Pathway to Medical Licensure in the U.S.

The following exams may be taken in any order: Residency Match Step 3
Step 1
4-9 months to prepare

Step 2 CK
4-9 months to prepare

Step 2 CS
1-2 months to prepare
  • ECFMG Certification
  • Enroll in NRMP
  • Apply using ERAS
  • Interviewing at residency programs
  • Rank programs
  • If no match, reapply following year
Taken during residency or during the Match
USA Residency
3-8 years of required depending on specialty chosen

* This table represents the average length of study for most students; individual student needs may vary.

Securing a Residency

Most hospitals select residency candidates from applicants who participate in the "Match". This system of matching candidates to residency training positions allows you to interview and rank preferences, while simultaneously allowing the hospitals to rank those they have interviewed. The preference lists are merged by computer at the National Resident Matching Program ( Results are announced annually in March. Beginning 2013 all residency programs that participate in the Match will be required to place all of their positions in the Match. This will likely eliminate the ability of programs to offer "pre-Match" positions.

Generally, programs look for USMLE scores above 200, the higher the better. They also prefer U.S. hospital experience and letters of recommendation from physicians with whom you have worked. A personal statement outlining goals, reason for entering the profession, and special interests is also required. Plan ahead to ensure that you are able to meet the various Match deadlines.

Hear it from our students:

“Well-organized course with excellent teaching staff who helped me in preparing for my exams. Very comfortable center with warm, friendly environment for studying. I highly recommend Kaplan to everyone who wants to get a higher score.’

- Abdulraheem Alshangiti, New Jersey Penn Station Center