Residency Application Process

The application process for postgraduate training positions is an involved one, and demands both your and our attention to many details and deadlines.

For each of the major phases of the process, we will communicate with you through office emails. It is important for you to read the information carefully and respond promptly. If you have any questions or if problems arise, please feel free to make an appointment with the Associate Director of Student Affairs or one of the Deans at any time during the year.


The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) is a private, not-for-profit corporation established in 1952 to provide a uniform date of appointment to positions in graduate medical education (GME). Each year, the NRMP conducts a residency match that is designed to optimize the rank ordered choices of students and program directors. In the third week of March, the results of the match are announced. There are four categories of programs participating in the Match:

  • Categorical: Programs that begin in the PGY-1 year and provide the training required for board certification in medical specialties.
  • Advanced: Programs that begin in the PGY-2 year after a year of prerequisite training.
  • Preliminary: One-year programs beginning in the PGY-1 year that provide prerequisite training for advanced programs.
  • Physician: Programs that are reserved for physicians who have had prior graduate medical education. Physician programs are not available to senior U.S. medical students.

The NRMP is not an application service or a job placement service. Applicants must apply directly to residency programs in addition to registering for the Match. Most programs participate in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), which transmits residency applications to program directors via the Internet.


The Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) transmits residency applications, letters of recommendation, Dean’s Letters, transcripts, and other supporting documents from your medical school to the programs you are applying to via the web.

ERAS ID Tokens to the system are available from the OSA in July. ERAS does not eliminate the important first step of contacting programs you are interested in for brochures and fact sheets or viewing their web sites. The deadlines for your application documents should be included in this material. ERAS does not set deadlines; all deadlines are set by the individual residency programs. For more information, please contact the Office of Students Affairs, or visit the ERAS website.

Applicants must register with both NRMP and ERAS to participate in the services of each.

San Francisco Match

Since 1977, the San Francisco matching program has coordinated the processing, distribution and review of applicants for post graduate medical education training programs. The service currently administers applicant review and ranking processes for positions in both residency and fellowship specialties as well as several subspecialties.

Ophthalmology Residency Match

The Ophthalmology Residency Matching Program (OMP) was established in 1977 by the Association of University of Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) to coordinate the PGY-2 appointments for Ophthalmology programs and to relieve the pressure on applicants and program directors resulting from early appointments and uncoordinated appointment dates. A Centralized Application Service (CAS) is required for application to programs. The program supplements the PGY-1 matching services of the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). The OMP Match takes place in January which allows applicants to know their PGY-2 placement in Ophthalmology before they submit their rank list for PGY-1 choices.