To participate in the Main Residency Match®, an applicant must be able to enter graduate medical education (GME) on July 1 in the year of the Match and must meet all requirements for entry into GME as prescribed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME®).  Review ACGME requirements.

Applicants should be sure they have fulfilled all requirements in time to have them verified by their medical school or, in the case of international medical graduates, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®).

Each sponsoring institution (e.g., a teaching hospital) may have additional eligibility requirements. The NRMP requires Match-participating programs share institutional eligibility requirements with applicants selected for interviews.

Information for U.S. MD and DO Seniors

U.S. MD senior students are enrolled in a medical school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) at the time of the Match and are considered “sponsored applicants” in the Match by their medical schools.  U.S. DO senior students are enrolled in a medical school accredited by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) at the time of the Match and also are considered “sponsored applicants” in the Match by their medical schools.  U.S. MD and DO senior students’ ability to participate in the Match is based on the graduation requirements of the sponsoring medical school, and US. MD and DO senior students can be withdrawn from the Match only by the sponsoring medical school.

The NRMP requires medical schools to verify the expected graduation date of every U.S. MD and DO senior registered for the Match. U.S. MD and DO seniors whose graduation credentials are not verified by their schools will be withdrawn by their schools. View details about verification of credentials for U.S. MD and DO medical school seniors.  All eligibility verification must be completed by the Rank Order List Certification Deadline in order for a U.S. MD or DO senior to participate in the Main Residency Match and SOAP. 


Information for Independent Applicants

Independent applicants include:

  • Previous graduates of an LCME-accredited medical school
  • Previous graduates of a COCA-accredited medical school
  • Students/graduates of a Canadian medical school
  • Students/graduates of a Fifth Pathway program
  • Students/graduates of an international medical school

The NRMP requires medical schools to verify the credentials of U.S. MD graduates, U.S. DO graduates, Canadian medical school students and graduates, and Fifth Pathway program graduates. View details about verification of credentials for these applicant types

International Medical Graduates (IMGs)

Under the terms of the Match Participation Agreement, to participate in the Match, IMGs must have completed the medical science examination, clinical skills, and communication skills requirements for certification from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®).

*IMPORTANT NOTE FOR 2022 MATCH: In response to the suspension and subsequent discontinuation of the USMLE Step 2 CS exam by the USMLE program, ECFMG|FAIMER has identified pathways that will allow qualified IMGs to meet the clinical and communication skills requirements for ECFMG Certification. For IMGs who participate in the 2022 Match, apply for and satisfy all requirements for a pathway, and have passing performances on USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK that are valid for ECFMG Certification, ECFMG will verify to the NRMP that they have met the examination requirements for ECFMG Certification. Please review the Requirements for ECFMG Clinical Skills Pathways for the 2022 Match for detailed information.

IMGs who have not met the medical science examination, clinical skills, and communication skills requirements for ECFMG Certification by the Rank Order List Deadline cannot participate in the Match.

View details about NRMP verification of examination requirements for IMGsIt is the responsibility of ECFMG to determine whether the applicant ultimately is granted ECFMG certification.

All eligibility verification must be completed by the Rank Order List Certification Deadline in order for an independent applicant to participate in the Main Residency Match and SOAP. 

To begin training in a residency program, IMGs must have completed all ECFMG certification requirements and obtained ECFMG Certification.