Residency Applicant Eligibility & Verification of Credentials

Types of Applicants

U.S. Allopathic Seniors

U.S. allopathic senior students are sponsored by their medical schools in the Main Residency Match®. U.S. seniors who register for the Match can be withdrawn only by the sponsoring medical school. Information about the results of the Match is sent to the senior’s school of medicine.

Independent Applications

Independent applicants include:

  • International medical school students/graduates
  • Previous graduates of an LCME-accredited medical school
  • Canadian medical school students/graduates
  • U.S. osteopathic medical school students/graduates
  • Fifth Pathway program students/graduates


To participate in the Main Residency Match®, an applicant must be able to begin graduate medical education (GME) on July 1 in the year of the Match and meet all requirements for entry into GME as prescribed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME®).  Each sponsoring institution (e.g., a teaching hospital) may have additional eligibility requirements. Review ACGME requirements

Verification of Credentials

  • U.S. allopathic seniors: The NRMP® requires medical schools to verify the expected graduation date of every U.S. senior registered for the Match. U.S. seniors whose graduation credentials are not verified by their schools will be withdrawn by their schools. View details about senior verification of credentials
  • Previous U.S. allopathic graduates, Fifth Pathway enrollees/graduates of LCME-accredited schools, students/graduates of Canadian medical schools, and students/graduates of osteopathic medical schools: The applicant’s medical school must verify credentials. View details about verification of credentials for these applicant types
  • Students/graduates of international medical schools: The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) ECFMG verifies the credentials of IMGs. Prior to the Rank Order List Deadline, IMGs must have passed all examination requirements needed for ECFMG certification. View details about IMG verification of credentials

All verifications must be completed by the Rank Order List Deadline in order to participate in the Main Residency Match®. An additional exchange between the NRMP® and the medical schools and the NRMP® and the ECFMG occurs after the Rank Order List Deadline to verify applicants’ credentials for participation in the Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (SOAP®).

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