Programs and institutions have important considerations when getting ready for a Match.

Determining Program Eligibility for the Main Residency Match

To participate in the Main Residency Match, a program must be either

  • accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME®); or
  • a combined program that is approved or recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties or by the respective specialty board that is responsible for board certification of residents who successfully complete the combined program.

Each program must meet these requirements by the Rank order List Certification Deadline.  A program cannot enroll in the Match until the designated institutional official has registered with the NRMP through the Registration, Ranking, and Results® (R3®) system.

Determining Program Eligibility for Fellowship Matches

To be eligible to offer positions through the Specialties Matching Service® Fellowship Match, programs in a specialty must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • accredited by the ACGME or another entity deemed acceptable to NRMP;
  • affiliated with an ACGME-accredited program in the primary discipline; or
  • lead to certification or endorsement and oversight by a board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)

NRMP may be selective in determining which programs are eligible to participate in the SMS for that specialty. When executing the NRMP Program Directors’ Annual Sponsor Agreement, Fellowship Match sponsors commit to active participation of at least 75 percent of the groups’ eligible programs and a minimum of 75 percent of all available positions in the specialty for a given year.

Adding a New Program to the Match

There are two ways for a new program to be added to a Match:

  • Programs new to the Match can complete a New Program Form and email it to The information provided on the form will allow NRMP to create a record in the R3 system and add your program to the appropriate Match.
  • Programs and additional tracks can be added to an open Match by the institutional official or institutional administrator.

Add a Program support Guide

Reviewing Applications and Conducting Interviews

  • For programs participating in the Main Residency Match, most use the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®) offered by the Association of American Medical Colleges® to review student applications. Programs are not required by the NRMP to use ERAS.
  • For fellowship programs, some fellowships use ERAS and others use their own application. 

The Applicant Match History available in the R3 system should be used to determine whether applicants have existing Match commitments or are eligible for appointment before offering them interviews. The Applicant Match History also indicates whether an applicant has a waiver or an active sanction. Current medical students do not need to be screened since they have no prior Match history.

Using Applicant Match History support guide

Throughout the application, interview, and matching processes, NRMP policy requires applicants and programs to provide complete, timely, and accurate information. Institutional officials and program directors are responsible for ensuring all staff involved in the interview and matching processes understand and adhere to the terms of the Match Participation Agreement.