McGovern Medical School at UTHealth
Author: David
Published: September 22, 2020
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McGovern Medical School at UTHealth


It is the vision of the Cardiovascular Perfusion Program at McGovern Medical School to create a unique training environment and educational program in the field of cardiovascular perfusion (the only one of its kind in The University of Texas System) that will provide the breadth and depth of training that can be found only in the Texas Medical Center through our affiliation with Memorial Hermann’s Center for Advanced Heart Failure. The mission of  the Cardiovascular Perfusion Program at McGovern Medical School is to provide the highest quality of education and training in cardiovascular perfusion through an accredited post-baccalaureate certificate program that meets the State of Texas licensing and national accrediting agency requirements.

The Cardiovascular Perfusion Program at McGovern Medical School is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation Programs ( upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Committee for Perfusion Education (AC-PE).

The program offers a Certificate in Cardiovascular Perfusion (12-month post baccalaureate program), satisfying the requirements to sit for the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion Exams.

The program represents a workforce training design and therefore any coursework taken in this program is non-credit bearing and therefore, cannot be transferable to other institutions for other degree seeking opportunities.

LICENSURE OUTSIDE TEXAS–Prospective applicants should consult applicable licensing boards for any state in which they may wish to pursue licensure prior to beginning UTHealth’s Cardiovascular Perfusion Program to ensure the UTHealth program meets licensing requirements in that state.  The prospective applicant is responsible for confirming the program meets eligibility requirements for licensure in any state outside the State of Texas.

Admissions Requirements (Class of 2020)

  1. Bachelor’s Degree (biological sciences, physical sciences, mathematics or other health related field preferred) and completion of the required semester credit hours as listed below with a minimum letter grade of C or above 70% in all prerequisite courses. Please note that there is a 10-year recency requirement for all prerequisite courses. These courses must have been completed within the last 10 years.
  2. Cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 (at the time of application deadline and on first start day of the program) based on a 4.0 scale.  If a course is repeated (ie. for a better grade) all grades will be incorporated in the computation.  This method of calculation is adopted to give fair weight to applicants who attempted the course once.
  3. It is highly recommended that applicants observe at least two clinical cases under the direction of a Certified Clinical Perfusionist prior to formal acceptance into the program (see bottom of this page) to take advantage of our Observation Opportunity Program.
  4. Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status (International applicants are not being accepted at this time because the program is not currently accredited by the U.S. Department of Education).
  5. Completed Program Application with fee.
Pre-requisite Course(s) Semester Hours
General Biology 8
General Chemistry 8
Human Anatomy & Physiology 6
Physics 3
Mathematics (college algebra or higher);
3 hours Statistics highly recommended
  1. General Biology 8hrs: While any 8hrs of college core biology is required at this time, we recommend upper level coursework in human based courses like Cell Biology, Cell Physiology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Pathology, and other classes that make you more competitive.  “Introductory” or courses for “non-biology majors” will not be considered.
  2. General Chemistry 8hrs: This generally refers to Inorganic Chemistry 1 with Lab and Inorganic Chemistry 2 with Lab.  “Introductory” or courses for “non-chemistry majors” will not be considered.
  3. Human Anatomy & Physiology 6hrs: This generally refers to Human Anatomy & Physiology 1 with Lab (4hrs) and Human Anatomy & Physiology 2 with Lab (4hrs).  This is the most common coursework but 3hrs of  Human Anatomy and 3hrs of Human Physiology is acceptable at this time.  “Introductory” or courses for “non-biology majors” will not be considered.
  4. Physics 3hrs: This generally refers to College Physics 1 and College Physics 2.  University Physics 1 and University Physics 2 will substitute.   Physics 1 is more applicable to the field of Perfusion but either is acceptable. “Introductory” or courses for “non-physics majors” will not be considered.
  5. Mathematics 6hrs: College Algebra is required at a minimum.  Any class higher than College Algebra, including the recommended math based Statistics, is acceptable.

Observation Opportunity Program

The program highly recommends observation(s) of cardiopulmonary bypass procedure(s) and is aware of difficulties in observing cases at many institutions due to HIPAA regulations.   It is in the best interest of the applicant to observe to get a better understanding of the profession. If the applicant is unable to observe, it is highly recommend that you utilize the observation opportunity extended by this program.  The cost of the application and background check is approximately $125. This cost will include 1 observation. Any additional observations will be offered at $50.00/observation.  The observation program will run from the first Monday in February to the first Friday in December.  For more information and application process, please contact Corina Pongratz

International Education Evaluation Process Requirements

Prospective trainees applying for admission and who have completed coursework outside the United States at a non-American institution must have their foreign transcript go through a process called “Credential Evaluation”.  This Credential Evaluation is completed by organizations accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

This Credential Evaluation is conducted by organizations that are accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). A list of these organizations can be found at

The evaluation will determine if the applicant’s foreign degree is equivalent to the degree that the program requires. The evaluation must list the degree equivalency and include a GPA (grade point average) calculation as well as a course-by-course credit evaluation.

Interview Process

All applicants meeting program requirements will be scheduled a formal required interview with the Admissions Committee. A second interview may be necessary if you are a finalist. This second interview will be with our Center for Advanced Heart Failure physicians.

Clinical Rotations

The program has 1 long distance clinical site in San Antonio, Texas where trainees will be required to complete a 4-6 week rotation.

Acceptance Requirements

Acceptance is contingent upon successful completion of outstanding prerequisites (if any), immunization screening (see below), immigration status clearance, Health Care Provider Basic Life Support/CPR certification, clearance of and mandatory criminal background check.

Immunizations and Health Records

All trainees are required to furnish an immunization record. Certain exemptions are allowed from immunization requirements. The following immunizations and screening tests are required for all trainees. UTHealth’s Employee Health Clinic will provide a self-pay option for trainees for various vaccines 

  • Tuberculin Skin Test – Must be done within the past 12 months, even for those who have received the BCG vaccine as a child. If PPD skin test is positive, a chest x-ray documenting no active tuberculosis must be submitted with immunization form;
  • Measles – Two (2) doses of measles vaccine if born after January 1, 1957, administered on or after the first birthday and at least 30 days apart; or lab report of positive rubella titer;
  • Mumps – One dose of mumps vaccine administered on or after the first birthday; or lab report of positive mumps titer.
  • Rubella – One dose of rubella vaccine administered on or after the first birthday; or lab report of positive rubella titer;
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria and Pertussis (TdaP) – One “booster” dose administered within the past 10 years;
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV) – Three-dose series (second dose one month and third dose six months after first dose) or lab report of positive hepatitis surface antibody titer.  Trainee must be vaccinated to most current status possible prior to registering for classes;
  • Varicella (chickenpox) –Two-dose series (second dose one month after first dose) or a physician-validated history of the disease or lab report of positive varicella titer and,
  • Seasonal influenza vaccination – Required by Memorial Hermann Hospital
  • 10 Panel Drug Screen

**Important information regarding the Meningococcal Vaccine**

As of Spring 2012, Texas law (Texas Education Code 51.9192) mandates that Texas universities and health science centers require all new and transfer students show proof of vaccination against bacterial meningitis. The law does not apply to new and transfer students who are age 22 or older at the time of enrollment.

The only exceptions permitted by law are for:
  1. Trainees who can provide proof that a health care provider has determined that it would be a health risk for the student to have the vaccine; or,
  2. Trainees who use the Exemption Form issued by the Texas Department of State Health. Obtaining the required form from the Texas Department of Health Services to establish an exemption for reasons of conscience is a time-intensive process that takes approximately a month. If you are anticipating using this exemption then you will need to start this process early.


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