How to Apply for a Residency in Radiology

Why did I come to UCSF?  It was there that I found world-class faculty, truly impressive residents, a friendly work environment, and the resources needed to kick-start my career, all situated within one of the most vibrant cities in the United States.  Professionally and personally, everything I wanted was at UCSF.

Akash Kansagra, MD. Residency Class of 2014

We seek candidates with a strong educational background and well-rounded academic and personal experiences. Most of our incoming residents have engaged in research, ranging from basic science to clinical research, and many choose to continue these efforts at UCSF.  At the same time, we offer broad clinical training, which benefits our graduates whether they choose an academic or private practice career. 

Diversity is a hallmark of our residency. We welcome and encourage applications from all qualified candidates, including women and members of underrepresented minority groups. Each applicant brings a unique perspective and talent, and the combination of these various abilities is a major strength of our residency program.

We currently admit 14 residents per year into our first year class.


An applicant for graduate medical education at UCSF must have:

A medical degree prior to residency program start date from one of the following:

  • Medical schools in the US and Canada accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME);
  • Colleges of osteopathic medicine in the US accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA);
  • Medical schools outside of the United States or Canada recognized by the California Medical Board (

A passing score on USMLE Step I
A passing score on USMLE Step II (CS and CK) (recommended for applicants to be ranked) 

Summary of Application Process For Residents Entering July, 2021

Application Deadline: October 2, 2019


Application Deadline: October 2, 2019
Interview Notification By: On/before October 26, 2019

Interview Dates:

  • Wednesday, December 11, 2019
  • Friday, December 13, 2019
  • Tuesday, January 7, 2020
  • Friday, January 10, 2020
  • Tuesday, January 14, 2020
  • Friday, January 17, 2020
  • Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Ranking Meeting: Early February, 2020
Rank Order List Deadline: February 26, 2020

Match Day: March 20, 2020
Start of Residency: July 1, 2021


Application Procedures

Our application deadline is October 2, 2019-- 20 months before the anticipated start of radiology residency.

UCSF Department of Radiology participates in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). All positions are filled through the National Resident Matching Program.

We require a medical school performance evaluation ("dean's letter") and 3 letters of recommendation. You can solicit letters of recommendation from any faculty members who know you well, but we suggest that they be from physicians who are familiar with your clinical work. No more than one of the three letters should be written by a radiologist. If you have had extensive research experience, you may choose to submit a 4th letter from your mentor or advisor.

You must have completed a preliminary year of training at an ACGME-accredited institution before entering our residency program.

Selection Criteria

We hope that the information below helps to clarify our selection process. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our housestaff coordinator, Sandria Wong.

The residency selection committee reviews all of the applications after the MSPEs ("dean's letters") are released and in recent years has chosen 64 candidates to interview. All letters of invitation or denial are sent by e-mail on a single day in mid November.  Sometimes we receive requests to reexamine specific applications, but our short timeline precludes us from reconsidering our decisions.

Selection criteria are a mix of objective criteria (prior academic performance) and subjective factors (perceived fit with UCSF).  We particularly value a strong performance in clinical clerkships, memberships in the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) honor society, history of successful research, potential for an academic career, performance on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), as well as personal characteristics and life experiences.


We want you to have a pleasant and informative visit to UCSF. We suggest that you look upon the interview day as an opportunity to find out more about our department -- the people, programs, and facilities -- and to help us learn about you. Feel free to ask questions, and please let us know if we can assist you in any way.

Your day will start at UCSF Medical Center (directions and map). You will have the opportunity to meet the Program Director, learn about the program, interact with residents, see a didactic conference and discover research opportunities.  You will be invited to an early-evening reception at UCSF Medical Center, where you will have the chance to meet additional residents and faculty.  In addition, you will have several interviews with faculty and chief residents.

Second Visits

Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate requests for second visits or "second looks".  After your interview, if you have additional questions about the department, please email or call your interviewers, the program director or the residents.

Selection Committee Meeting

The selection committee meets in early February. We discuss all of the applicants based on the entirety of their records, including their interviews, and we formulate our rank order list based on consensus. We rank all or almost all of the candidates whom we interview.

After all is done, we hope that you are pleased with the application process and your match result. We wish you the best of luck!

For UCSF Students, Visiting Students, and International Medical Graduates

UCSF Students:

We realize that many of our students prefer to remain at UCSF for residency training, and we consider UCSF graduates to be excellent applicants.  While we give UCSF applicants every possible consideration, we no longer offer courtesy interviews.

Visiting Students: (those who will take or have taken an elective rotation in our department) 

Though an "away" rotation with our department is a great way to learn abour our department, such electives are not required or expected of our applicants.  In addition, please note that we do not offer courtesy interviews.

International Medical Graduates:

We welcome your interest in our program. We seek the most qualified residents, regardless of country of education. Some of our most outstanding residents and faculty are international medical graduates (IMGs), as is our former chairman, Alexander Margulis, MD.

Please note that because of the large number of applications and the difficulty of evaluating the records of IMGs, we can offer interviews only to exceptional applicants with a strong record of research (usually in a department of radiology in the United States, outstanding letters of recommendation and high scores of both Steps 1 and 2 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

Applications from IMGs are not considered to be complete until we receive evidence of ECFMG certification and a copy of the Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL) from the Medical Board of California. IMGs may contact the ECFMG for information on ERAS and application procedures.

The UCSF Graduate Medical Education website has additional information.

If you will need a visa, you must obtain an ECFMG-sponsored J-1 visa. Please note that H-1b visas are not available to our trainees who are graduates of international medical schools.

Director of Residency Selection Committee

Associate Professor
Associate Residency Program Director
Assistant Professor