Entry Level Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion

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About the Program

The Cardiovascular Perfusion Program prepares its graduates to work as Certified Clinical Perfusionists (CCP) in a variety of health care settings where cardiopulmonary 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 all aspects of intraoperative blood conservation and management.

As a graduate of MUSC’s CVP program, you’ll become a highly-trained member of an open heart surgery team. Extensive knowledge of anatomy, pharmacology, pathology, and surgical techniques are keys to success. Perfusionists often specialize in areas of pediatric perfusion or ventricular assist devices and the MUSC Perfusion Program provides extensive experience in both of these 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 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 experience at numerous nationally recognized cardiac surgical programs that serve as MUSC clinical affiliation sites.

Program Effectiveness Data

Five- year average ABCP Basic Science first time pass rates = 99%
Five- year average ABCP Clinical Application Exam first time pass rates = 97.1%
Five-year average ABCP credentialing examination pass rate = 100%
Five-year average job placement within 12 months of graduation = 100%

The Medical University of South Carolina Cardiovascular Perfusion Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Whereas accreditation applies to educational programs, licensure and certification applies to individuals. Our program prepares students for and makes them eligible to take the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP) certification exam, which is recognized nationally.  Information about the ABCP certification exam can be found on the ABCP website.  

In addition, some states have a licensing process, which usually includes a requirement for ABCP certification.