During heart surgery, cardiopulmonary perfusionists operate the life support equipment that allows patients to continue to breathe and pump blood throughout their bodies. As the population in the United States continues to age, the demand for cardiopulmonary perfusionists will increase. Individuals who wish to gain the certification from the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion must first graduate from an program approved by the Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Professions (CAAHEP).

Milwaukee School of Engineering

Home to more than 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students, the Milwaukee School of Engineering in a private, nonsectarian institution founded in 1903. In 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked the school ninth among baccalaureate colleges in the Midwestern United States. The university offers a master of science in perfusion program, which boasts a 100 percent job placement rate for its graduates. To receive admissions consideration, students must hold a bachelor's degree in a scientific or engineering-related field, have previous coursework experience in anatomy or physiology and submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) graduate school admission test scores. Those admitted to the program spend two years completing the necessary clinical rotations and course requirements, which include pathophysiology, biological transport, pharmacology, pediatrics and ethics. All students must complete a thesis paper prior to graduation. Approximately 97 percent of all students at the Milwaukee School of Engineering receive financial aid, according to the 2009 Barron's Profiles of American Colleges.

Milwaukee School of Engineering 1025 North Broadway Milwaukee, WI 53202 414-277-7300 msoe.edu

University of Arizona

A public institution, the University of Arizona's suburban campus in Tucson, Arizona, has a combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment of more than 38,000 students. The school received the 102nd-place ranking among all universities in the country from U.S. News and World Report in 2010. The university's master of science program in perfusion combines studies of cardiopulmonary care with medical pharmacology. For admission, students must have a bachelor of science degree and submit GRE scores. The college suggests applicants also possess previous coursework experience in mathematics, biochemistry, chemistry physics and anatomy. The master's program lasts for two years with courses covering pharmacology, systems physiology, biostatistics, scientific writing and ethics. Students complete a master's thesis and ten clinical rotations. Federal and state financial aid is available for qualified students.

University of Arizona P.O. Box 210066 Tucson, AZ 85721 520-621-3237 arizona.edu

Cooper University Hospital

Located in Camden, New Jersey, Cooper University Hospital serves as the teaching hospital for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The hospital's School of Cardiovascular Perfusion offers a post-baccalaureate certificate in the field. Admissions requirements include passing a physical examination, holding a bachelor's degree and submitting proof of previous coursework in college-level biology, chemistry, physics and math. The college offers both a 21-month full-time program and a part-time program. Among the courses required for graduation are medical ethics, anatomy, pathophysiology, pharmacology, case report studies, journal review and biomedical technology. Clinical rotations occur throughout the program. The school does not participate in financial aid programs.

Cooper University Hospital 3 Cooper Plaza Suite 411 Camden, NJ 08103 856-342-3277 cooperhealth.org