University of Nebraska Medical Center Clinical Perfusion Education Program
Author: David
Published: September 22, 2020
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University of Nebraska Medical Center Clinical Perfusion Education Program


The Clinical Perfusion Education program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center awards a Master of Perfusion Science degree (MPS). We are dedicated to providing a quality education experience to students pursuing a career in the field of extracorporeal circulation, with the ultimate goal of preparing individuals to provide the highest level of patient care achievable.

Perfusion Education Admission

Admissions Requirements
Enrollment in each program is limited and competitive. The admissions committee of each program, composed of program faculty and administration, evaluates the qualifications of each applicant and makes the final selections for admission.

To be considered for admission, the applicant must possess a bachelor’s degree and be well rounded in the biological sciences, chemistry and mathematics. These studies must include:

Biological Sciences:
Twelve (12) semester hours are required which may include laboratory sessions. Such courses should emphasize body structure, development, tissue organization and function. These courses may include but are not limited to general biology, cell biology, microbiology, physiology, anatomy, zoology, histology, embryology, genetics and immunology.

Physical Sciences:
Six (6) semester hours of chemistry are required. Such courses should emphasize physical principles and may include but are not limited to general chemistry, qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis, and organic chemistry. Additionally, three (3) semester hours of physics including laboratory session are required. Such courses may include general physics, quantum physics, or physics for life sciences.

Three (3) semester hours are required.

Academic Criteria

  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (A=4.0) or last 40 hours of course work of 3.0 is required.
  • Courses used for required prerequisites must be a letter grade of “C” or above.
  • Any repeated course grades will be considered if improvement was achieved.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
The General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (verbal, quantitative and analytical writing) is required. Scores must be sent using the UNMC Institution Code 6896, and received by the application materials deadline.

Conversation Time
Three (3) unique conversations with a Perfusionist are required. Three separate Conversation Confirmation Forms reflecting these experiences must be received by the application materials deadline.

Degree Offered

Master of Perfusion Science (MPS)
Additionally, the CPE Program offers an online Masters of Perfusion Science (MPS) Degree Advancement Option(DAO) for those who have already completed a CAAHEP-accredited perfusion education program. DAO participants are part-time students, and are allowed up to five years to complete a 17-hour curriculum.

Length of Program

The Clinical Perfusion Science Education (CPE) Program at UNMC is 21 months in length. Upon successful completion of the program, UNMC awards the Master of Perfusion Science degree, making graduates eligible for national certification. The first two semesters (Phase I) consist of didactic course work with an introduction to perfusion science. The remaining 11 months (Phase II and III) consist of clinical rotations, a research project and elective courses.

Degree Requirements

Graduation requirements include successful completion of the following:

  1. Pass, with a greater than 70% grade, a comprehensive written objective test which focuses on problems encountered in the practice of clinical perfusion.
  2. Complete thorough and comprehensive evaluations of different patients who are to undergo clinical perfusion. The student must be able to differentiate between abnormal and normal variations and to design a pump circuit that would meet the physiological needs of the patient undergoing surgery. Demonstrate through appropriate consultation with the faculty member that a suitable circuit has been selected and that the patient can be safely supported on cardiopulmonary bypass.
  3. Meet all standards as established by the clinical competency committee.

What is a Perfusionist?

A clinical perfusionist is a skilled, allied health professional, trained and educated specifically as a member of an open-heart, surgical team. Perfusionists are responsible for the selection, setup, and operation of a mechanical device commonly referred to as the heart-lung machine.

Increases in technologies of cardiovascular medicine, such as the use of ventricular assist devices, the total artificial heart, and coronary angiography and angioplasty, have further increased the demand for perfusionists. Perfusionists work in hospital settings and most are employed either by hospitals, individual surgeons, surgical groups, or private health care corporations. Experienced perfusionists may find career opportunities working for companies who manufacture perfusion supplies and equipment. These individuals may be employed in research and development, or in some cases, may be employed in marketing or sales.

A typical work week consists of a 40-hour schedule with additional on-call coverage for emergencies. Perfusionists may be called to work evenings and weekends. Perfusionists enjoy starting yearly salaries that range from $85,000 to 90,000. In most cases additional compensation in the range of 10-25 percent of base salary may be earned for “on-call time” and shift differentials.

Find out how you can be a part of this challenging and rewarding career! Read more in this Department of Labor article>>

Masters Degree Clinical Perfusion (MDCP) Distance Option
The Clinical Perfusion Education Program at UNMC also has a perfusionist Masters Degree Clinical Perfusion (MDCP) Distance Option. This online program is designed for working perfusionists who have completed an accredited perfusion education program in the United States, have a bachelors degree separate from their perfusion training, and would like to earn a Masters of Perfusion Science degree.

The masters of perfusion science degree in clinical perfusion is achieved through an Individual Plan of Study that tailors your clinical and educational background to your professional goals. All the required courses are available through distance learning technology. This allows you access to UNMC while continuing to work in your community.

Additional information about perfusion school program:

Students Admitted: 14-20
Program Length: 21 months
In state tuition: $30,590
Out of state tuition: $72,499
Degree: Masters in Perfusion Science


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