Equiping future perfusionists.

View our perfusion school directory, find the top perfusion school in your area and start your journey of saving lives and making a difference.


Perfusion Schools & Education

Perfusion is a hidden gem among in the medical industry, offering incredible career opportunities for those entering the medical field or for anyone considering a career change. If you have a bachelor’s degree in a medical or science field, such as chemistry, biology, or medical technology, we encourage you to consider perfusion school as your next step. With a limited number of perfusion schools across the country and a limited number of perfusionists taking the place of retirees, there is a critical shortage. It is a great time to research perfusion schools and start the journey to a rewarding career. Perfusion school can be completed in as little as one to two years.

Healthcare Faces a Severe Shortage of Perfusionists

Perfusionists are critical members of the OR team who operate the heart-lung machine during the 350,000 heart surgeries performed annually in the United States. They expertly keep the patient’s lungs breathing, the heart pumping, and the blood circulating. But, healthcare faces a serious shortage of skilled perfusionists. And the shortage is getting worse.

A sample of 10 percent of active perfusionists found that nearly 50 percent of perfusionists are over 50 years old, and in 2015 there were almost 30 percent fewer new graduates entering the field than professionals leaving the field. This is why SpecialtyCare supports Thomas Jefferson University’s Institute of Emerging Health Professions Center for Perfusion and Extracorporeal Technology Education, which offers one of the most advanced perfusionist education programs available today. It’s also why, more than ever before, a perfusion career is a smart choice.

Perfusion School Directory

We like to call perfusionists “the heart of the operating room,” as they play a critical role in keeping the patient’s heart and lungs functioning with a heart-lung machine so the surgeon can make necessary repairs. We also like to think of perfusion as a hidden gem of career opportunities as it is not often discussed or well-known in the industry. Unfortunately, there is a critical shortage of perfusionists in this country for two major reasons: A surge of perfusionists in the field are and will be retiring and there aren’t enough entering the industry to replace them.

As the leading provider of perfusion services, SpecialtyCare is taking measures to promote this incredible career opportunity. Perfusion topped the list of “Great Career Paths We’re Not Taking Anymore,” in an article published on, due to its great earning potential and relatively quick entry into the field. Becoming a perfusionist requires a bachelor’s degree in the medical sciences, (such as chemistry, biology, medical technology, etc.) and the completion of a training program. Advanced degrees in perfusion and cardiovascular studies are certainly available for those who’d like to further develop their expertise. SpecialtyCare also offers scholarship opportunities to two students each year.

If you are interested in a rewarding career as a perfusionist, here are the active perfusion education programs in the U.S.

Texas Heart Perfusion Program

Program Director: Terry Crane, BS, CCP
Email: [email protected]

Leading the world of perfusion in education, Texas Heart Institute was the first accredited Perfusion Technology School in the United States. This program is located in Houston, TX and offers a post-baccalaureate 12-month course.

Quinnipiac University Cardiovascular Perfusion Program

Program Director: Michael Smith, PhD, CCP
Email: [email protected]

Located in Hamden, CT, Quinnipiac provides a curriculum centered around perfusion equipment operation and cardiac surgery. The program is one of eight in the nation that offers graduate-level training in perfusion.

University of Iowa Perfusion Technology Program

Program Director: Tom Rath, MPS, CCP
Email: [email protected]

The Perfusion Technology Program housed at the University of Iowa provides intensive academic preparation, laboratory stimulation and clinical education to enrolled students. The curriculum also includes clinical experience through six staff perfusionists working at UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Rush University Perfusion Program

Program Director: Julie Collins, CCP
Email: [email protected]

Rush’s University cardiovascular perfusion master’s degree program produces students for a career as an advanced perfusionist. This twenty-one-month course consists of coursework and clinical fieldwork.

Vanderbilt University

Program Director: Nicole Michaud, MS, CCP
Email: [email protected]

Vanderbilt University ranks 14 in the nation for best universities. This program fosters academic achievement, clinical competency, and professional skills. The program is 10-month period. Learn more

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Program Director: Cliff Ball, BS, CCP
Email: [email protected]

Cleveland Clinic’s Cardiovascular Perfusion Program is an intensive, full-time, 18-month program boasting a rigorous academic and clinical education schedule.

Milwaukee School of Engineering Perfusion Program

Program Director: Ronald Gerrits, PhD
Email: [email protected]

Milwaukee School of Engineering has been educating perfusionists since 1983 and was the first college to offer a master’s degree program in this area in 1993. This full-time program includes significant clinical experience and courses focused on health-sciences, statistics and research study interpretation.

University of Nebraska Perfusion Program

Program Director: David W. Holt, MA, CCT
Email: [email protected]

This masters level program is 21 months in length and is located in Omaha, NE. The first two semesters, phase I, consist of didactic coursework and an introduction to perfusion science, while phase II and III move on to clinical rotations, a research project, and elective courses.

Midwestern University Perfusion Program

Program Director: Ed Evans, MS
Email: [email protected]

Midwestern University, located in Glendale, AZ, offers a Master of Science in Cardiovascular Science, which allows opens the opportunity for graduates to take the certification exam in perfusion. Once certified, the school prepares you to be self-employed or employed by private groups or hospitals and to become involved in patient treatment, quality assurance, research, and/or design. There are endless possibilities with this degree.

Barry University Perfusion Program

Program Director: Cindy Cervantes, BS, CCP
Email: [email protected]

Barry University, located in Miami, Fl, features nationally recognized undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in a variety of healthcare specialties. Barry offers a Bachelor of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion, a rigorous 21-month program.

SUNY Upstate Perfusion Program

Program Director: Bruce Searles, MS, CCP
Email: [email protected]

Located in Syracuse, NY, SUNY Upstate offers a Master of Science in Clinical Perfusion which will produce competent entry-level perfusionists, who will be eligible to apply to take the national certification examinations offered by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion. Grads can also to apply for a license as a perfusionist in all license-issuing states including New York.

University of Arizona Circulatory Sciences Graduate Program

Program Director: Raymond Wong, PhD, CCP
Email: [email protected]

Located in Tuscon, AZ, the University of Arizona offers a Perfusion Sciences Graduate Program.

MUSC Extracorporeal Technology Educational Program

Program Director: Joe Sistino, PhD, CCP
Email: [email protected]

The MUSC Perfusion Program was started in 1979 by James P. Dearing and is considered one of the best programs in the country, boasting high pass rates on the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion Certification Exam, extensive published research by faculty members, and a world-class simulation facility for hands-on training. Students receive clinical training at several highly recognized cardiac surgical centers. Located in beautiful Charleston, SC, this program is 21months.

Thomas Jefferson University

Program Director: Brian Schartz, MS, CCP
Email: [email protected]

Located in Philadelphia, PA, this two-year program prepares students for an entry-level perfusion career. SpecialtyCare supports Thomas Jefferson University’s Institute of Emerging Health Professions Center for Perfusion and Extracorporeal Technology Education, with simulation equipment to help prepare students for the OR.

University of Pittsburgh Perfusion Program

Program Director: Ryan Dzadonyri, MS, CCP
Email: [email protected]

The UPMC Shadyside School of Cardiovascular Perfusion offers a complete and accredited program in cooperation with Carlow University, leading to aMaster of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion degree.

Northshore University Hospital School of Cardiovascular Perfusion

Program Director: Richard Chann, BS, CCP
Email: [email protected]

The Master of Science program in Cardiovascular Perfusion benefits students with the knowledge and expertise of two exceptional education institutions: the Department of Biomedical Sciences at LIU Post in Brookville, N.Y. and the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at North Shore University Hospital (North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health Care System). This is a 24-month program.

Listen to our Perfusion Podcast

Scrubbing In, powered by SpecialtyCare, is a medical podcast about innovation in the OR. In these discussions, we will be speaking to industry leaders in perfusion and those making a positive impact on health care, in the operating room, and in the perfusion industry. This medical podcast is designed to reach all of those within the medical field specifically those in the OR, including; surgeons, nurses, perfusionists, surgical assistants, hospital management, neurophysiologists, supply chain associates, medical researchers, and all those that assist in making surgery safe and successful.


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