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The Match

The Match - Overview and Timeline

NRMP Main Match

The Main Match is administered by the National Residency Match Program (NRMP). The Match determines final placements for residency.

How the Match Works

The NRMP uses a mathematical algorithm to place applicants in residency positions. The algorithm is “applicant-proposing,” favoring applicants by placing them into residency positions based on the order they have ranked programs.

The Matching Algorithm is described in detail by the NRMP:  How the Match Works.

Registration and Timeline

To participate in the Main Match, students must register with the NRMP Registration, Ranking, and Results (R3) system. Students should enter their NRMP No. in their ERAS application once received.

NRMP Registering for the Match Guide

2025 NRMP Main Residency Match Calendar

Sep 16, 2024

Registration Opens

Jan 31, 2025

Standard Registration Deadline

Feb 3, 2025

Ranking Opens

March 5, 2025

Rank Order List Certification

Registration Deadline

March 17-21, 2025

Match Week

Mar 21, 2025

Match Day

Early Matches

Students applying through the Military Match System or to Ophthalmology or Urology will participate in an “Early Match”, in which the match timeline is accelerated compared the NRMP Main Match.

Military Match

The U.S. Air Force, Army and Navy do not participate in the NRMP but make their own appointments directly. See the 2024 Military Match Guide for additional information and timelines.

San Francisco Match – Ophthalmology

The San Francisco (SF) Match Ophthalmology Residency Matching Program provides matching services for Integrated Ophthalmology Programs. See the SF Match Ophthalmology Residency website for additional information and timelines.

AUA Match – Urology

The American Urologic Association (AUA) oversees the Urology Residency Match Program.  Additional information and timeline can be found on the AUA Urology Residency Match site.

Rank Order List

Creating your Rank Order List

The applicant’s final preference is expressed via the Rank Order List. The Rank Order List of the applicants and the programs are what determines the Match outcome.

OSA is available to discuss rank order lists and strategies to create them. 

Students may want to consider the following when creating their Rank Order List:

  • Strength and breadth of clinical training
  • Opportunities to explore subspecialties and other professional interests
  • Supportive and healthy learning environment
  • Opportunities for mentorship
  • Location for work and life
  • Patient population
  • Program culture and current residents
  • Personal support network including family and friends
  • Program reputation

When creating your Rank Order List, OSA recommends that you:

Rank programs in the order of your true preference.  The Match Algorithm is built to work for the applicant. An applicant has the best chance of matching at their top program if they rank it as the top choice. There is no benefit to creating a rank list based on where an applicant thinks they will be accepted.  

Rank ALL programs unless you would rather go unmatched than be at a particular program. The more ranks on your list the higher likelihood of a match.  However, applicants should know that the Match is a binding commitment and students are bound to matriculate at any program they matched at from their rank order list.  If you truly do not want to be at a program (and would rather go unmatched than be at that program), you should not rank that program. 

Consider creating a Rank List that includes a mix of competitive and less competitive programs including at least one safety program.

Do NOT rank programs where you did not interview.

Certify your Rank Order List

Once an applicant has created and entered a Rank Order List into the R3 system, it still must be Certified to be included in the Match algorithm. There is no benefit to certifying early, but applicants should NOT wait to the last minute to certify.  Once a list is certified it cannot be changed.

Do NOT wait until the last minute to enter your Rank Order List or Certify; close to the deadline technical issues, including overloaded serves, may impede successful certification. 

Additional Resources for Creating a Rank Order List

AAMC Evaluating programs to curate your rank order list

NRMP Guidelines for creating a rank order list

NRMP Resources for Couples in the Match

Match Week and SOAP

Match Week for the Main/NRMP Match is the third week in March. Match week begins with Match Status Notification at 10 am on the Monday of Match Week when applicants learn via email if they matched. Applicants can also access match status in the NRMP Registration, Ranking, and Results system. The notification status will tell students if they are fully matched, partially matched (either to a preliminary or advanced program but not both), or unmatched.

Unmatched students should report to OSA to discuss next steps including possible participation in the NRMP Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP). SOAP is a program designed to aid un-matched applicants in identifying and applying to (via ERAS) unfilled residency programs in an effort to obtain a residency position. SOAP begins the Monday of Match Week and closes that Thursday. 



10 AM Match status notification


11 AM MyERAS opens for SOAP applicants

*Applicants (and their representatives) can NOT communicate with any program unless contacted by the program first


8 AM Programs can review SOAP applicants and may contact applicants


Program review and interviews


SOAP Offer and Accept Rounds 1-4

SOAP concludes at 9 PM


Match Day!

Match results available at Noon.

2025 NRMP Match Week/SOAP Calendar
NRMP SOAP Guide for Applicants
NRMP SOAP Communication Policy

The Unmatched Student

We understand that this is a very stressful and emotional time.   

The OSA faculty is here to support you and to provide guidance and advice regarding next steps.   

I did not match – what should I do right now?  

  • Take a moment to catch your breath and reach out to your personal support network  
  • Connect with an OSA Dean (we are available by phone, email, zoom and in-person) 
  • Connect with your Departmental Advising Team (if you are uncertain of who your contacts our we can direct you) 

Your Health and Mental Health are IMPORTANT  

This is a very difficult and emotional time associated with a range of emotions including shock, grief, anxiety. It is important to pay attention to these feelings and to start processing these emotions to be most productive in determining next steps. In addition to your personal support network, the UMB Student Counseling Center has reserved appointments specifically for medical students during this week and the next.  To schedule or for additional resources, please see below.   

What are my options? 

Based on discussions with your mentors, you may consider the following:    

  • Participate in SOAP 
  • Identify a residency position through unfilled programs after SOAP* 
  • Apply for Research Fellowships 
  • Apply for Master Degree Programs  
  • Find other opportunities such as service, policy, industry (e.g., scribing, volunteer work, public health) 

Resources for Students who plan to participate in SOAP  

Review the NRMP SOAP Resource Page: 

We have put together this SOAP Resource Packet to serve as a reference. Included in this packet are the following materials:  

  • The NRMP SOAP Timeline 
  • The SOAP Guide for Applicants – 2024 
  • SOAP:  Viewing Unfilled Programs support guide 
  • SOA:  View & Respond to Offers support guide 

Additional Resources:  

ERAS SOAP Information* 
The Unfilled Program List will be available in ERAS Monday of SOAP week.   

*Students have found these sites helpful in searching for unfilled positions (Please note that no specific site is endorsed by OSA; these should be considered in addition to the NRMP Unfilled Program List and Departmental Advisors may have their own lists through program list serves) 

Financial Planning  

Sofia Cascio, SOM Director of Student  


The UMB Student Counseling Center  
Mon-Fri 8:30 am to 5 pm  
621 W Lombard Street, Suite 302  
Appointments, walk in or call 410-328-8404 for a “triage”  
Same-day Appointment online request:  
After Hours/Crisis Line – 410-328-8404 Option 7  
*If you have any trouble scheduling let us know and we can assist  

Physician Support Line 
Free and confidential; no appointments needed; volunteer psychiatrist offer support for physicians, residents, and medical students to navigate difficult situations.  

Match Day

Students who attend the SOM Match Day celebration will receive and open their Match Envelope, containing their residency match, at Noon alongside family, friends, and faculty. All students will receive an email from the NRMP notifying them of their residency match at Noon on Friday. Students can also check their results in the NRMP Registration, Ranking, and Results system.