Going through the match with a partner? Find out how the Match Algorithm works for couples.

The algorithm treats the ROLs of a couple as a single unit of paired ranks. So a match is established only if both partners match at a pair of ranked programs.

The algorithm first tries to match the couple into their first set of paired ranks. If a match for both applicants is not possible at this rank, it moves down to their next paired rank, and so on.

It’s possible to include a ‘no match’ option to indicate one partner is willing to go unmatched if the other can match to their preferred program.

If applicants do not obtain a match as a couple, the algorithm does not process their rank order lists separately to find a possible match for each individual.

  • Since the ROLs of a couple are considered as a single unit, decide as a couple what pairs of programs you are prepared to rank. Ranking more pairings will reduce the likelihood that partners will remain unmatched, but don’t rank any combinations that aren’t acceptable to you both. Then, decide together the order in which those pairs are preferred.
  • Because of the various combinations involved, couples ROLs are longer than individual ROLs, so give yourself plenty of time to create and enter your list.
  • Each member of a couple must have the same number of ranks on their respective ROLs.
  • It’s possible to include a ‘no match’ option to indicate one partner is willing to go unmatched if the other can match to their preferred program. This is recommended to give one another the best chance, in case one partner’s application is stronger. If you include a ‘no match’ option, it should be at the bottom of the ROL so both partners have the best chance of matching to programs.

For more detailed tips, check out our  couples ranking example .

If you participate in the match as part of a couple, your match results are linked to your partner’s results. Couples’ ROLs are processed as a single unit of paired ranks, meaning you either match or don’t match together. If applicants do not obtain a match as a couple, the algorithm does not process their rank order lists separately to find a possible match for each individual.

The only way one partner can match while the other does not is if the match occurs at a set of paired ranks that includes a ‘no match’ option for one partner.

Check out our detailed couples ranking example for tips to ensure you and your partner maximize your chances of matching.

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