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What Are the Best Child Psychiatry Schools and Degree Programs?

Get tips about selecting a child psychiatry program, and learn about program offerings and degree levels available at top schools. Find out ranking data and the kinds of facilities these schools have to offer.

What Should I Look for in a Top Child Psychiatry School?

In your search for a child psychiatry school, you might want to find a program affiliated with a teaching hospital that can support appropriate clinical rotations or development of a research career. These rotations could include psychotherapy and psychopharmacology and exposure to related disciplines like pediatric neurology and neurosurgery. After completing a general or child and adolescent psychiatry residency, you may be eligible for a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship program. Each of the following medical schools that were highly-ranked for pediatrics by U.S. News & World Report.

What Are Three Top Child Psychiatry Schools?

Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, TX

BCM ranked eighth for best medical school in pediatrics in 2019, and its Menninger Clinic was fifth for psychiatry in 2019, according to U.S. News & World Report. BCM's affiliate, the Texas Children's Hospital, placed third in U.S. News & World Report evaluations of pediatric neurology and neurosurgery programs in 2019.

BCM's Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry offers both residency and fellowship programs. The MDPBS offers a Resident Research Track, possibly focusing on mood disorders, neuroscience or neuropharmacology.

Representative residency and fellowship clinical sites include the Baylor Psychiatry Clinic, the Ben Taub General Hospital, the Menninger Clinic and the DePelchin Children's Center. Four dual degree programs are available to M.D. candidates, including a Medical Scientist Training Program offering the M.D. and the Ph.D. that's sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. These programs are possible:

  • Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
  • M.D./Master of Business Administration
  • M.D./Master of Public Health
  • M.D./Juris Doctor
  • Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA

In U.S. News & World Report's best medical schools rankings, Penn's Perelman School of Medicine was ranked first for pediatrics in 2019, and its Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) was sixth for pediatric neurology and neurosurgery in 2019. The Department of Psychiatry's related programs include research and treatment centers for youth and family trauma recovery, autism, brain behavior and cognitive therapy. The department's residency training program offers electives in psychotherapy and community psychiatry.

A variety of child psychiatry residency and fellowship options are offered. For instance, there's a 4-year general residency program that provides research opportunities and an introduction to child and adolescent psychiatry through CHOP. The first year of this residency includes rotations in inpatient pediatric, adolescent, emergency and neurological medicine, followed by an introduction to child and adolescent psychotherapy cases at CHOP and the Hall-Mercer Community Mental Health Center in year two.

CHOP also hosts a 2-year fellowship program with rotations that include the Devereux Children's Behavioral Health Center and the Children's Crisis Treatment Center. CHOP's 3-year Post Pediatric Portal Program (PPPP) offers training in general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry to M.D.s who've completed a core pediatric residency. PPPP graduates are eligible for board certification in both adult and child and adolescent psychiatry. These programs are available:

  • Doctor of Medicine
  • General Residency in Psychiatry
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship
  • Post Pediatric Portal Program

University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) Medical School in Pittsburgh, PA

In 2019, Pitt's School of Medicine ranked tenth for pediatrics, according to U.S. News & World Report. In 2019, the publication also ranked the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh as 16th for top pediatric hospital in neurology and neurosurgery. The Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic offers residency programs in child and adolescent psychiatry; a triple board program in child and adolescent psychiatry, general psychiatry and pediatrics; and a combined family medicine and psychiatry program. The Department of Psychiatry hosts 11 childhood and adolescence research programs.

The department also offers a 2-year child and adolescent fellowship and a 5-year combined adult and child and adolescent psychiatry residency. For qualified students, years four and five of the 5-year program could become the first and second years of a 2-year fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. Clinical rotations occur in the John Merck inpatient unit, the Mathilde Theiss Child Development Center, the Center for Overcoming Problems of Eating or through the Acute Adolescent Partial Program. Research-oriented students might be interested in one of nine federally sponsored post-doctoral training programs, including clinical research training in child psychiatry. These degrees are available:

  • Doctor of Medicine
  • 2-Year Child and Adolescent Residency Training Program
  • 5-Year General and Child and Adolescent Combined Residency Training Program
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship

Ten Schools with Child Psychiatry Programs

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
Johns Hopkins University4-year, PrivateBaltimore, MD$56,000
Brown University4-year, PrivateProvidence, RI$55,000
Emory University4-year, PrivateAtlanta, GA$42,000
University of Kansas4-year, PublicLawrence, KS$11,000
East Carolina University4-year, PublicGreenville, NC$7,000
Wright State University4-year, PublicDayton, OH$14,000
Harvard University4-year, PrivateCambridge, MA$47,000
Yale University4-year, PrivateNew Haven, CT$42,000
Duke University4-year, PrivateDurham, NC$55,000
University of Michigan4-year, PublicAnn Arbor, MI$23,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education