request information

Cardiovascular Perfusion (MHS)

Quinnipiac’s MHS in cardiovascular perfusion is one of only eight perfusion graduate-level programs in the United States. Our rigorous academic and clinical courses prepare students for the varied responsibilities of a clinical perfusionist.

The perfusionist provides consultation to the physician in the selection of the appropriate equipment and techniques to be used during extracorporeal circulation. During cardiopulmonary bypass, the perfusionist provides life support to the patient while the heart and lungs are stopped to enable the surgeon to operate. Perfusionists administer blood products, anesthetic agents and drugs through the extracorporeal circuit. The perfusionist is responsible for the induction of hypothermia and other duties, when required. Perfusionists have a role in the implementation and operation of ventricular assist devices designed to provide long-term circulatory support for the failing heart.

Individuals interested in becoming a perfusionist should have intelligence, dexterity and mechanical aptitude and be able to concentrate intensely for long periods of time. Other important personal qualities include a strong sense of responsibility, the ability to work well with people as well as the ability to work effectively in emergency situations. Perfusionists often work under very stressful conditions. The hours are long, and the situations are life and death. A perfusionist must be emotionally stable and able (mentally and physically) to react effectively to all situations in the operating room.

This program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Committee—Perfusion Education (6663 S. Sycamore St., Littleton, CO 80120) under the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

For more information contact:
Graduate Health Sciences Admissions
Phone: 203-582-8672 or 1-800-462-1944

Admissions Requirements

Application Deadline
The application deadline is Feb. 1. An interview with the program director is required prior to a decision of admission. Decisions will be made individually as an application becomes complete. Final decisions will be made by the program director, with input from the medical director and the Perfusion Advisory Council, an organization made up of one certified clinical perfusionist (clinical instructor or department chief) from each of the hospitals that has a clinical affiliation agreement with Quinnipiac.

Interested candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or Canada. 

Applicants must have the following course prerequisites:

  • two semesters of basic biology (or equivalent)
  • two semesters of anatomy and physiology
  • two semesters of general chemistry
  • one semester of physics
  • one semester of microbiology
  • one semester of college algebra or calculus
  • certification in Basic Life Support from the American Heart Association

Scores for the tests of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required if the applicant is from a non-English speaking country.

Applicants to the program should have a strong background in the health sciences, and be able to work for long periods under intense conditions. Individuals already working in the fields of nursing, respiratory care, physician assistant, physical therapy, paramedical and biomedical engineering are ideally suited for admission into the program.

Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0, and at least two years of experience working in a health care field involving patient care.

Applications can be obtained from the Office of Graduate Admissions. Applicants should refer to the graduate admission requirements found in this catalog.

A detailed autobiography of personal, professional and educational achievements, and three letters of recommendation must accompany the student’s application. All applications, transcripts, reference letters and supporting materials must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Admission to the program is competitive. Personal interviews, required for admission, are offered to the most qualified candidates.

Curriculum + Requirements

Our cardiovascular perfusion program offers students well-rounded didactic, laboratory and clinical experience in the perfusion area. The clinical phase of the program runs for three consecutive semesters. Students rotate through a variety of clinical sites to assure adequate exposure to a variety of equipment and procedures.

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 an overall GPA of 2.67 in each of the two didactic semesters (Fall I and Spring I) will result in automatic dismissal from the program.

First Year (college-based didactic course work)

Fall Semester I
Course Title Credits
PR 500 Theoretical Foundations of Cardiovascular Perfusion 2
PR 502 Systems Anatomy and Physiology I 3
PA 535 Disease Mechanisms 4
PR 508 Extracorporeal Circuitry and Laboratory I 1
PR 516 Physiologic Monitoring 4
Total 14


Spring Semester I
Course Title Credits
PR 503 Systems Anatomy and Physiology II 3
PR 506 Pharmacological Intervention 4
PR 509 Extracorporeal Circuitry and Laboratory II 1
PR 510 Surgical Techniques 2
PR 512 Pediatric Perfusion 4
Total 14

Second Year (hospital-based clinical training session)

Summer Session
Course Title Credits
PR 514 Special Topics in Cardiovascular Perfusion 2
PR 600 Cardiovascular Perfusion Practicum I 5
Total 7


Fall Semester II
Course Title Credits
PR 520 Research Methods in Cardiovascular Perfusion 2
PR 602 Cardiovascular Perfusion Practicum II 5
Total 7


Spring Semester II
Course Title Credits
PR 522 Research Methods in Cardiovascular Perfusion II 2
PR 604 Cardiovascular Perfusion Practicum III 5
Total 5