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Upstate Medical University Clinical Perfusion – Master of Science


Perfusionists are operating room specialists who conduct cardiopulmonary bypass. That is, they pump and oxygenate the blood of patients whose hearts or lungs are stopped, usually during open heart surgery.

Occasionally, perfusionists work outside the operating room, providing support for patients with circulatory failure.

Working in conjunction with cardiac surgeons, perfusionists:

  • adjust oxygen levels, change body temperatures, correct electrolyte imbalances and manipulate blood flow to meet each patient’s metabolic need
  • administer medications, blood products and fluids
  • monitor the coagulation status of a patient’s blood to prevent clotting
  • by processing their patients’ own blood, perfusionists minimize the amount of blood lost during surgery, which minimizes the need for donated blood
We encourage students to observe an open-heart procedure at a medical center and conduct an informational interview with a clinical perfusionist.

The Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), 25400 US Highway 19 North, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL; 727-210-2350; caahep.org

Mission and Goals

The educational and career goals for the Clinical Perfusion program are:

The MS Degree in Clinical Perfusion will produce competent entry-level perfusionists in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains who have demonstrated excellence with a professional specialty or biomedical research. Graduates will be eligible to both apply to take the national certification examinations offered by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion and also to apply for a license as a Perfusionist in all license-issuing states including New York.

Upon completion of the program graduates will demonstrate

Goal: Mastery of the entry-level body of knowledge regarding the application of clinical perfusion

Assessment Measures

  • Written exams, assignments, papers, presentations, course evaluations, faculty meetings, standardized assessment tools
  • Post Graduation: Graduate surveys, employer surveys, enrollment in post graduate studies, advisory committee feedback, national certification / licensure exam

Goal: Mastery of the fundamental and emergency clinical skills necessary for the safe conduct of clinical perfusion

Assessment Measures

  • Simulation, practical exams, competency evaluations, student evaluations, advisory committee feedback, faculty meetings, standardized assessment tools
  • Post Graduation: Graduate surveys, employer surveys, advisory committee feedback

Goal: Fluency of professional communication, behaviors and attitudes

Assessment Measures

  • Simulation, practical exams, competency evaluations, student evaluations, advisory committee feedback, faculty meetings, standardized assessment tools
  • Post Graduation: Graduate surveys, employer surveys, advisory committee feedback

Goal: Excellence in evaluation of biomedical research and either the application of or generation of biomedical research related to clinical perfusion

Assessment Measures

  • Capstone experience projects, research thesis projects, student presentations
  • Post Graduation: Graduate surveys, employer surveys, advisory committee feedback, specialty certifications or examinations, professional conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications

Master of Science (MS)

The admission requirements for the Clinical Perfusion Program are as follows:

  • Baccalaureate Degree
  • Minimum GPA of a 2.8 cumulative and prerequisite is required.   Preference is given to GPA’s of 3.0 or better.
  • Completion of Prerequisite Courses.  Prerequisite courses must be completed by the time of matriculation. Students may apply if prerequisite courses are in progress or planned to be completed by the time of matriculation.
  • Completion of Application
    • Two letters of recommendation. We recommend that at least one letter be from a science faculty member, the other should be from someone who knows you in an academic, or professional capacity.
    • Official College Transcripts. Applicants are required to submit official transcripts from every college attended or every college they have received credit from. If your college transcripts are not in English, or it is not in the same grading system as the United States, you will need to get a translation and a course-by-course educational credential evaluation completed by an approved agency.
    • If English is not your first language, an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IETLS) score report must be submitted.
    • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) OR MCAT Exam
      • The GRE code for SUNY Upstate Medical University is 2547
      • Although there is no minimum acceptable score for either exam, candidates are expected to be within the 50th percentile.  GRE or MCAT must be completed within five years of matriculation.
      • Please note that it may take roughly 10-14 days for electronic GRE scores to be uploaded once the request has been made through ETS.
  • Clinical Perfusion is a fall entry program. Applications open September 1.  The application deadline is February 15.
  • Applications are reviewed on a rolling admission basis.
  • Personal interview, by invitation
  • While we do not require applicants have completed a perfusion observation as part of the application process, it’s highly recommended.
  • Application fee requirement:  $65.00Additional requirements based on individual situations. It is the responsibility of each student to confirm that a completed application is on file in the Office of Student Admissions.Letters of recommendation, official transcripts and test scores should be sent to:SUNY Upstate Medical University
    Admissions & Financial Aid
    766 Irving Ave.
    1213 Weiskotten Hall 
    Syracuse, NY 13210Incoming students will be required to submit a background check after being offered admission, and prior to enrollment at SUNY Upstate. All admitted students are admitted conditionally until background check results are obtained and reviewed by SUNY Upstate.

Prerequisites: Clinical Perfusion

Semester Hours
Life Sciences (1)
General Physics I with lab (2) (3)
General Physics II with lab (2) (3)
General Chemistry I with lab (3)
General Chemistry II with lab (3)
Additional Science Courses
College Algebra or Pre-calculus or Calculus
English Composition

(1) Life Science Courses include: Anatomy, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, Physiology, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Zoology, Neuroscience, Biology, Genetics, Pathology, Evolutionary Biology, Cell Physiology, etc.

(2) Physics can be algebra or calculus based.

(3) Must include labs.  Classes for science majors.

Statistics recommended

Minimum grade is a “C.”

A course equivalency guide for the College of Health Professions prerequisites is available online.  Please note that applicants are not required to attend any of the colleges listed on the guide.  Prospective students with questions about prerequisites should e-mail Student Admissions at admiss@upstate.edu. Please identify the program you are inquiring about in the subject line of your email so that we can best advise you.

Additional information about perfusion school program:

Students Admitted: 10
Program Length: 19 months
In state tuition: $8,000
Out of state tuition: $19,305
Degree: M.S. in Clinical Perfusion