National Matching Services


The 2018 APPIC Match

Things to Know

  1. The list of preferred applicants you submit to the Match is called a Rank Order List.
  2. You must enter and certify a Rank Order List in the NMS Match System by the Rank Order List deadline for each program you are offering in the Match.
  3. If you have no acceptable applicants to rank for a program, you should certify a Rank Order List with no ranks.
  4. If your program no longer has positions to offer in 2018, you must withdraw the program from the Match.

Key Dates

Phase I

NMS Match System Opens For Rankings January 22, 2018
Rank Order List Deadline February 7, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET

Phase II

NMS Match System Opens for Rankings March 1, 2018
Rank Order List Deadline March 19, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET


The matching algorithm is designed such that it cannot be gamed or manipulated.

The only strategy is to rank your choices in order of your true preferences, without considering how you expect to be ranked by any applicant.

Rank all applicants that would be acceptable to the program. Submitting a longer list of applicants may reduce your chances of being left with unfilled positions.

Do not rank any applicant that you consider unacceptable (i.e., you would not want to be matched to that applicant, even if you may not fill a position). You can only be matched to applicants that appear on your Rank Order List.

Certify Your Rank Order List

You must certify your Rank Order List in the NMS Match System in order for it to be used in the Match. Certifying a Rank Order List lets NMS know it is ready to be used in the Match.

You can make changes to a list even after it is certified, until the Rank Order List deadline. If you make changes after a list is certified, the list will become uncertified and you will have to certify the list again for it to be used in the Match.

Programs with Special Requirements

No Applicants to Rank

If your program has position(s) available that you would like to fill but you have no acceptable applicants to rank for the program, you should certify a Rank Order List in the NMS Match System with no ranks. This indicates to NMS that the program is still active but you have no ranks to submit.


It is possible within the matching algorithm to move positions that remain unfilled from one Rank Order List to a second Rank Order List, so that an attempt can be made to fill the available position(s) with applicant(s) on the second list. This is referred to as "reverting" unfilled positions from one list (the "Donor") to another list (the "Receiver").

Multiple Lists

Some programs may have special requirements that can only be satisfied by submitting multiple Rank Order List for a single program. This feature is useful if a program needs to recruit a mix of applicants with different characteristics.

School Limits

It is possible to request that the matching algorithm attempt to impose an upper limit on the number of applicants from any one university/school who are matched on a single program Rank Order List.

Guide to the NMS Match System

Consult the NMS Match System Guide for detailed instructions for using the NMS Match System.

To jump to the instructions for a specific task within the System Guide, refer to the links below:



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