Residency Application Timeline

The Road to Residency: Application Timeline

Each year, as soon as soon as the graduating seniors complete their Match, the next class begins to prepare for fourth year by taking the required exams and applying to residency. The deadline dates change from year to year, but the template for successful pursuit of residency training in pediatrics is relatively stable. Yearly deadlines from the ERAS, the NRMP, and the San Francisco (or early) Match are available at their respective websites.

Important Note About the Military Match

The timelines in this section are for the nonmilitary Match. Military scholarship students are encouraged to communicate with their specific branch to find out when applications are due and to check in early with their student affairs office to ensure that all requirements are met on time to prepare properly. The Military Match also ends sooner, and the results are released in mid-December. 

Spring Forward!

The spring of your third year is the time to plan away rotations for fourth year. If you want to be at a particular institution or in a specific geographic location, consider doing a month-long "audition" away rotation; a daily 110% effort allows a program to get to know you and your abilities.

The summer before your fourth year will be a busy time. A short list of tasks to accomplish beforehand includes:

  • Prepare your CV/resume and ask an advisor to review it.

  • Prepare your personal statement and ask someone with great writing or editing skills (perhaps a former English major) to critique your first draft for grammar and content.

  • Ask a friend to review your personal statement. Does it truly reflect your personality and character?

  • Ask your advisor to review it from the residency perspective.

  • Consider whom to ask for letters of recommendation and make those requests early. Most programs will want at least three letters.

  • Meet often with your advisor during this time.

  • Request meetings with the pediatrics director of medical student education, residency program director, and chair at your institution. If a chair's letter is required (not typically the case) or if you worked with the chair directly, ask him or her for a letter of recommendation.

  • Assess your past and present online digital identity— "Google yourself"—search for your name online and verify that all information publicly available about you is professionally appropriate.

  • Resolve any outstanding third-year clinical grade disputes. 

Month-to-Month Timeline


Update your email and mailing addresses and obtain your Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) "token" ID that is provided through your student affairs office.

July 1

ERAS goes live and is available to students. Begin completing your application online and determine the number of programs to which you will apply. Start approaching your letter writers to secure letters of recommendation. DO applicants begin applying to American Osteopathic Association (AOA) residency programs only.

August 1

Ensure that your Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) will be submitted to the ERAS Post Office in a timely manner in order to be released to programs on October 1st. International medical schools and graduates should strive to submit MSPEs early to ECFMG in order to ensure that it is processed and transmitted to the ERAS Post Office before October 1st.

September 15

NRMP Registration opens at 12:00 p.m. eastern time for applicants, institutional officials, program directors, and medical school officials.

Some programs begin to offer interviews early but others may wait until they receive your MSPE. Do not be alarmed if you are not offered interviews in September.

Medical schools begin to issue medical school transcripts to residency programs and residency programs begin to download candidate applications. Apply early – interviews can be scheduled before all materials are uploaded. Don't delay scheduling interviews. Consider a mock interview at your home institution.

October 1

MSPE letters are released by all US medical schools by the ERAS Post Office.

November 30

NRMP early registration deadline. Note: Applicants may register for $75 until 11:59 p.m. eastern time. Applicants who register after November 30 must pay an additional $50 late registration fee ($125 total fee), until registration closes on the Rank Order List Deadline in February.

October – January

The bulk of residency program interviews begin. Meet with advisor during interview season as needed.


Military Match for students participating in the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program. Students not matching will continue with the regular civilian match.


Early Match - San Francisco Match

For pediatric neurology and pediatric neurodevelopmental disorders


Urology Match results are released

January 15 – February

Ranking opens at 12:00 p.m. eastern time for the NRMP Main Residency Match.® Your rank order list (ROL) should reflect a mix of more and less competitive programs. You may want to ask your advisor to review your ROL. Ranking for the Main Residency Match closes the third Wednesday in February. Do not plan to rely on the Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Pro­gram® (SOAP®) to obtain a position.

February – Mid Month

AOA Match results released third Wednesday in February

NRMP Match registration and Rank Order List Certification Deadlines is 9:00 p.m. eastern time.

Match Week (third week of March)

Monday of Match Week

Applicant match status is sent by email posted to each applicant's home page in the NRMP Registration, Ranking, and Results® (R3®) system. Program fill status also is posted to the R3 system.

The NRMP Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) begins. SOAP concludes at 11:00 a.m. eastern time on Thursday of Match Week.

Friday of Match Week

U.S. Medical School Match Day ceremonies at 12:00 p.m. eastern time. Match results sent by email and posted to the R3 system at 1:00 p.m. eastern time.

May 1

List of Unfilled Programs closes on the NRMP Website

Bottom Lines

Each year, third-year students feel quite overwhelmed on the senior class Match Day. Many juniors wonder how they will meet all of the requirements in time while maintaining their performance in their third-year rotations. While the process may seem daunting, each graduate by and large finds a position that is acceptable through the Match and many match into one of their top choices.

Enjoy the fourth year, exploring new hospitals and communities and meeting new faculty members, residents, and students from across the city, region, or nation. This is one of the most exciting years of your medical education! It need not be the most daunting.

Those who start early, stay on track with deadlines, work closely and consistently with their advisors, seek out constructive criticism about their applications and personal statements, and prepare for interviews do well in the Match.

Before you know it, it will be the class behind you that is saying, "How am I going to get this done in a year?"

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