Application Systems

Students submit applications to residency programs through national application systems. These application systems transmit all application components, including personal statements, letters of recommendation, Medical Student Performance Evaluations (MSPE), medical school and USMLE transcripts, and other supporting documents to residency program directors.

There are four primary residency application systems: three application systems in the US and one in Canada.

For questions on the technical logistics of match systems, please contact Sarah Wood, the UW administrator of the residency application systems.

  1. Print out your application prior to submission. Have several people review it, including people who are not familiar with medicine or the residency application process.
  2. So that your letters of recommendation are submitted on time, give your letter writers a deadline of approximately 1 week earlier.
  3. Once you submit your application, no changes can be made to your application and personal statements. Only changes to your personal profile can be made (contact information, etc.).
  4. Submit your application prior to the date and time when programs can begin downloading applications. Programs may not go back into the system at a later date to see if additional applications were submitted.

ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service)

  • Used By: All specialties except for ophthalmology and military. Civilian only.
  • System Opens: June, prior to 4th year
  • Application Deadline: to be announced
  • Application System only

List of ERAS Participating Specialties & Programs

ERAS provides helpful resources such as a FAQ, Residency Applicant Worksheet, User Guide and Application Checklist.

The following videos, narrated by Sarah Wood from UWSOM Student Affairs, provide insight into the ERAS system.

SF Match (San Francisco Match)

  • Used By: Ophthalmology
  • System Opens: June, prior to 4th year
  • Application Deadline: Application deadlines vary by residency program, beginning typically in mid-late August
  • Combined Application & Match System

Students pursuing Ophthalmology will apply through ERAS for their preliminary programs.

There are a few key differences between ERAS and the SF Match system that applicants should be aware of:

  • SF Match does not require tokens – Ophthalmology applicants can register at any time once the system opens.
  • Ophthalmology programs have earlier deadlines than ERAS. Be sure to research each program’s individual deadline date well in advance.
  • The SF Match system requires the application form to be completed and submitted before transcripts and letters of recommendation can be uploaded to your account.
  •  You are responsible for uploading your USMLE transcript into the SF Match system. You are required to provide both a medical school transcript and a college transcript.
  • SF Match allows only 3 letters of recommendation – no more, no less.

Military (MODS)

  • Used By: All military branches
  • Eligibility: Restricted to HPSP students only
  • System Opens: July, prior to 4th year
  • Application Deadline: Application deadlines vary by branch, typically in late September to mid-October
  • Combined Application & Match System
  • Branch Websites:

Note: Due to delays in military IT updates, MODS has not been used for the residency application process since 2018. In its place, applications have been submitted to the branches via email. Branch administrators will outline the method of submission and appropriate email address, if applicable, when they communicate the other application requirements.

Military HPSP students apply for residency positions either via email or through MODS. In June, you will receive an email from your branch that specifies the process and requirements (last year, this was sent during the last week of June). Each branch differs in its approach to applications and deadlines, though items such as CVs, personal statements, letters of rec, and MSPEs are all required.

In addition to the application logistics, the branch communication document will outline what the specialty requirements, including if you are required to dual apply and if you are required to apply to civilian residency programs as well. If you are required to apply to civilian programs, you will use the ERAS system to apply to the civilian programs.

Please alert Sarah Wood of which key documents you need uploaded/sent by the school and the dates by which they must be uploaded/sent – these processes vary by branch and tend to change frequently. The military does not communicate requirements or deadlines with medical schools.

CaRMS (Canadian Residency Matching Service)

  • Used By: Canadian residency programs
  • Eligibility: Canadian citizens only. Additional application requirements, including French language requirements, vary per province.
  • System Opens: June, prior to 4th year
  • Application Deadline: The Canadian match is held twice per year. Each iteration of the match has its own application window and deadlines.
  • Combined Application & Match System

flowchart explaining US based residency application and match systems