood to late life. Several of our programs are supported by the NIH via R25 and T32 Awards, and by the Veterans Administration via MIRECC and other Fellowship support. For program details, simply click on the relevant links or program boxes!
*The program chart correlates to the drop down menu below, and each category is referenced by color starting with the top left going counter clockwise.

Medical Student and High School Programs

MSI-II: Clinical Foundations; Mind, Brain & Behavior

The goals of MBB1 are to learn clinically relevant skull, face, eye and ear anatomy, and principles of skull, face, eye and ear function and dysfunction; learn clinically relevant neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and principles of neurologic and psychiatric function and dysfunction; and learn clinically relevant pharmacology to treat the symptoms and signs of neurologic, ophthalmologic, otolaryngic, and psychiatric disorders.

The goals of MBB2 are to learn preclerkship level psychiatry, neurology, the ear and related portions of otolaryngology, and ophthalmology with an emphasis on pathophysiology and including clinically relevant pathology.

MSIII: Psychiatry Core Clerkship (MSIII)

The MSIII: Psychiatry Core Clerkship (MSIII) is a 6 weeks intensive clinical psychiatry clerkship involving direct patient care, didactics, and simulated case experiences. Students are expected to develop clinical and psychopathological familiarity with affective disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, substance use disorders, neurocognitive disorders, and somatoform disorders. In addition, there is some exposure to Child Psychiatry, Geropsychiatry, and Forensic Psychiatry. There is both theoretical and practical training in psychopharmacology and psychotherapy. At the end of the 6 week clerkship, all students take the standardized Shelf Exam in Psychiatry.

MSIV: Psychiatry Electives (MSIV)

Our Department offers seven advanced one-month MSIV: Psychiatry Electives (MSIV) clinical electives in Psychiatry specialty areas. Topics include Advanced Clinical Psychiatry, Consultation/Liaison Clerkship, Geropsychiatry Clerkship, Psychiatric Crisis Evaluation, Child Psychiatry, Inpatient Psychiatry Subinternship, and Subinternship in Inpatient Alcohol & Drug Treatment.

T35 Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR)

T35 Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) is funded by the National Institute on Aging and has been offered at UC San Diego since 2005. Each year, this popular program provides up to 18 medical students from across the nation an opportunity to conduct 2 to 3 months of summer research guided by the mentorship of a UC San Diego faculty member. Students receive fulltime training conducting hands-on research in an area of personal interest pertaining to aging or an age-related disorder. Additionally, students participate in a variety of clinical activities and didactics that help shape their knowledge base related to aging and teach valuable skills needed to conduct research. Students are provided an opportunity to showcase their work locally and encouraged to travel to the Annual Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society to present their findings.

High School – Summer Training in Aging Research (HS STAR)

High School – Summer Training in Aging Research (HS STAR) is designed to provide exceptional under represented junior and senior level high school students from San Diego with a chance to learn and practice the daily activities involved in aging research alongside a UC San Diego faculty mentor.

Psychiatry Residency Programs

Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program

Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program is an academic training program for medical school graduates with an interest in pursuing careers as mental health physicians. Our graduates are excellent clinicians, leaders, researchers, educators and community psychiatrists from diverse backgrounds, who support mental health, and treat all aspects of mental illness. Housed in one of the world’s premier universities, and vibrant medical centers, we offer a wealth of educational resources and opportunities that allow our trainees to pursue their individual career goals with vigor and expert guidance. The Psychiatry Department takes great pride in our residents and our ability to offer a comprehensive and challenging educational experience. If you have any questions, please contact us at (619) 471-0259.

Combined Family Medicine/Psychiatry Residency Training Program

Combined Family Medicine/Psychiatry Residency Training Program sits at the interface between University of California, San Diego, a world-renown academic institution known for cutting-edge research and high-caliber clinical training, and St. Vincent de Paul Village, one of the most comprehensive homeless centers in the United States. The combined residents are immersed in a program that integrates family medicine and psychiatry and focuses this training on a high-risk, medically illn, and underserved patient population. Newly matched residents will certainly learn the knowledge and skills needed to practice each discipline at the highest level. They will also have the change to make a real difference in the lives of their patients from their very first clinical session. The UCSD Combined Program brings the best of the academic medicine into a community medicine setting, while nurturing residents’ compassion and caring to make a fundamental difference in the lives of the most underserved among us.

R25 Psychiatry Research Residency Track

R25 Psychiatry Research Residency Track combines outstanding clinical training with substantial protected research time and a research core curriculum, designed to prepare physician-scientists for a research-based career in Academic Psychiatry. Trainees connect with a research mentor by Spring of the PGY-I year, and have progressively increasing dedicated research time across the PGY-II-IV years: the first two blocks of the PGY-II, 40% of the PGY-III (2 days/week) and 70% of the PGY-IV (3.5 days/week). Our curriculum has 3 core elements. In Basic-Clinical Synergy (BCS), Residents select clinical electives that synergize with their basic or clinical research focus; this effectively extends their research training beyond the “protected time”. In Focused Community Service (FCS), trainees connect in a meaningful way with patient advocacy groups on a local and/or national level. In Early Mentorship Training (EMT), trainees are mentored in key aspects of teaching, and develop lectures in the areas of their research focus. Graduates can choose from over a dozen academic fellowships within our Department, or submit applications for early career awards (e.g. NIH K- or VA CDA) to support an immediate transition into faculty positions. Interested candidates should contact the Program Director at nswerdlow@ucsd.edu.

Community Psychiatry Residency Track

Community Psychiatry Residency Track runs community psychiatry track in general adult program. Our role in the community is to be the academic hub for future mental health clinicians, educators, researchers, and leaders in the public sector. We strive to not only observe, but to actively participate in the ongoing healthcare reform in our Country and State. Our involvement with our partners is not only crucial for our success, but is integral to our existence. The Community Psychiatry Track will endeavor to create the next generation of psychiatric leaders in the public and community sector.

Psychiatry Clinical Fellowships (*ACGME Accredited)

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Training Program*

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Training Program is based at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, which is the largest children's hospital in California. The primary objective of our ACGME-accredited two year residency training program is to train academically knowledgeable, clinically astute and caring child and adolescent psychiatrists. Our clinically based program offers experiences and rotations in all major aspects of child and adolescent psychiatry.

Community Psychiatry Fellowship Program

Community Psychiatry Program runs general psychiatry track in community psychiatry, advanced nurse practice clinical training program and advanced community psychiatry fellowships in general adult and child/adolescent programs. Our role in the community is to be the academic hub for future mental health clinicians, educators, researchers, and leaders in the public sector. We strive to not only observe, but to actively participate in the ongoing healthcare reform in our Country and State. Our involvement with our partners is not only crucial for our success, but is integral to our existence. As the only academic program in San Diego focused on public sector issues, we welcome all disciplines to participate in our projects and programs.

Child and Adolescent Community Psychiatry Fellowship Track*

Child and Adolescent Community Psychiatry Fellowship Track is the academic hub for future mental health clinicians, educators, researchers, and leaders in the public sector. We strive to not only observe, but to actively participate in the ongoing healthcare reform in our Country and State. Our involvement with our partners is not only crucial for our success, but is integral to our existence. The Community Psychiatry Track will endeavor to create the next generation of child/adolescent psychiatric leaders in the public and community sector.

Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program*

Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program at the VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is  a one-year, ACGME accredited PGY-V fellowship intended for psychiatrists who wish to pursue advanced training in the mental healthcare of older adults with psychiatric and neurodegenerative illnesses and the science and policy of aging in an interprofessional setting.  The program also supports and encourages fellows in research and scholarly activity.  Fellows are eligible for ABPN Board Certification in Geriatric Psychiatry upon graduation.

Addiction Psych Fellowship*

Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Program is to provide advanced (PGY-5 and beyond) training in the evaluation, treatment, research, and teaching of substance use disorders. Fellows will be provided with training in the skills, judgment, and knowledge necessary to assume leadership positions and practice clinically in Addiction Psychiatry. At the end of the training year, the addiction psychiatry fellow will be well prepared to sit for the specialty board examination and function independently as an addiction psychiatrist and at the consultant level. The core program is in outpatient addiction psychiatry at UCSD, but there are exposures to diverse populations in unique settings including adolescents and veterans, and there are unique rotations in medical toxicology and research.

Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Fellowship Program*

Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Fellowship Program represents an exciting opportunity to gain expertise in inpatient and outpatient consultation-liaison psychiatry. The fellow will acquire advanced clinical, teaching and leadership skills, and develop clinical research interests in an academic setting. The educational experience will include clinical experiences in Inpatient Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, and outpatient Psychosomatic Medicine Settings. The outpatient interdisciplinary settings include Primary Care Mental Health Integration and Specialty Clinics. The fellow will perform assessments and provide comprehensive treatment (psychopharmacologic and psychotherapeutic interventions), working as part of an interdisciplinary team. There will be dedicated time to participate in interdisciplinary educational opportunities as well as the Psychosomatic Medicine Curriculum. The curriculum will include weekly didactic seminars, individual and group supervision, journal club, teaching patient rounds and critical incident conferences. The fellow will be involved in teaching within psychiatry as well as to other disciplines, as part of their liaison work, and with the goal of developing leadership and administrative skills.

Interdisciplinary Research Fellowships

R25 Sustained Training on Aging & HIV Research Program

STAHR is an NIMH-funded collaborative state-of-the-art research training program that aims to be at the forefront of mental health research in HIV and Aging. As people with HIV are living into older age, they are experiencing multiple interacting causes of morbidity. Emerging research indicates that the coexistence of HIV and aging encompasses a complex relationship with issues of physical and psychiatric comorbidity, polypharmacy, cognitive impairment, and psychosocial stressors on one hand, and positive aspects such as successful aging, resilience, and neuroplasticity on the other. Yet, there is much to be known about pathophysiology, biomarkers, and interventions for enhancing mental health as well as for treating and preventing mental illnesses, including neurocognitive disorders, in older adults with HIV. Fostering the development of researchers with knowledge and expertise in both aging and HIV will be critical for the promotion of urgently needed research in this field.

T32 Research Fellowship in Geriatric Mental Health

The Research Fellowship in Geriatric Mental Health, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, focuses on basic and applied research on older adults with schizophrenia, psychosis, and other forms of serious mental illness. Continuously funded for over two decades, many graduates from our fellowship program have gone on to become leaders in the field of geriatric mental health. Many of our prior trainees have obtained K Awards, and many of them are now tenured faculty at UC San Diego or elsewhere. The fellowship setting is a multidisciplinary research environment (e.g., psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience, pharmaceutical science) that is part of a larger research training program within UCSD’s Division of Geriatric Psychiatry. Fellowships are for two years, with the possibility of a third year. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents and have completed a doctoral degree in any relevant discipline. PhDs, MDs, MD/PhDs, and PharmDs with previous research experience are encouraged to apply.

VA Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC)

The mission of the Desert Pacific MIRECC is to improve the long-term functional outcome of patients with chronic psychotic mental disorders, including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and psychotic mood disorders through innovative research, clinical care, and educational programs. Our approach to schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders is to improve understanding of the neurobiology of these illnesses, translate this improved understanding to improved clinical practices, and assure that these improved practices are provided to veterans. We approach this mission through an integrated program of research, education, and clinical programs aimed at translating findings from the research laboratory into improved clinical care. The MIRECC program spans the spectrum from basic brain biology to the organization of services for veterans.

R25 Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship in NeuroAIDS (IRFN)

The IRFN is a 2-year program for postdoctoral scientists interested in pursuing research careers in the central nervous system consequences of HIV infection.  The IRFN, with funding from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), provides training and mentoring to clinical and basic scientists interested in careers in neuroAIDS research. Training experiences emphasize the interdisciplinary and translational nature of clinical problems in neuroAIDS in order to prepare future scientists to tackle emerging questions in the field. The IRFN pairs trainees with mentors from clinical and basic science backgrounds according to their research interests, and provides a clinical literacy program in neuroAIDS for basic scientists. IRFN Fellows are exposed to cutting-edge scientific environments and have contact with some of the most respected neuroAIDS researchers in the world.

VA Center of Excellence for Stress & Mental Health (CESAMH)

Supported by the Office of Academic Affiliation, the Center of Excellence in Stress and Mental Health (CESAMH) fellowship at VA San Diego Healthcare System and affiliated with University of California, San Diego, Department of Psychiatry offers early career psychologists and physicians advanced training in clinical research in high priority areas of mental health for Veterans. Over the course of the two-year program, fellows are trained in clinical research, advanced clinical care service delivery, education, and program administration and evaluation in an interdisciplinary setting, with a focus on stress- and trauma-related disorders, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The fellowship is accredited by the American Psychology Association for advanced training in professional clinical psychology.

VA Interprofessional Advanced Fellowship in Addiction Treatment

The VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) is one of seven sites selected for a VA-funded Interprofessional Advanced Fellowship in Addiction Treatment. Our two-year advanced fellowship recruits clinical/counseling psychologists and physicians. Advanced Fellows must demonstrate interest in pursuing VA and/or academic careers with addiction treatment as a significant focus. Fellows spend at least 75% of their time in educational experiences and clinical research in addiction treatment. No more than 25% of fellow effort shall be for non-educational clinical service. Training consists of didactic coursework and seminars aimed at providing requisite skills for developing into an independent researcher. A central component of the program is an independent research project with extensive mentoring by senior faculty members. The program is enhanced by opportunities for other course work, patient care, and teaching based on training goals.

VA Advanced Fellowship in Women's Health

The VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) Advanced Fellowship in Women’s Health provides interdisciplinary training to postdoctoral or post-residency fellows to prepare them for careers as independent women’s healthcare specialists. This is a US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)- Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) fellowship program. The program has an Associated Health Professional track, which supports an APA-accredited postdoctoral fellowship in clinical psychology as well as advanced training for nurses and social workers, and a Physician track. Through a combination of clinical, research, and teaching experiences, as well as cross-disciplinary training opportunities and supervision from women’s health specialists, the fellowship prepares healthcare professionals for a VA career that integrates clinical, research, and leadership activities focused on women’s health.

T32 Training in Research on Addictions in Interdisciplinary NeuroAIDS (TRAIN)

Interdisciplinary clinical research on the combined effects of substance abuse and HIV infection on brain structure and function is of considerable public health importance. However, there are presently very few laboratories conducting such research and limited training programs dedicated to preparing the next generation of investigators in clinical research at the intersection of addictions and neuroAIDS. Accordingly, we established a Ruth L Kirschstein National Research Service Award Institutional Training Grant (NRSA T32) with funding from NIDA entitled, “Training in Research on Addictions in Interdisciplinary NeuroAIDS (TRAIN)” The aim of TRAIN is to prepare two pre-doctoral students in coordination with the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) and one post-doctoral fellow in clinical neuropsychology for multidisciplinary academic careers focused on the central nervous system (CNS) effects of substance abuse and HIV infection. Students and fellows are actively engaged in individualized, flexible career development plans that will include applied research training didactics (e.g. formal class work and structured seminars), and targeted clinical experiences.

NIAAA T32 Alcohol Research in the Science/Practitioner Model

This training grant is an Institutional Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) T32 grant funded by the NIAAA within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), created to prepare pre and postdoctoral trainees for careers in academic settings with encouraged specialization in alcohol research. Specifically, it assists trainees in obtaining skills necessary for the conception, planning, and conduct of research in alcohol studies and subsequent presentation and publication of results. Since its inception in 2002, this grant has provided support for 31 predoctoral and 24 postdoctoral fellows. Predoctoral trainees are in the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (JDP), while postdoctoral fellows are in research labs at San Diego State University (SDSU), the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI).

Interdisciplinary Clinical and Research Fellowships

VA Interprofessional Fellowship: Psychosocial Rehab. & Recovery Oriented Services

The VASDHS/UCSD Interprofessional Fellowship Program in Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Oriented Services (PSR Fellowship) is a state-of-the-art clinical training program that focuses on the theory and practice of psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery for people with serious mental illness (SMI). The program has been recognized by Division 18 of the American Psychological Association as an outstanding SMI training program. Individualized, mentored clinical and research training is combined with a curriculum that emphasizes a comprehensive psychosocial rehabilitation approach to service delivery, education, and implementing change in a mental health care setting.

VASDHS Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Residency Program

The VA Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Residency is a 2-year program at the VASDHS. We have funding to recruit 1-2 postdoctoral residents each year in this specialty program in clinical neuropsychology. We have developed this training program to constitute roughly an equal balance of clinical and research/didactic activity to prepare candidates for board certification and seek applicants with outstanding preparation in both.

Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research Postdoctoral Fellowship

Under the directorship of Dr. Walter Kaye, MD, the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research is an international leader in developing and employing new treatments based on research on the neurobiology of anorexia and bulimia. Our center provides high quality, state-of-the art care to adults, adolescents, and children in both inpatient and intensive outpatient settings. The UCSD Eating Disorder Center for Treatment and Research in conjunction with the Department of Psychiatry offers 2-year clinical and research fellowships. The clinical psychology fellowships are consistent with the scientist-practitioner model of training and are a good fit for those with demonstrated research experience and a desire to pursue careers that integrate clinical work with research within a university medical setting. Research fellowships are dependent on funding and can be oriented to neuroimaging or treatment outcomes research.

Psychology Graduate, Internship and Residency Programs

VASDHS/UCSD Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Residency Program

The Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Residency Program is based on the scientist-practitioner model, focused on creating a foundation in clinical and research/dissemination practices. The program prepares residents for careers as independent practitioners able to translate the scientific literature into sound, evidenced-based interventions and to evaluate and disseminate these approaches. At the end of the program, residents are prepared for VA or university medical center careers that integrate clinical, training, research and leadership activities. Residents spend most their time in the provision of psychological services (60-65%), with 20% time devoted to clinical research and 10- 15% devoted to didactics. Residents will learn to deliver high quality clinical care, to be critical contributors to and consumers of the scientific literature, and to let each of these areas inform the other. The residency program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 2010.

UCSD/VA San Diego Psychology Internship Training Program

The UCSD/VA Psychology Internship is a collaboration between the UCSD Department of Psychiatry, the VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) Psychology Service, UC San Diego Health, and Rady Children's Hospital. We offer a 12-month, full-time (2080 hours), APA-approved pre-doctoral internship in clinical psychology. The program begins each year on July 1. Our program trains doctoral candidates to function as autonomous professionals in a variety of health care settings, with particular emphasis on the role of the psychologist in a sophisticated university-affiliated teaching and research hospital, adult or child outpatient, and inpatient child and adolescent psychiatric settings. All positions within the internship include at least two, year-long placements. Our Internship emphasizes the Boulder, Scientist-practitioner model of training in psychology and, as such, seeks applicants who desire research-oriented academic careers and have demonstrated experience in research.

SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology

The SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) in Clinical Psychology provides outstanding education and training to scientifically oriented clinical professionals, who will subsequently make significant contributions to the field of clinical psychology in their areas of specialization. The JDP, which began in 1985, was first accredited by the Commission on Accreditation, American Psychological Association in 1990 and has been re-accredited consistently since then. Rankings calculated by the National Research Council (NRC) place the JDP among the top three psychology programs in the country, regardless of whether they are clinical or non-clinical in nature. The JDP is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science, which indicates that we are committed to excellence in scientific training, and to using clinical science as the foundation for designing, implementing, and evaluating assessment and intervention procedures.

Allied Professionals

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Clinical Training Program

Community Psychiatry Program oversees the advanced nurse practice clinical training program. Our role in the community is to be the academic hub for future mental health clinicians, educators, researchers, and leaders in the public sector. Our involvement with our partners is not only crucial for our success, but is integral to our existence. We have strong ties to School of Nursing at University of San Diego and California State University, San Marcos. As the only academic program in San Diego with direct clinical training partnership with PMHNP schools, we strive to train high quality PMHNP graduates in a collaborative fashion.

UC San Diego Department of Psychiatry Allied Mental Health Professions’ Clinical Training

As part of its clinical teaching mission, the Department of Psychiatry has educational affiliations approved through the UC San Diego Allied Professional Health Education Committee (APHEC) with several universities, and training is available to students enrolled in specific graduate programs at these universities. For a list of these programs and for more information, please visit our website.



Diagram of Education and Training Programs

MSTAR HS STAR MSI-II MSIII MSIV JDP UCSD-VA Psychology Internship T32 Training in Research on Addictions in Interdisciplinary NeuroAIDS (TRAIN)
T32 Alcohol Research in the Science/Practitioner Model: Behavioral Sciences in Alcohol Abuse
VA Advanced Fellowship Program in Addiction Treatment
VA Fellowship Program in Health Issues of Women Veterans
VA Interprofessional Fellowship: Psychosocial Rehab. & Recovery Oriented Services
VASDHS-UCSD Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Residency Program
VA Neuro-psychology Postdoctoral Residency Program
P12 IRFN CESAMH BioPsych Felloship MIRECC Community Psych Track Community Psych Fellowship Child & Community Psych Geriatric Psych Fellowship Consultation Liaison Psych T32 Research Fellowship in Geriatric Mental Health
Geriatric Psychiatry Clinical Fellowship
Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship
Child & Adolescent Psych Psych Redidency Combined FM/Psych Residency R25 Research Residency Allied Mental Health Psych NP Program Eating Disorders Fellowship Program
STAHR