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Match Systems and Timelines

August-October (year 3)

  • Discuss scheduling process for fourth year with your Lead Advisor
  • Register your ERAS token for potential Letters of Recommendation (LoRs) during third year. The Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) is the site where you complete the residency application and apply to programs.

November-March (year 3)

  • Meet with career mentor to discuss scheduling options, letters of recommendation, and to review your CV
    • Utilize this time to identify any “holes” in your application to ensure you are as competitive as possible for your specialty of choice
  • Complete required clerkship and elective scheduling processes via your home campus and e*value
  • Submit applications for away rotations
  • Consider meeting with Assistant Dean of Career Mentoring and Professional Development if you are…
    • Undecided on a specialty
    • Couples matching
    • Parallel applying
  • Begin researching programs of interest
  • If you are considering an away rotation, begin preparing VSLO application pieces.  Research away site requirement paying particular attention to required immunizations.
  • Schedule ADT rotation(s) if applying to the military match
  • Sign up for Step 2 and schedule your exam by August


  • Finalize fourth year schedule
    • Utilize your career mentor and the program director survey to understand what months will be your busiest during fourth year
  • Work on your noteworthy characteristics and MSPE
  • Submit special elective paperwork for accepted away rotations
  • Determine which application service (Military, ERAS, SFMatch CAS) you will use and begin filling out your application in early June, if applicable
    • Some students will apply via two different services if parallel planning
  • Request letters of recommendation
  • Work on your personal statement
    • Ask many people – including your Lead Advisor and Career Mentor – to review


  • Continue requesting letters of recommendation, when appropriate
  • Continue working on your residency application
  • Ophthalmology applicants will register for the match in early July via SFMatch
  • Military applicants will receive match data in early July with instructions for application and a list of eligible civilian deferment specialties.
    • Applicants should also schedule interviews with each program of interest either in-person or via zoom
  • Begin working through Big Interview modules to prepare for your interviews


  • Finalize your application before the due date (early September for SFMatch, late September for all ERAS applications)
  • Register for the NRMP match, if applicable
  • Continue working through Big Interview modules
  • Create a shared spreadsheet for you and your lead advisor to track interview offers and acceptances

October – January

  • Interview with programs
  • Applications are due in October (military)
    • Match results released in early December
  • Continually update shared spreadsheet with interview information
  • Create a document to reflect on each interview to help with rank list
  • Discuss rank list with your Lead Advisor and Career Mentor
  • Meet with Assistant Dean of Career Mentoring and Professional Development to prepare for SOAP process if interview numbers are low (December-January)
  • Submit rank list (Urology/Ophthalmology)


  • Work on your rank list
  • Submit rank list before deadline


  • Receive notification of match status on the third Monday of March
  • If unmatched, enter SOAP
    • Students who are unmatched will be supported by their Lead Advisor and assigned Medical Student Education Dean
  • Receive notification of location of match on the third Friday of March (Match Day)

Match Systems


  • Most specialties utilize the NRMP
  • Applicants will submit applications through ERAS to the specialty(ies) of interest
  • Students who meet the requirements of programs to which they have applied may be invited for an interview
  • The NRMP uses an award-winning algorithm to match students into residency positions based upon the student’s preferred rank order list
    • Students can only rank programs with which they have interviewed

Additional Links:


  • Students applying to Ophthalmology will complete their application through ERAS and be matched through SFMatch
  • Beginning with the 2023 match, all positions in Ophthalmology will either be joint or integrated
    • Students applying to joint programs may also be required to register for the NRMP
  • Follows its own timeline and is considered an early match releasing matching results prior to the NRMP Match.


  • Students seeking a position in a Urology residency will utilize ERAS for their application, but will be matched through the AUA match
  • Urology applicants will only submit an NRMP rank list if they have parallel planned into a specialty that participates in the NRMP
  • The AUA follows a separate timeline and releases match results prior to the NRMP Match.


  • Students who are in the military and receiving the Health Professional Scholarship Program will be required to apply for a military residency program
  • Each July, students will receive information from their branch advising them of the application process and timeline for the year
  • Applications are made in the MODS system.
    • The Medical Student Affairs Office of Career Mentoring will compile application materials for students and submit the complete files. 
    • Letters of recommendation should be sent by writers directly to the Assistant Dean of Career Mentoring
  • Some military branches will allow applicants to apply for a civilian deferment, which requires a dual application through ERAS, AUA, or SFMatch
  • The Military Match follows its own timeline and is considered an early match