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Prepare to work in Cardiac Surgery with an MS in Cardiovascular Perfusion

Join the field of cardiovascualar perfusion with your master's from Carlow. In this one-of-a-kind program, you will gain the knowledge and skills needed to operate the cardiopulmonary bypass machine during open-heart surgery, coronary artery bypasses, heart and lung transplantations, congential defect repair surgeries, and valve replacement operations.

This program is held in cooperation with the UPMC Presbyterian-Shadyside School of Cardiovascular Perfusion. Students have the opportunity to earn both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion in only five years.

MS in Cardiovascular Perfusion Program Highlights

Learn the required skills needed to become a cardiovascular perfusionist. These specialized healthcare professionals are responsible for overseeing the function of the heart and/or lungs during medical procedures; they may administer heart-stopping drugs, monitor the physiological and metabolic demands of the patient, and operate equipment during open-heart surgery.

In your perfusion studies, you will take a series of courses covering biological, chemical, and physical topics pertaining to the cardiovascular system. You will also have the opportunity to:

  • Complete 18 months of clinical training at UPMC Shadyside;
  • Study in the oldest cardiovascular perfusion program in the United States;
  • Sit for the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP) Perfusion Basic Science Examination (PBSE) upon graduation.

Ready to take the next step and further your education at Carlow University? Apply for free online.

What You'll Learn

The MS in Cardiovascular Perfusion features a rigorous science curriculum. You will receive a thorough education on the cardiovascular system, perfusion, hematology, surgery, pulmonary anatomy, pathology, and more.

MS in Cardiovascular Perfusion Courses

PRT 780 Introduction to Cardiovascular Surgery

Gain an introductory overview of the considerations in the care of surgical patients with emphasis on cardiovascular surgical procedure.

PRT 783 Electrophysiology

Learn the fundamentals of electrocardiography and the electrocardiographic basis of arrhythmias.

PRT 7851/7852 Perfusion Procedures-Clinical II/Clinical II Continued

In this course, you will learn the preparation of the cardiopulmonary bypass and auxiliary equipment used during surgery. Gain exposure to the principles and practices of clinical perfusion management with an emphasis on the types of systems and procedural applications associated with bypass surgery.


Accreditation and Professional Licensure 

The American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP) is the organization that confers the professional perfusion credential of "Certified Clinical Perfusionist" (CCP). Upon completion of the Carlow/UPMC Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion program, students are eligible to sit for the ABCP Perfusion Basic Science Examination (PBSE), which is the first of two exams that lead to professional certification. Upon completion of fifty clinical perfusion cases after graduation from perfusion school, you can become eligible to sit for part two of the ABCP's CCP examination process, the Clinical Applications in Perfusion Exam (CAPE). A candidate must pass both sections of ABCP boards to practice perfusion. 

The ABCP officially recognizes perfusion schools that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). CAAHEP accredits programs based on the recommendation of the Accreditation Committee-Perfusion Education (AC-PE). The UPMC School of Perfusion is and has always been in good standing with the CAAHEP. 

Carlow University and the Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion program are also accredited by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).


Admissions Requirements


  • Next available entry date is Summer 2021
  • Applications will be due by October 1, 2020

If you have questions, please contact our dedicated admissions counselor, Shannon Agredo, or by phone 412.578.6383.


For entrance into the program as a Carlow biology major, you will need a minimum of 3.5 GPA, with a 3.5 in the sciences, and have completed the 18 month clinical training at UPMC Shadyside.

Applicants who already hold a bachelor's degree may apply to the MS in Cardiovascular Perfusion through the free, online application.

Ready to take the next step? Apply now at Carlow.