2024 ERAS® Application Season Program Signaling


High application volumes can make it challenging for programs to assess applicants beyond their academic qualifications. In 2020, together with a variety of specialties, programs, medical schools, and advisors, the AAMC developed the supplemental ERAS® application to help applicants share more details about themselves, their experiences, and their preferences with programs in a structured manner. In addition to helping applicants, programs could utilize the refined content to:

  • Facilitate a more holistic review and improve the overall application screening process.
  • Identify applicants who are genuinely interested in their programs and whose interests and experiences align with their programs’ setting, mission, and goals.

This page begins to detail next steps for the program signaling section of the Electronic Residency Application Service® (ERAS®) 2024 application season.

For resources and information about last year's timeline, participating specialties who previously participated in the supplemental ERAS application, currently available data, and more, please visit ERAS 2023: Supplemental ERAS® Application Resources & Information. This page also includes previously provided information and training resources about appropriate use of information collected via the supplemental ERAS application to help ensure a fair residency selection process for all applicants.

On this Page:

What is the Supplemental ERAS Application?

The supplemental ERAS application is a short and free application with questions designed to showcase applicants' previous experiences and interests. Applicants have been asked to provide:

  • Geographic preference information (by region and by urban/rural setting)
  • Information about their most meaningful work, volunteer or research experiences; and
  • Program signals

The supplemental application's intent is to test new ERAS content designed to help students share more about themselves and assist program directors in finding applicants that fit their programs' setting and mission

For the past two ERAS application cycles, the AAMC has enhanced, researched, and refined ERAS content via the supplemental ERAS application. During the present 2023 application season, the ERAS program offered the supplemental application to certain participating specialties.

For the ERAS 2024 cycle, the MyERAS application will reflect these findings, thus eliminating the need for the supplemental ERAS application.

Detailed changes for the upcoming ERAS 2024 season will be available in the coming months. In the meantime, we invite you view the Supplemental ERAS Application Research and Findings and Next Steps for Specialties and Programs Webinar recording.

ERAS 2024 Application Program Signaling

What is a Program Signal?

A program signal is an applicant’s opportunity to express their genuine interest in a residency program. A program signal only indicates the applicant's interest at the time of application. It should be understood that their interest could change throughout the cycle, after interviews, life events, or interactions with a given program. 
Program signals are designed to be used by programs as a single data point among many data points available to them. Programs are encouraged not to misinterpret missing signal responses or use missing responses to filter or screen out applicants. Applicants with missing information may have skipped the program signaling section at the time they completed their application.

Program Signaling for the ERAS 2024 Cycle

Program signals will be fully integrated into the MyERAS application for applicants and into the PDWS for programs, however their availability will be limited to residency applicants applying to specialties and programs that opt-in to participate in program signals.

Due to the complexity of program signaling and in the interest of protecting applicants, the AAMC requires each interested specialty and individual programs from participating specialties to explicitly agree to participate in program signaling.

The AAMC seeks to ensure that specialties that choose to participate in program signaling for ERAS 2024:

  • Are properly trained and equipped to use program signals as a part of a holistic review of applicants when deciding who to invite to an interview.
  • Understand and have reviewed the research outcomes to date.
  • Make an informed decision about the number of signals available to applicants for their individual specialty together with AAMC assessment experts.
  • Have ample time for early communication to applicants and advisors regarding specialty participation.

AAMC Guidance for Home and Away Rotation Program Signaling
The AAMC suggests that applicants signal their most interested programs regardless of whether they are home or away rotations. This is the most fair and equitable process for all applicant types (MD, DO, and IMGs) and provides all programs that participate in receiving signals with the same information about interest level.

Timeline for Specialties and Programs seeking to Participate in Program Signaling for ERAS 2024
  • February 1, 2023: Deadline for specialties to sign the participation agreement. This participation agreement is intended to be signed by one specialty-approved association executive committee member (e.g., president, CEO, appointed chairman, etc.)
  • March 15, 2023: The specialty organization and leadership must provide and communicate to the AAMC the number of program signals they wish to use.
  • August 4, 2023: Individual programs in participating specialties must opt-in to receive program signals when registering for the ERAS 2024 application season in ERAS Account Maintenance (EAM). Programs have from the date EAM opens in mid-April 2023 until August 4, 2023, to register for participation.
Next Steps: Specialty Level Participation in Program Signaling

Interested specialties are required to sign a participation agreement to take part in program signals for the ERAS 2024 application cycle.

Next steps for specialties interested in participating in program signaling for the ERAS 2024 application season:

Specialty Number of Program Signals
Anesthesiology 5 (gold), 10 (silver)
Child Neurology & Neurodevelopmental Disabilities 3
Dermatology 3 (gold), 25 (silver)
Diagnostic Radiology and Interventional Radiology 6 (gold), 6 (silver)
Emergency Medicine 7
Family Medicine 5
General Surgery 5
Internal Medicine 7
Internal Medicine/Psychiatry 2
Neurological Surgery 25
Neurology 3
Obstetrics and Gynecology 3 (gold), 15 (silver)
Orthopedic Surgery 30
Otolaryngology 25
Anatomic and Clinical Pathology 5
Pediatrics 5
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 5
Public Health and General Preventive Medicine 3
Psychiatry 5
Thoracic Surgery 3
Next Steps: Individual Residency Program-Level Opt-in for Program Signaling

Each program from specialties that sign a participation agreement for program signaling by Feb. 1, 2023, must opt-in to receive program signals. Programs can opt-in through ERAS Account Maintenance (EAM) from the opening of EAM in mid-April until August 4, 2023. Changes to participating status will not be made after August 4, 2023 deadline to ensure a transparent and fair process for applicants. 

Programs are encouraged to view our Supplemental ERAS Application Research and Findings and Next Steps for Specialties and Programs Webinar Recording to learn more about ERAS 2023 data and ERAS 2024 opt-in details.