Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion (Entry)

David Fitzgerald, DHA, MPH, CCP, Division Director

The Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion (CVP) program prepares its graduates to work as certified clinical perfusionists (CCP) in a variety of health care settings where extracorporeal life support services are required. Perfusionists are typically employed in cardiac surgical centers and operate the heart-lung machine during open heart surgery. They serve as experts in associated technologies such as ventricular assist devices and are involved in many aspects of perioperative blood management.

As a graduate of the MUSC CVP program, you’ll become an essential member of the cardiothoracic surgical team. Extensive knowledge of anatomy, pharmacology, pathology and surgical techniques are keys to success. Perfusionists can specialize in areas of pediatric perfusion and mechanical circulatory support devices. The MUSC perfusion program provides extensive experience in both areas.

The MUSC perfusion program was started in 1979 by James P. Dearing and is considered one of the best programs in the country. This is evidenced by very high pass rates on the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion Certification Exam, a large number of research publications by the full-time faculty members, and a world class simulation facility for practicing perfusion techniques. In addition to clinical facilities at MUSC, students receive clinical training at highly recognized cardiac surgical centers across the country and abroad that serve as MUSC clinical affiliation sites.


The MUSC Cardiovascular Perfusion Program is accredited by the Commission of Allied Health EducationPrograms (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Committee for Perfusion Education (AC-PE).


Learn more about the admission steps and requirements for the program.


Year 1, Fall

CVP 700 Clinical Monitoring 3
CVP 702 Perfusion Technology I 3
CVP 704 Research Methodology 3
CVP 706 Perioperative Blood Management 2
CVP 721 Perfusion Technology I Lab 1
CVP 718 Pathophysiology 5
CVP 723 Clinical Monitoring Lab 1
IP 711 IP Foundations & Teamstepps 1
IP ### IP Concentration Course of Choice 1
Semester Total 20

Year 1, Spring

CVP 703 Perfusion Technology II 3
CVP 703L Perfusion Technology II Lab 1
CVP 708 Pathophysiology for Perfusion 4
CVP 610 Pharmacology for Perfusion 4
CVP 710 Fundamentals of Clinical Acid 1
CVP 720 Advanced Pediatric Perfusion 2
CVP 770 Masters Research Project II 3
CVP 716 Seminar I 1
Semester Total 19

Year 1, Summer

CVP 714 Cardiac Assist Devices 2
CVP 731 Extracorporeal Life Support 1
CVP 733 Principles and Practices 3
CVP 733L Principles and Practices Lab 1
CVP 771 Masters Research Project III 3
CVP 760 Clinical Experience I 6
CVP 722 Perfusion Simulation 2
Semester Total 18

Year 2, Fall

CVP 724 Quality Improvement and Inform 2
CVP 762 Clinical Experience II A 6
CVP 763 Clinical Experience II B 6
Semester Total 14

Year 2, Spring

CVP 728 Leadership and Health Services 2
CVP 764 Clinical Experience III A 6
CVP 765 Clinical Experience III B (track in leadership, pediatrics perfusion or cardiac assist) 6
Semester Total 14
Curriculum Total 85