Acedemic requirements. A student must first obtain a 4 year undergraduate degree. Once a bachelors degree has been obtained, graduates must then enter into a 4 year medical school program. Where they earn either a medical doctorate or doctor of osteopathy degree. Residency. All students must under go a 4 year residency program after their schooling is complete. Full Certification. Once the residency requirement has been met a psychiatry student must then take a certification exam that is administered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Once obtained the certificate is valid for 10 years before it must be renewed. The application for maintenance of certification in Psychiatry is due every September.