National Matching Services

Overview of the Match

The 2018 ASHP Match


Positions beginning in 2018 in postgraduate year one (PGY1) or postgraduate year two (PGY2) pharmacy residency programs in the United States are offered to applicants through the ASHP Resident Matching Program (the "Match"). The Match provides an orderly process to help applicants obtain positions in residency programs of their choice, and to help programs obtain applicants of their choice. Similar matching programs are in use in many other health professions, including medicine, dentistry, psychology, podiatry, optometry and others.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) is responsible for establishing the rules of the Match, and for monitoring the implementation of the Match. The administration and conduct of the Match is carried out by National Matching Services Inc. on behalf of ASHP.

How It Works

  • 1. Apply to and Interview with Programs

    With the Match, applicants must still apply to programs they are interested in, and applicants and programs interview and evaluate each other independently of the Match. All residencies that participate in the Match also participate in the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS); applicants must register for the Match before they can send applications to participating residencies using PhORCAS. However, no offers are made by programs during the interview period. Applicants and programs can evaluate each other fully before the programs must decide on their preferences for applicants, and before applicants must decide on their preferences for programs.

  • 2. Submit Your Rank Order List of Preferred Placements

    After all interviews are completed, each applicant submits a Rank Order List on which the applicant lists the desired programs, in numerical order of the applicant's preference (first choice, second choice, etc.). Similarly, each program submits a Rank Order List on which the program lists the desirable applicants, in order of the program's preference. Each program also indicates the number of positions the program has available.

  • 4. Get Your Result

    The result of the Match is that each applicant is placed with the most preferred program on the applicant's Rank Order List that ranks the applicant and does not fill all its positions with more preferred applicants. Similarly, each program is matched with the most preferred applicants on its list, up to the number of positions available, who rank the program and who do not receive positions at programs they prefer.

    Applicants and programs do not receive information about the rankings submitted by other applicants and programs. Each applicant is given only the final result the applicant obtains in the Match. Each program is provided only with the final results of the Match, including the names of the applicants it obtains in the Match.

Phases of the Match

The Match will be conducted in two Phases.

Phase I

All applicants and programs submit their Rank Order Lists by the Rank Order List deadline for Phase I of the Match. The matching algorithm will be processed using those Rank Order Lists to place applicants into positions. The results of Phase I of the Match will then be distributed to applicants and programs.

Phase II

Programs with unfilled positions in Phase I of the Match will offer those positions to unmatched applicants in Phase II of the Match. New programs or positions that receive funding after Phase I of the Match may also be added into Phase II of the Match, and applicants who did not participate in Phase I of the Match may participate in Phase II. All applicants seeking positions after Phase I and all programs with available positions after Phase I submit their Rank Order Lists by the Rank Order List deadline for Phase II of the Match. A second match will be carried out using those Rank Order Lists, and the results of Phase II of the Match will then be distributed.


After the results of Phase II of the Match are released, a Post-Match Process (sometimes referred to as the Post-Match Scramble) will be implemented, in accordance with ASHP Match Rules, to assist applicants who are still seeking a residency to be placed into programs with positions available.

Advantages of the Match

Since all offers, acceptances, rejections and final placements occur simultaneously, the Match is an effective and fair means of implementing a standardized acceptance date. It allows programs and applicants to evaluate each other fully before determining preferences, thus alleviating the pressures to make premature decisions based on incomplete information. Furthermore, the Match alleviates many common adverse situations from the recruitment process, such as applicants hoarding multiple offers, and applicants or programs reneging on a prior acceptance in order to accept a more preferred program or applicant that has subsequently become available. Also, a program can be assured that it will not be matched with more applicants than it has available positions.

In the Match, both applicants and should list choices in order of preference, without consideration for how they will be ranked by the other party. Decisions by applicants and programs regarding rankings can be based on the applicants' and programs' true preferences for each other, without the need to speculate on the likelihood of subsequent offers being made or accepted.



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