MS 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).