How does the matching algorithm work?

The process begins with an attempt to match an applicant to the program most preferred on that applicant’s rank order list (ROL).  If the applicant cannot be matched to that first choice program, an attempt then is made to place the applicant into the second choice program, and so on, until the applicant obtains a tentative match or all the applicant’s choices on the ROL have been exhausted.  When all applicant rank order lists have been considered, all tentative matches become final. View How the NRMP Matching Algorithm Works video