About Rank Order Lists
A rank order list, commonly referred to as a ROL, allows applicants and program directors to attempt to match for training.

After registering for a Match and completing interviews, applicants submit to the NRMP a list of programs, ranked in order of preference, where they wish to train. At the same time, program directors submit to the NRMP a list of applicants, ranked in order of preference, whom they have interviewed and wish to train.  The final preferences of applicants and program directors as expressed on their rank order lists determines the Match outcome.

Rank order lists for Matches conducted by the NRMP are submitted electronically via the NRMP’s secure, web-based Registration, Ranking, and Results® (R3®) system.


  • Applicants participating in the Main Residency Match® submit a primary ROL that can include a combination of preliminary, transitional, categorical and advanced programs (Click here for a description of program codes and types).
  • Applicants in the Main Residency Match who rank advanced (PGY-2 level) programs on their primary ROLs also can submit a supplemental ROL that is linked to one or more advanced programs on the primary ROL.  By attaching supplemental ROLs to primary ROLs, applicants attempt to obtain a “full match” by simultaneously securing PGY-1 and PGY-2 positions.
  • It is possible for an applicant in the Main Residency Match to match to an advanced position on the primary ROL but not to a preliminary position on the corresponding supplemental ROL.  In that case, the applicant still is committed to the advanced position and must seek a qualifying first-year position during the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program or after the Main Residency Match has concluded.
  • Applicants who participate in the Specialties Matching Service® create only primary ROLs.


  • Program directors must prepare separate ROLs for each program track registered in a Match.  To minimize the risk of unfilled positions, program directors should rank all applicants they deem acceptable, beginning with rank order #1 for the most preferred applicant.
  • Program directors should not rank applicants whom they do not wish to train or who cannot fulfill the institution’s eligibility requirements.
  • Program directors with no acceptable applicants can certify a blank list in the R3 system, and the program will be shown in the List of Unfilled Programs as having unfilled positions.  Programs that do not wish to rank applicants and also do not wish to be shown as having unfilled positions should withdraw from Match participation.  Withdrawal will not preclude the program from participating in future Matches.
  • Programs that fail to submit rank order lists and do not withdraw by the rank order list deadline will appear in the List of Unfilled Programs as having unfilled positions.

We encourage you to view the Match Resources on this page for additional information about creating and certifying rank order lists, thinking strategically about the number of programs to rank, ranking tips, and answers to frequently asked questions.


What happens between rank order list deadline and Match Week?
Between the Rank Order List Deadline and Match Week, the NRMP takes a number of steps to ensure the accuracy of Match results, including:
  • Checking the integrity of the data
  • Final verification of applicants’ credentials
  • Withdrawing applicants who are ineligible for the Match
  • Transferring the data from the R3® system to the matching algorithm module, rechecking the data, processing the algorithm, and transferring data back into the R3 system
  • Verifying the results of a Match and transferring the data into the NRMP databases
  • Verifying applicants’ credentials for SOAP® participation
  • Preparing 50,000 individual Match Week reports for applicants and program directors, medical schools
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