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Changes to the 2021 Match Process for Medical Students

As with many things in 2020, this year’s residency match process for graduating students looks different than in years past. Throughout this academic year, we will feature various aspects of the residency application and match process for medical and pharmacy students. This feature series will highlight the role of faculty in advising and supporting students through this process and provide resources for faculty to be successful in this role.

Timelines and Support

The timeline for this year’s Match process was adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is an overview of the adjusted timeline for the 2021 Match, including the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), Urology, San Francisco Ophthalmology, and Military Match programs.


  • September 1, 2020: Applicants may begin to submit their Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) applications to programs at 9:00 am Eastern Standard Time (EST).
  • September 15, 2020: NRMP registration opens for students at 12:00 pm EST
  • October 21, 2020: MSPE (Dean’s) letters are released; residency programs may begin reviewing applications at 9:00 am EST.
  • February 1, 2021: Rank Order List (ROL) access opens at 12:00 pm EST. Applicants and programs may begin entering their rank lists at this time.
  • March 3, 2021: Applicants and programs must finalize and certify their rank lists by 9:00 pm EST.
  • March 15-18, 2021: Applicants and programs learn the results of the Match; Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) provided for eligible applicants.
  • March 19, 2021: Match Day


  • June 24, 2020: Program opens for applicants
  • November 6, 2020: Programs offer interviews.
  • November 24-January 12: Preference lists developed.
  • February 1, 2021: Match results are announced.

San Francisco Ophthalmology

  • July 1-September 15, 2020: Registration open.
  • January 25, 2021: Rank list submission deadline.
  • February 1, 2021: Match results are announced.


  • November 5, 2020: Deadline for applicants to submit materials.
  • January 6, 2021: Match results are announced.

Did you know that the Office of Student Services provides a variety of services, including Academic Support and Enrichment, Career Services, Wellness, and Inclusion and Diversity? Career Services support for students and faculty advisors throughout the Match process include:

  • One-on-one career counseling
  • Mock interviews and interview skills coaching
  • Reviewing/editing curriculum vitae (CVs), personal statements, and ERAS applications
  • Strategies and resources for applying to residency programs and the Match
  • Match and SOAP coordination

Please contact Career Services for more information or to refer a student for support.