Ranking Applicants

After registering for a Match and completing interviews, program directors submit to the NRMP a list of applicants, ranked in order of preference, whom they have interviewed and wish to train.

Applicants also submit to the NRMP a list of programs, ranked in order of preference, where they wish to train. It is the final preferences of applicants and program directors, as expressed on their rank order lists (ROLs), that determines the Match outcome.

ROLs are created and certified electronically in the NRMP Registration, Ranking, and Results® (R3®) system. ROLs must be saved after each change, and only the most recent version of a ROL is saved.

Creating a Rank Order List (ROL)

Program directors create rank order lists (ROLs) by entering applicants’ NRMP or AAMC® ID numbers directly on the ROL or by utilizing the applicant search feature. An applicant search is conducted by entering specific criteria (e.g. first name, last name) to produce a list of applicants who meet those criteria. When searching in the R3 system for an applicant, be aware that applicants often have similar or identical names. Consider using additional identifying information in your search, such as NRMP or AAMC ID. View Search Current Match Applicants support guide.

The R3 system offers program directors flexibility when creating a ROL:

  • An unlimited number of applicants can be listed. If you are creating a lengthy ROL, consider creating an electronic file containing applicants’ rank numbers and NRMP or AAMC ID that can be imported into the R3 system.
  • Applicants can be reordered using “drag and drop” functionality.
  • Applicants can be deleted without jeopardizing the order of the remaining applicants; alternatively, all applicants can be deleted.
  • Recent changes can be cancelled.
  • ROLs cannot be imported on a mobile device.

Enter and Certify a Rank Order List

View the guide for step-by-step instructions for entering and certifying a rank order list.

Important Tips for Ranking Applicants

  • Rank all applicants who are acceptable to your program to avoid having unfilled positions. Check your Match Results by Ranked Applicant report from prior-year Matches to gauge how many applicants to rank.
  • The match commitment is binding, so rank only those applicants you deem acceptable to train.
  • Rank applicants in order of your true preference, not how you think applicants will rank your program.
  • During interviews, remind applicants to register with the NRMP® so you can rank them.
  • Collect applicants’ AAMC and NRMP IDs during interviews to assist you when creating a ROL.
  • If creating a Joint A/P program, do so before interviews begin and inform applicants to ensure they enter the correct program codes on their ROLs.

Certifying Your List

Rank order lists (ROLs) must be saved after entered, and when a ROL is complete, it must be certified in order to be included when the matching algorithm is processed. When certifying a ROL, the system prompts the program director to enter the unique user password to confirm certification.

ROL Certification Reminders

  • A match between an applicant and program is a binding commitment, so rank only those applicants deemed acceptable to train.
  • Program coordinators can create and edit rank order lists, but they cannot certify them. Use of the program director’s username and password by the program coordinator to access the R3 system is a breach of the Match Participation Agreement.
  • Institutional officials can modify and/or certify a rank order list if the program director has registered for the Match, although institutional officials should only do so with the approval of the program director. Rank order lists cannot be submitted for programs if the program director has not registered and electronically signed the Match Participation Agreement.
  • Any program with outstanding change approval requests will not be able to certify a rank order list until the institutional official approves the changes.
  • Programs cannot certify a blank rank order list.

You will know that the list is certified in two ways:

  • The “Program Status” field in the R3 system will change from “Ranking” to “Certified”.
  • A confirmation email will be sent to the program director’s primary email address on file in the R3 system.

Changing and Re-Certifying a ROL

Changes can be made to a ROL after it has been certified; however, if a certified ROL is changed in any way, the new version must be re-certified in order to be used in the Match. The R3 system does not retain previous versions of a ROL, regardless of whether it was certified.

Rank Order List Certification Deadline

Changes cannot be made after 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the day of the applicable Rank Order List Certification Deadline, and only certified lists will be used in a Match. NRMP will not add, delete, or move applicants or in any way modify a rank order list at any time.