Prospective Applicants

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  August 1st, 2024 ***Please note, the application process will be closed from each August 1st to approximately February 1st.***

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The Cardiovascular Perfusion Program at McGovern Medical School is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( upon the recommendation of the Accreditation Committee for Perfusion Education (AC-PE).

The program offers a Certificate in Cardiovascular Perfusion (12-month post-baccalaureate program), satisfying the requirements to sit for the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion exams.

The program is considered workforce training; therefore, any coursework taken in this program is non-credit bearing and cannot be transferred to other institutions for degree seeking purposes.

LICENSURE OUTSIDE TEXAS–Prospective applicants should consult applicable licensing boards for any state in which they may wish to pursue licensure prior to beginning UTHealth’s Cardiovascular Perfusion Program to ensure the UTHealth program meets licensing requirements in that state.  The prospective applicant is responsible for confirming the program meets eligibility requirements for licensure in any state outside the State of Texas.


Admissions Requirements*

  1. Bachelor’s degree (biological sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, or other health-related field preferred) and completion of the required semester credit hours as listed below with a minimum letter grade of C or above. Due to our credentialing process, all Baccalaureate Degree’s must be complete by October 1st of the application year. Proof of completion will be in the form of a final transcript and a copy of the diploma.
  2. Cumulative GPA of at least 3.20 (at the time of application deadline and on the first start day of the program) based on a 4.0 scale.  If a course is repeated (i.e. for a better grade), all grades will be incorporated in the computation.  This method of calculation is adopted to give fair weight to applicants who attempted the course only once.
  3. It is highly recommended that applicants observe at least two clinical cases under the direction of a Certified Clinical Perfusionist prior to formal acceptance into the program. See bottom of this page to learn more about our Observation Opportunity Program.
    ***Updated 3/2024: We strongly recommend observing two cases; however, due to hospital restrictions on our observation program we will be waiving the observation requirements for those applying at this time.***
  4. Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. (International applicants are not being accepted at this time because the program is not currently accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.)
  5. Completed Program Application with fee.
Prerequisite Course(s) Semester Hours
General Biology 9
General Chemistry 8
Human Anatomy & Physiology 6
Cell Physiology or Cell Biology 3
Physics 3
Mathematics (college algebra or higher);
3 hours Statistics highly recommended
  1. General Biology 9hrs: Although any 9hrs of college core biology is required at this time, we recommend upper-level coursework in human-based courses like Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Pathology, and other classes that make you more competitive.  “Introductory” or courses for “non-biology majors” will not be considered. These classes must be “BIOL” coursework.  For example, Microbiology for Allied Health majors will not qualify.
  2. General Chemistry 8hrs: General Chemistry 1 with Lab and General Chemistry 2 with Lab.  “Introductory” or courses for “non-chemistry majors” will not be considered.
  3. Human Anatomy & Physiology 6hrs:  These hours are in addition to the 9hrs of general biology and typically refer to Human Anatomy & Physiology 1 with Lab (4hrs) and Human Anatomy & Physiology 2 with Lab (4hrs).  Although those are the most common, 3hrs of Human Anatomy and 3hrs of Human Physiology are acceptable.  “Introductory” or courses for “non-biology majors” will not be considered.
  4. Cell Biology 3hrs: These also are independent of the 9hrs of general biology coursework.  No substitutions will be allowed for this course.
  5. Physics 3hrs: This generally refers to the algebra-based College Physics 1 and College Physics 2.  Calculus-based University Physics 1 and University Physics 2 will substitute.  Physics 1 is more applicable to the field of Perfusion, but either is acceptable. “Introductory” or courses for “non-physics majors” will not be considered.
  6. Mathematics 6hrs: College Algebra is required at a minimum.  Any class higher than College Algebra, including the recommended math-based Statistics, is acceptable.
  7. If you have any questions regarding specific course qualifications please forward the website link for the course description at the time of your question.


Reference Letters

As an important part of the application process, the training program requires all applicants to identify and ensure the receival of three reference letters. It is strongly recommended for applicants to select individuals who can attest to your academic achievements, work ethic, and/or suitability for the program. Be sure to provide them with all necessary details and deadlines. These letters play a crucial role in our selection process and help us gain a comprehensive understanding of your qualifications and potential.

To submit, please send the following link to each reference:


Observation Opportunity Program (On Hold at this Time)

*** We are not accepting applications for observation.***

The program highly recommends observation(s) of cardiopulmonary bypass procedure(s) and is aware of difficulties in observing cases at many institutions due to HIPAA regulations.   It is in the best interest of the applicant to observe to get a better understanding of the profession. If the applicant is unable to observe, it is highly recommend that you utilize the observation opportunity extended by this program.  The cost of the application and background check is approximately $125. This cost will include 1 observation. Any additional observations will be offered at $50.00/observation.  The observation program will run from the first Monday in February to the first Friday in December.  For more information and application process, please contact Madelyn Orta (


International Education Evaluation Process Requirements

Prospective trainees applying for admission and who have completed coursework outside the United States at a non-American institution must have their foreign transcript go through a process called “Credential Evaluation”.  This Credential Evaluation is completed by organizations accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

This Credential Evaluation is conducted by organizations that are accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). A list of these organizations can be found at

The evaluation will determine if the applicant’s foreign degree is equivalent to the degree that the program requires. The evaluation must list the degree equivalency and include a GPA (grade point average) calculation as well as a course-by-course credit evaluation.


Interview Process

All applicants who meet the admissions requirements will be scheduled for a mandatory formal interview with the Admissions Committee. A second interview might be necessary if you are a finalist. This second interview will be with our Center for Advanced Heart Failure physicians.


Clinical Rotations

As with most perfusion education programs, this program has several long-distance clinical sites where trainees will be required to complete 4-6 week rotations. It is also possible that new affiliate sites will be added during any portion of the training period.  Trainees should plan financially and personally to attend all affiliate sites at some point during training.  These associated costs are in addition to primary tuition and are the responsibility of the trainee.  While this will also be further elaborated on during the interview process, all applicants should commit to this obligation before applying.  Submission of an application will imply your acceptance of these terms.  For a list of these sites, please see the “Clinical Affiliates” tab.


Acceptance Requirements

Acceptance is contingent upon successful completion of outstanding prerequisites (if any), immunization screening (see below), immigration status clearance, Health Care Provider Basic Life Support/CPR certification, clearance of a mandatory criminal background check.


Immunizations and Health Records

All trainees are required to furnish an immunization record. Certain exemptions are allowed from immunization requirements. The following immunizations and screening tests are required for all trainees. UTHealth’s Employee Health Clinic will provide a self-pay option for trainees for various vaccines –

  • Tuberculin Skin Test – Must be done within the past 12 months, even for those who have received the BCG vaccine as a child. If PPD skin test is positive, a chest x-ray documenting no active tuberculosis must be submitted with immunization form;
  • Measles – Two (2) doses of measles vaccine if born after January 1, 1957, administered on or after the first birthday and at least 30 days apart; or lab report of positive rubella titer;
  • Mumps – One dose of mumps vaccine administered on or after the first birthday; or lab report of positive mumps titer.
  • Rubella – One dose of rubella vaccine administered on or after the first birthday; or lab report of positive rubella titer;
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria and Pertussis (TdaP) – One “booster” dose administered within the past 10 years;
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV) – Three-dose series (second dose one month and third dose six months after first dose) or lab report of positive hepatitis surface antibody titer.  Trainee must be vaccinated to most current status possible prior to registering for classes;
  • Full Covid 19 vaccination: Full dosing of the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine;
  • Varicella (chickenpox) –Two-dose series (second dose one month after first dose) or a physician-validated history of the disease or lab report of positive varicella titer and,
  • Seasonal influenza vaccination – Required by Memorial Hermann Hospital
  • 10 Panel Drug Screen

**Important information regarding the Meningococcal Vaccine**

As of Spring 2012, Texas law (Texas Education Code 51.9192) mandates that Texas universities and health science centers require all new and transfer students show proof of vaccination against bacterial meningitis. The law does not apply to new and transfer students who are age 22 or older at the time of enrollment.

The only exceptions permitted by law are for:

  1. Trainees who can provide proof that a health care provider has determined that it would be a health risk for the student to have the vaccine; or,
  2. Trainees who use the Exemption Form issued by the Texas Department of State Health. Obtaining the required form from the Texas Department of Health Services to establish an exemption for reasons of conscience is a time-intensive process that takes approximately a month. If you are anticipating using this exemption then you will need to start this process early.

An online exemption request form can be found on the Texas Department of State Health Services website at


Admissions Demographics

Eight trainees were accepted into the program for 2024. At this time, we have not determined how many will be accepted for 2025.

Incoming Class Average Cumulative GPA

Year GPA
2015 3.16
2016 3.51
2017 3.64
2018 3.73
2019 3.50
2020 3.49
2021 3.47
2022 3.78
2023 3.74
2024 3.56


The Admissions Committee is responsible for recommending individuals from a diverse pool of applicants who have the intellectual ability and motivation for service, making them suitable for the study and practice of cardiovascular perfusion. Motivational factors, life experience, patient care experience, maturity, personality as assessed in personal interviews, and references are all important factors in the selection process. An applicant’s academic record is important and serves as an indicator of ability to succeed in an intensive and rigorous program.

UTHealth endeavors to foster an educational environment and working environment that provides equal opportunity to all members of the university community. To the extent provided by applicable law, no person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under, any program, or activity sponsored or conducted by UTHealth on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, or disability.



For applicants reapplying to the program, a new application and fee will be required, as well as the references.  Only the submission of previously submitted official transcripts will be permissible.  However, any new coursework from the previous application documentation will require you to submit new official transcripts.