Carlow’s MS in Cardiovascular Perfusion will equip you to pursue a career in a much-needed medical specialty. The rigorous science curriculum will give you a thorough education on the cardiovascular system, perfusion, hematology, surgery, pulmonary anatomy,  pathology and more.

You will learn to prepare the cardiopulmonary bypass and auxiliary equipment used during surgery, as well as the principles and practices of clinical perfusion management.

You will learn the skills needed to oversee the function of the heart and/or lungs during medical procedures and how to administer heart-stopping drugs, monitor the physiological and metabolic demands of patients, and operate equipment during open-heart surgery.

A student gazes out of a window at sunset. The reflection show in the glass behind her.
In Grace Library, spanning the third and fourth floor of the University Commons, there are numerous quiet spaces and study rooms for individuals and groups to use.
Credits required:

60 credits

Cost per credit:


Time to degree:

As few as 20 months


On campus, some online

The MS in Cardiovascular Perfusion program is offered in cooperation with the UPMC School of Cardiovascular Perfusion. 

Courses cover biological, chemical and physical topics pertaining to the cardiovascular system and include Introduction to Cardiovascular Surgery, Electrophysiology, and Perfusion Procedures — Clinical II/Clinical II Continued.

Quick facts

  • Complete 18 months of clinical training at UPMC School of Cardiovascular Perfusion
  • Study in one of the oldest cardiovascular perfusion programs in the United States
  • Sit for the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP) Perfusion Basic Science Examination (PBSE) upon graduation
Spirit Ambassador Josh Carlson( Class of ’21, bio profusion), outside the University Commons, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. (Rebecca Droke/Carlow University)

Career opportunities for cardiovascular perfusionists

Most perfusionists work in medical operating rooms. With the MS in Cardiovascular Perfusion, job opportunities include educators and managers within departments of perfusion, or researchers and workers for perfusion equipment manufacturers.

The American Society for Extracorporeal Technology expects hospitals to hire more perfusionists in coming years to compensate for the aging American population.

You can apply for free online, and must submit the following materials:

  • Official transcripts from all degree-granting institutions you have attended
  • Personal essay that describes your academic objectives
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Proof of job shadowing (include place, date, number of hours, type of procedure observed, printed name and signature of perfusionist)
  • Two letters of recommendation that address your leadership potential and ability to succeed in graduate-level work


Start term:


An undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher is required, as is a 3.5 GPA in the sciences (no exceptions). 

Students must have the following prerequisites completed in order to be considered for the program:

  • General Biology I and II, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, General Chemistry I and II, Organic Chemistry I and II, Physics I and II, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Calculus and Medical Ethics

If you are interested in this graduate program, our Admissions team is available to help you with the next steps, including scheduling an on-campus visit or attending an upcoming event.

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