Feb 1, 2016 - Iowa caucus
Registered Republican and Democratic voters in the midwestern state will cast their vote for a presidential candidate. This first vote is closely watched as it indicates where support lies.
States hold caucuses and primaries to select delegates to attend the national conventions, where each party's candidates for president and vice-president are officially nominated. Caucuses are conducted by state parties while state governments run primaries.
Feb 9 - New Hampshire primary
The first primary vote is also an early indicator of the main contenders for the White House.
March 1 - Super Tuesday
The largest number of states hold their primary elections and caucuses on this date. Candidates can win a higher number of delegates on this day than on any other day of the primary season, which lasts until June.
July - Running mate appointed
Presidential candidates from both sides will choose their running mates before the national conventions.
July 18 to 21 - Republican National Convention
Delegates will choose the party's nominees for president and vice-president.
Week of July 25 - Democratic National Convention
Delegates will choose the party's nominees for the two posts.
Nov 8 - Presidential election
Americans cast their vote for their chosen candidate, but in reality are selecting electors for the Electoral College. A state like Florida, for example, has 29 electors, so a candidate who wins the state technically wins 29 electors who will vote for them. To win the presidency, 270 of the 538 electoral votes are needed.
Jan 20, 2017 - Presidential inauguration