ORMatch Eligibility & Rules

2024 ORMatch

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants

    Any applicant seeking an appointment beginning after April 1, 2024 in an optometry residency site that participates in ORMatch must register to participate in ORMatch. Prior to matriculation in a residency program, applicants must attain the Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree from an ACOE accredited school or college of optometry.

    United States citizenship is required to qualify for VHA appointment in a paid VA optometry resident position funded by the Office of Academic Affiliations. (Reference: VA Handbook 5005/57, Part II, Chapter 3, Paragraph 3.g.(1) & (5)(c), dated June 14, 2012.)

    Applicants are encouraged to contact individual programs for more information regarding each institution and program's eligibility requirements.

  • Programs

    Only residency sites that are affiliated with a school or college of optometry that is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) may participate in ORMatch. Furthermore, all programs must be accredited by ACOE to participate in ORMatch, except as noted below.

    An exception is provided that allows for programs without accreditation to participate in ORMatch provided the program genuinely pursues accreditation during its first year of training. To substantiate this pursuit, unaccredited programs must satisfy one of the following conditions in order to register to participate in ORMatch:

    • Unaccredited programs that have never participated in ORMatch must submit to the ACOE a formal letter applying for accreditation from the CEO of the school or college of optometry that is the affiliate or sponsor of the program. In addition, ACOE must receive the program’s payment of the application fee.
    • Unaccredited programs that previously participated in ORMatch but have not had a resident, must have the Director of Residencies at their affiliated school or college of optometry verify to NMS that no resident is currently in training or has completed training in the program.
    • Unaccredited programs that are currently training or have trained their initial resident(s) must have an accreditation site visit scheduled with ACOE or have completed a site visit and are awaiting an accreditation decision from ACOE.

    On request from the program, NMS will communicate with the ACOE and/or the program's Director of Residencies to substantiate the fulfillment of these conditions. Notwithstanding the above exceptions, ASCO reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any program to participate in ORMatch.

    Programs that register for ORMatch must offer all residency positions through ORMatch. As an exception, a position may be granted exclusively to a commissioned officer of the Department of Defense outside of ORMatch only if it does not reduce the number of positions otherwise being offered by the program in ORMatch. Requests for such exemptions must be submitted to ASCO before December 31 for positions that start training the following year. Programs designed exclusively for commissioned officers of the Department of Defense are exempt from participation in ORMatch.

    Optometry fellowship positions and programs are not eligible to participate in ORMatch.

    The List of Participating Programs posted on this website will indicate the accreditation status reported by each program that registers for ORMatch. A complete list of accredited residency sites can be found on the ACOE website.

ORMatch Agreements

Each participating applicant and residency site accepts the terms of the ORMatch Agreements when they register to participate in ORMatch.

Applicant Agreement Program Agreement

ORMatch Rules

ORMatch is a program of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO). ASCO has set the following rules for participants in ORMatch:

  • Activities pertaining to ORMatch are governed by the Schedule of Dates.
  • Programs registered for ORMatch must offer through ORMatch all residency positions available to start training between April 1 and December 31, 2024. Positions which cannot be assured by the Rank Order List deadline should not be offered in ORMatch. Programs may take no action to advertise non-participating positions before 12:00 p.m. noon Eastern Time on the day ORMatch results are released, and may not offer non-participating positions to applicants until 48 hours after this time.
  • Programs and applicants must fulfill the Eligibility Requirements of ORMatch.
  • Programs must provide complete and accurate information to applicants prior to the Rank Order List deadline, or prior to offering a position in the Post-Match Process, concerning the position(s) being offered, including all institution and program policies related to eligibility requirements for appointment, compensation for residents and accreditation status of the program.
  • The ORMatch Application Service will provide information submitted by each applicant to the programs designated by the applicant. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information to ORMatch and to the programs to which they apply.
  • The National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) will provide Score Report Data for each applicant. ORMatch will distribute the Score Report Data, along with other application information, to any program to which the applicant applied, matched, or accepted a position during the Post-Match Process, and to the program's affiliated school or college of optometry. Applicants will be sent an email from ORMatch to review the NBEO Score Report Data sent to programs and the applicant is responsible for correcting any errors or omissions in the NBEO Score Report Data directly with the program(s). Programs may use the NBEO Score Report Data received from ORMatch for the sole purpose of selecting residents.
  • Programs may not make a commitment to any applicant regarding an offer of appointment to a position participating in ORMatch, or require a commitment from any applicant, prior to the release of the ORMatch results. Programs may rank on their Rank Order Lists only those applicants registered in ORMatch.
  • Similarly, applicants may not make a commitment to, or require a commitment from, any program registered for ORMatch prior to the release of the ORMatch results. If a registered applicant wishes to accept a position at a program that is not registered for ORMatch, or decides not to participate in ORMatch for any other reason, then the applicant must submit a withdrawal from ORMatch. Applicants may rank on their Rank Order Lists only those programs registered in ORMatch.
  • Programs and applicants may freely discuss any matter and may express a high level of interest in each other. A program may voluntarily inform an applicant as to whether or not it intends to rank the applicant, and an applicant may voluntarily inform a program as to whether or not the applicant intends to rank the program. However, neither programs nor applicants may solicit such information. In addition, applicants and programs may not disclose or solicit any information regarding the positioning of any applicant or program on a Rank Order List. The Rank Order Lists submitted by each program and applicant are the sole determinants of their respective order of preferences for the Match.
  • Applicants who receive an offer from a program during the Post-Match Process may hold the offer for up to 24 hours, after which, the program may rescind the offer.
  • The results of ORMatch, or the acceptance of a position in the Post-Match Process, constitute a binding obligation between the applicant and the program. Appointment of an applicant to a position may be contingent on the applicant satisfying any institution and program eligibility requirements for appointment specified to the applicant by the program prior to the Rank Order List deadline or prior to offering the position in the Post-Match Process.
  • Release from the ORMatch results or from a position accepted in the Post-Match Process can only be achieved by written approval of ASCO. Even if a participant is released from their ORMatch or Post Match obligation, they may be subject to legal action by the affected program or applicant, and/or disciplinary action by ASCO and/or their affiliated school or college of optometry.
  • Violations of any of the rules, such as refusing to honor the Match obligation, will be reported to ASCO. ASCO may report the violations to all its member schools and colleges of optometry, and may impose penalties on the violators, including barring them from future participation in ORMatch.
  • If an applicant or residency site violates any of the rules or terms of the Agreements, ASCO will initiate its Violations Review Process.
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