2024-2025 Ultimate ERAS Residency Application Guide

It’s time to start applying to residency. The moment that you’ve been waiting for all of medical school. All the hours you’ve spent on studying, getting good grades, getting involved in activities to boost your application, doing research, and making connections culminate to this point of applying for residency and match.

We will over:

  • What to know about the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS)
  • ERAS Residency Application Timeline
  • ERAS Residency Application Checklist
  • How to Ensure a Strong ERAS Application

What to know about Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS)

The Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) is the centralized online application service applicants use to submit their application to residency programs. This is similar to AMCAS when you applied to MD medical schools. This is the main application and portal you will be using when applying to residency.


  • Specifically, MyERAS is where applicants complete their applications, assign supporting documents, select programs, and submit the materials for their selected programs.

How ERAS Works:

  1. Applicants receive a token (one-time access code) from their Designated Dean’s Office. This token costs $165.
  2. Applicants use the token to register with MyERAS.
  3. Applicants complete their MyERAS application, upload their personal statement, assign their letter writers, and choose programs to apply to.
  4. Once your letter writers upload their letters, your school uploads your MSPE and any other supporting documents, and the USMLE uploads your transcripts, your application will be fully completed.
  5. Programs will receive application materials.

ERAS Application Timeline


The ERAS season begins in early June. Obtain your token (one-time access code) from your Dean’s Office. This will give you access to MyERAS so you can start working on your online application.

Start filling in your application with your work, volunteering, and research experience. You can check out our popular ERAS Experience Guide that shows you how to structure this section and provides you with examples.

If you haven’t yet taken your ERAS headshot, be sure to do this now. Sometimes your school will offer free headshots, if not ask a friend or find a local photographer. Be sure to


This is when you’ll continue to work on your ERAS application. Craft your personal statement and your experience descriptions. Make sure you ask for feedback from mentors, friends, or family. If you need extra support and want to a professional editor to review your application materials, check out our expert services here. We will ensure that you portray yourself to your greatest abilities and impress residency programs. We recommend doing this well in advance and not waiting last minute so that you can sufficient time to implement changes to your application.

It’s also a good time to ask for letters of recommendations. Go on MyERAS to input the name and information of your letter writers and this will create a upload form for you letter writer to upload your letter.

Sept – Submit ERAS application!, Apply the match through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), Start interview prep
Oct- Start interviews


Choose residency programs to apply to. This can take a lot of time and research. First, consider where you want to practice and complete residency. This may be in an area around friends and family. Depending on the competitiveness of your specialty, you’ll also want to consider programs that are less competitive as a “back up.”

Make an excel list of the places you want to apply to.

Check in to ensure your letters of recommendation don’t need any other information from you and get feedback on your personal statement.

Request your relevant transcripts (USMLE, COMLEX-USA, MSPE, etc.) during this time.


This is when you’ll start applying!

Fine tune your application and make sure it has no mistakes. Make sure you assign your documents like personal statement and letters of recommendations to each program. Everyyear students delay their application because they miss this step.

Applications are released to programs at the end of September, and interview invitations can be sent out as early as the next day so be sure to check your emails!

You also have to apply for the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) so that you can sign up for the match. This is a completely different website and program.

ERAS Residency Application Checklist

1 | ERAS Personal Statement

This is your chance to tell your story. Consider incorporating your background into your essay or aspects of you that you can’t get from a CV. Remember that the main purpose of this essay is to inform and convince residency programs that you want to pursue a specific specialty. Therefore, it should ultimately answer the question, “why this specialty?”

You should also share any significant experiences you’ve had in medical school that motivated you to pursue the specialty you’re applying to. For instance, share that moment you had on your clinical rotation or away rotation.

Other things you can include in your personal statement are potential red flags such as a failed step score. This provides you an opportunity to give context to what happened and discuss what you learned from it.

If you’re need help with figuring out what to include in essay, check out our Personal Statement Brainstorming Session where we will sit down with you and work 1-on-1 with you to brainstorm and create your personal statement outline. You can also join my Standout Personal Statement Course which walks you through each step of writing your essay.

If you already have a draft and need help with editing it, work with our experts to have your personal statement edited.

2 | ERAS Experiences Section

This section allows you to share your work, volunteering, and research experience. You can include all your relevant experience and ideally focus on those experiences in medical school, not undergraduate.

You will be able to highlight your most meaningful experiences and make sure you discuss what you learned from those experiences and how you will apply those skills as a doctor.

If you need help with this section, see our 2024-2025 ERAS Experiences Guide, which will help you craft a stellar ERAS Application.

3 | ERAS Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendations allow programs to glean insight about your work ethic, character, specific strengths and attributes, and how well you’ll fit in and contribute to your chosen specialty.

You can upload an unlimited number of references, but only a maximum of four letters of recommendation per program. Your MSPE or Dean’s Letter do not count as a letter.

When thinking about who to ask for letters, ideally it is from an attending physician in the field you’re applying to. You also want to get letters from those who know you well and can speak highly of your skills, work ethic, and personal characteristics.

4 | ERAS Photo

Having a photo on your ERAS application is optional, but it’s highly recommended, it will help programs put a face to your application. It will help you be memorable and help programs identify you during interviews.

Here are the photo requirements:

  • Dimensions: 2.5 in. x 3.5 in.
  • Resolution: 150dpi
  • File Size: 100kb

If your school does not offer free headshots, you can ask a friend or find a local photographer. Make sure you have a plain background, wear professional clothing, and be sure to smile!

5 | Transcripts

You need to get your USMLE transcript (or COMLEX-USA transcript for DO schools) for your ERAS application.

To do this:

  1. Log in to MyERAS
  2. Go to the Additional Documents section
  3. Select Authorize Release under the Actions column
  4. Enter or confirm your USMLE ID
  5. Select Yes
  6. Select Save

Be mindful when you are planning for Step 2CK, you want to make sure your results come back by late September so that you application will be complete before you send it off to programs.

Residency Application Editing with Med Mentors

There is a lot to know about the ERAS application process. It can be overwhelming, but we are here to help. Our expert team of doctors has years of experience helping medical students get matched with their ideal program.

Med Mentors can help you prepare a stand out residency application. Wherever you are in your application process, we offer: