Overview of ORMatch

2024 ORMatch


The Optometry Residency Match (ORMatch) is an Application Service and Matching Program that provides an orderly process to help applicants obtain positions of their choice, and to help programs obtain applicants of their choice. For many years, health care training sites throughout North America have used a similar match in the annual recruitment of medical residents, pharmacy residents, psychology interns, dentistry residents, and others.

How It Works

  • 2. Apply to and Interview with Programs

    All applications are submitted to residencies using the ORMatch Application Service. The ORMatch Application Service is an online tool that allows applicants to send applications to residencies, and allows residencies to organize and evaluate applications submitted by applicants.

    Each application includes a letter of interest, CV, and optometry school transcript uploaded by the applicant; an application form that has contact, educational and NBEO score information provided by the applicant; and three letters of reference submitted by individuals designated by the applicant. Applications can be customized for each residency and must be submitted by the deadline specified by the residency. Residencies are able to download a single integrated PDF document for each applicant that includes all application information.

    Applicants and programs interview and evaluate each other independently of ORMatch. 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.

  • 3. 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 their 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 its desirable applicants, in order of the program's preference. Each residency also indicates the number of positions the program has available.

    All Rank Order List information is submitted online in the NMS Match System and is confidential.

  • 5. 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 in programs they prefer.

  • 6. Post-Match Process

    It is possible that all of a particular program's positions will not be filled in the Match, and that some applicants will be left unmatched. When the results of the Match are released, information regarding positions that remain available is provided to applicants who are not matched. Similarly, information regarding unmatched applicants will be provided to programs with unfilled positions.

    The filling of available positions in the Post-Match Process is not done by NMS. Unmatched applicants and programs with positions available are free to contact each other and to negotiate directly with each other, independently of ORMatch, to fill available positions according to the Post-Match schedule.

Read more about each stage of the Match process:

Advantages of ORMatch

The ORMatch Application Service allows applicants to research and apply to multiple programs from a single user-friendly online application. Programs are able to access a consolidated online portal to collect, review, and evaluate all of their applications.

The Match simplifies the process of making and accepting offers of admissions. Since all offers, acceptances, rejections and final placements occur simultaneously, the Match is an effective and fair means of implementing a standardized acceptance date. The Match guarantees that each applicant and program will get the best possible result that is available to them.

The Match allows programs and applicants to evaluate each other fully before determining preferences, so there is no pressure to make premature decisions based on incomplete information. Applicants and programs do not receive information about the rankings submitted by other applicants and programs. Applicants and programs can list their desired placements in order of their true preference, without worrying about how they will be ranked by the other party.

The Match ensures that programs will not overfill their positions. It also eliminates unfair behavior that occurs in many typical recruitment processes, like programs issuing extremely time-limited offers, applicants hoarding multiple offers, and programs or applicants reneging on a prior acceptance because a more preferred option has become available.


The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) established ORMatch in May 2012 as a new program that operates within the ASCO structure. ASCO is responsible for setting the rules of ORMatch and for monitoring its implementation.

The administration and conduct of ORMatch is carried out by National Matching Services Inc. (NMS), on behalf of ASCO.

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