Applications and Interviews

2020 ORMatch

ORMatch Application Service Overview


You must be registered for ORMatch and use the ORMatch Application Service to send applications to residencies that are registered for ORMatch.

Log In to NMS Match System

The ORMatch Application Service will open October 2, 2019.


Each residency sets its own application deadline date and requirements. Once the application deadline has passed for a residency, you are not able to send an application to the residency.

We strongly recommend that you submit all of your applications before January 31, 2020 as this is the NBEO score cutoff date. Applicants who submit applications before January 31 will have their verified NBEO scores sent by ORMatch in February to the residencies where they applied, so that the residencies will have this information available when they decide on their rankings. For any application submitted after January 31, ORMatch will not send verified NBEO scores to residencies prior to the Rank Order List deadline.

The ORMatch Application Service closes on the Rank Order List deadline. You are not able to submit any applications using the ORMatch Application Service after the Rank Order List deadline, even if the application deadline date for the residency is shown as being after the Rank Order List deadline. Residencies require a significant amount of time to review, interview, and evaluate your application before making their ranking decision. Therefore, you should submit your applications as soon possible, and well before the Rank Order List deadline.

Application Process


Research Programs of Interest


Prepare Your Application Materials


Submit an Application

Consult the Application Service Guide for step-by-step instructions for submitting applications.

The guide will be available by October 2, 2019


Research Programs of Interest

The List of Participating Programs identifies all optometry residency sites that are registered for ORMatch and provides the application deadline date for each residency. Please note that application deadline dates are subject to change.

Consult the ASCO Residency Directory for information about the residency, its application procedures, and any supplemental material that is required for an application.

Tip: As soon as you find a program of interest, add the residency to your list of pending applications in the NMS Match System. The Program Coordinator will be notified of your interest and will have access to your contact information so they can reach out to you with information about their residency, if they choose to do so.


Prepare Your Application Materials

Gather Your Applicant Information

Some of your ORMatch registration information is prepopulated into your application. Other information that is required to complete your application includes:

  • OD School GPA
  • Undergraduate Major
  • US Citizenship Status (Yes/No)
  • Gender

Compose a Letter of Intent and CV

A Letter of Intent and CV must be included in each application you submit. You should start working on those documents as soon as possible and upload them to the NMS Match System in PDF format when they are complete.

If you plan to customize your application to each residency, you can prepare and upload multiple Letters of Intent and/or CVs to the NMS Match System. When you assemble an online application for a residency, you can specify which uploaded letter of intent or CV is attached to that application.

Obtain a Copy of Your OD Transcript

A copy of your OD transcript must be included in each application you submit. You must obtain a copy of your OD transcript and upload it to the NMS Match System as a PDF document. Ensure that the transcript you upload is not password protected.

Some schools allow their students to download a transcript from their student portal. Others may require that you obtain a physical copy of the transcript from the registrar's office and scan it to a PDF document.

If you are granted an interview or are matched to a program, the residency may request that you send an official OD transcript to the residency directly from your school's registrar's office for verification purposes.

Obtain your NBEO Scores

You need to report your NBEO Board scores on your application. The NBEO Part I examination score is required for all applications to US-based residencies. If you are applying to Canadian residencies only and are not taking the NBEO Part I examination, contact ORMatch for an exemption from this requirement.

Part II, Part III, ISE, and TMOD scores should be entered into the system if they are available, but they are not required. If you do not know your NBEO scores, you can obtain them from the NBEO website.

You should check with individual residencies prior to registering for Part III of the NBEO, so that you can register for the appropriate state law examinations that are administered by the NBEO in conjunction with Part III.

In addition to the NBEO scores you enter in the system, NBEO will provide your score data directly to ORMatch and, in February, ORMatch will distribute those scores to the residencies where you applied. ORMatch will send you an e-mail to to review the NBEO Score Report Data before they are sent to residencies. It is your responsibility to correct any errors or omissions in the NBEO Score Report Data directly with the residencies.

Identify Your References

Each application must have 3 letters of reference. You submit requests for the references using the NMS Match System, and your chosen reference letter writers upload their letter to the NMS Match System as a PDF document. You do not have access to the contents of the letters.

You must submit a separate reference request using the NMS Match System for each unique reference letter that will be prepared on your behalf. Therefore, if a reference writer plans to submit a unique and customized reference letter for each residency where you are applying, you need to submit multiple reference requests in the NMS Match System to the reference writer. The system allows you to assign a unique label and personal note to each reference request so that you and your reference writer can distinguish between the letters they are writing for you. For example, the label might identify the type of residency and name of the residency site.

Tip: You can submit your application before your reference writers upload their letters. However, your application will be marked as incomplete until the three reference letters attached to the application have been uploaded to the NMS Match System by your reference writers. You can monitor the status of your reference letters in the NMS Match System, and you should follow up with any reference writers who have not provided their letters as the application deadlines approach.

Prepare any Supplemental Material

You can add one supplemental material PDF document to each application. If a residency where you are applying requires additional information included as part of its application, you can prepare this information and upload it to the system as a PDF document. You can then attach that document to the application submitted to the residency.


Submit an Application

Your ORMatch registration fee provides you with 10 credits to send applications to residencies. Each credit allows you to send one application to one residency, regardless of the number of programs or tracks offered by that residency. If the residency is offering more than one track in ORMatch, you can specify in your application which tracks you are interested in.

If you want to send applications to more than 10 residencies, you will have to pay an additional fee of $25 USD per application.

You do not need to send all applications at once. You can send 1 application on one day and 5 applications the next day. However, once an application is submitted to a residency, the submitted application cannot be changed or withdrawn. Any corrections to application information must be submitted to the residency directly.

Once you submit an application, the Program Coordinator will have access to your application information immediately. The Director of Residencies at the program's affiliated school or college of optometry will also have access to your application.

It is your responsibility to monitor the status of any outstanding reference letters and ensure they are submitted in the NMS Match System by the residency's deadline.


In order to submit your Rank Order List(s) by the deadline (March 6, 2020), all your interviews should be completed before that deadline date.

You may freely discuss any matter with a program and both you and the program may express a high level of interest in each other. An applicant may voluntarily inform a program that they intend to rank the program. Similarly, a program may voluntarily inform an applicant that it intends to rank the applicant. However, neither the applicant nor the program may ask or prompt the other side for this information.

Furthermore, neither applicants nor programs may disclose information about rank positioning. For example, it is prohibited to make statements like "I will rank you first" or "You are at the top of my list".

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