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Quinnipiac University Cardiovascular Perfusion Program

Surgeons don’t perform open heart surgery alone. Cardiovascular perfusionists are essential members of the support team who make this and other types of life-saving procedures possible.


We’ll teach you to operate the equipment perfusionists use to support or replace a patient’s heart and lung functions during cardiac surgery and to monitor vital cardiopulmonary signs to keep the patient stable. You’ll also learn to administer the appropriate medications and anesthesia during surgery.

Our program is one of only eight in the nation that offers graduate-level training in this profession. As cardiovascular disease becomes increasingly common, the employment opportunities in this field continue to expand, and we prepare you to enter the workforce with a competitive advantage.

A strong sense of responsibility and the capacity to work effectively with other professionals in a high-pressure environment are essential qualities of successful cardiovascular perfusionists. You’ll acquire both during group activities and clinical work. Plus, you’ll learn in our technologically sophisticated Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.


Faculty dedicated to student success

Quinnipiac’s School of Health Sciences professors are committed to the personal and professional success of every student. While passionate scholars and accomplished in their own fields, teaching is the number one priority. Small class sizes, accessible professors and a close-knit community create the kind of supporting, enriching environment that is rare. We are personally invested in seeking ways to help our students develop into strong, certified, leading professionals.


MHS in Cardiovascular Perfusion Curriculum

During the first two didactic semesters, students are introduced to the operating room environment by weekly orientation sessions in one of several affiliated hospitals. Students are required to join the American Society of Extracorporeal Technology and maintain student membership for the duration of the program.

Failure to maintain a 3.0 minimum GPA in all didactic and clinical semesters will result in automatic dismissal from the program. Students must also successfully complete all clinical practicums to graduate from the program.

To become a certified clinical perfusionist (CCP), graduates must pass the Perfusion Basic Sciences Exam (PBSE) and the Clinical Applications in Perfusion Exam (CAPE).

  • Graduates are eligible to take the PBSE when they have completed at least 75 procedures as a primary perfusionist, and have graduated from the program.
  • To be eligible for the CAPE, graduates must perform an additional 50 procedures after their graduation date, usually as an employee of a hospital.

To apply to the cardiovascular perfusion program, a bachelor’s degree in a science or health-related discipline from a regionally accredited American or Canadian college or university is required.


Admission requirements

In evaluating applications, the Committee on Admissions places heavy emphasis on previous academic achievement and recommendations from perfusionists and cardiac surgeons.

In order to be considered for admission to the cardiovascular perfusion program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or Canada
  • Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Successful completion of the following science courses:
    • Two semesters of basic biology (with labs)
    • Two semesters of anatomy and physiology (with labs)
    • One semester of microbiology (with lab)
    • Two semesters of chemistry (with labs)
    • one semester of physics (with lab)
    • one semester of college-level mathematics (college algebra or calculus)
    • one semester (two or three credits) of medical terminology is recommended

    Prerequisites, with the exception of medical terminology and mathematics, must be taken on-campus from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or Canada. Science prerequisite courses taken at a four-year college or university are preferred.

  • Two years of health care work experience is required. Preference is given to candidates who have experience in critical care areas such as ICU, CCU, ER and OR.
  • You must be certified in Basic Life Support from the American Heart Association.

Applications will be ranked based on a strong academic record, experience in a relevant clinical area, perceived ability to complete a challenging didactic and clinical program and the strength of professional recommendations.

The MHS in Cardiovascular Perfusion is highly competitive. If your application meets all necessary qualifications, you will be contacted for a personal interview that is required for admission to the program.


Required documents

  • Application: Complete the information required on the application form.
  • Fee:  You will be asked to include a non-refundable application fee of $45 by credit or debit card when submitting your application. Do not send cash or check.
  • Official Transcripts: It is your responsibility to request official transcripts from ALL undergraduate, graduate and professional schools attended (including part-time and summer study). If you received transfer credit from another institution, it is still necessary to have an official transcript sent from the original university. These transcripts must be provided to Quinnipiac University in a sealed envelope or sent electronically to graduate@quinnipiac.edu.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three professional references are recommended but you must have two professional references submitted on your behalf for your file to be considered complete. You will be required to enter your recommenders’ contact information on the application.
  • Letter of Intent: You will be asked to include a letter of intent discussing why you wish to pursue the cardiovascular perfusion program and how a degree from Quinnipiac will assist you in your career goals.
  • Resume: You will be asked to include an up-to-date resume.
  • Professional Licenses/Certificates (Optional): You will be able to upload any professional licenses or certificates when completing your application or from your student portal after submitting your application.
  • GRE exam: not required.
  • English Proficiency: TOEFL or IELTS Exam scores are required if you are an applicant from a non-English speaking country.

If you’re considering one of Quinnipiac’s outstanding graduate programs, you’re on your way to joining a graduate community committed to academic excellence and professional preparation at the highest level.


Additional information about perfusion school program:

Students Admitted: 6-8
Program Length: 24 months
In state tuition: $34,000
Out of state tuition: $34,000
Degree: Master’s in Health Science – Cardiovascular Perfusion