The respiratory care (RC) program curriculum builds upon a strong foundation of general education science courses. Courses taken within the program are essential to the student’s ability apply scientific theory to the application of respiratory care interventions. The degree requirements include successful completion of 122 credit hours of course work.

  • A complete listing of the courses and course descriptions required for the degree are listed in the catalog. For quick access select the following link: Catalog.
  • Students are encouraged to follow a specific curriculum plan to ensure progressive learning throughout the degree. Specific courses are required to be completed in sequential order to enhance the student’s learning and success within the program. A complete listing of course requirements for RC program can be reviewed by selecting the following link: RC Sample Degree Plan.


The respiratory care course experience is designed to prepare students to develop the knowledge and skills needed to perform the responsibilities of an entry-level respiratory therapist. Students enrolled in RC courses will experience a variety of learning opportunities through course work and clinical experiences. 

Students are required to complete five trimesters of course and clinical course work.  

Course Work:

  • Small group learning, instructor-led learning, Power Point presentations, simulation-based learning, and hands-on experience with many types of respiratory care equipment.
  • Classroom courses are typically scheduled for two days a week.
  • Hands-on laboratory courses are typically one day a week.

Clinical Experience:

  • Clinical practicum courses are designed to provide students with experiences consistent with actual respiratory care procedures.
  • Students will perform clinical in a variety of health care settings, to include: critical care units, diagnostic laboratories, operating rooms, and home care.
  • Students are responsible for transportation to assigned clinical sites

Professional Credentials

Students successfully completing all degree requirements will receive a bachelor of health sciences (BHS) with a major in respiratory care. Upon successful completion of degree requirements, students can become candidates to receive credentials as a registered respiratory therapist (RRT) or a certified respiratory therapist (CRT) as awarded by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). Additional requirements for licensure may be required by the state in which you practice.

RRT or CRT credentials may be awarded upon successful completion of two national board examinations. To be awarded the credential, candidates must satisfy the requirements of:

  • RRT Credential
    • To earn the RRT credential, candidates must achieve the high cut score on the Therapist Multiple-choice Examination (TMC) Examination and successfully complete the Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE).       
  • CRT Credential
    • To earn the CRT credential, candidates must achieve the low cut score on the TMC Examination or satisfy the high cut score on the TMC only.

Respiratory therapists can also be awarded specialty credentials, beyond the RRT credential. After successful completion of the specific examination requirements, RRTs can receive the following credentials, as applicable the examination:

  • Adult Critical Care Specialist (ACCS)
  • Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist (RPFT)
  • Neonatal-Pediatric Respiratory Care Specialist (NPS)
  • Sleep Disorders Testing and Therapeutic Intervention Respiratory Care Specialist (SDS)