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KU Respiratory Care

Respiratory therapists, also known as respiratory care practitioners, address breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. Working in exciting and dynamic environments, their services are integral in emergency rooms, clinics, sleep labs, hospitals, home care, research, leadership, and management.

  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care: This program prepares entry-level respiratory therapists for clinical employment. Most students enter after completion of his or her sophomore year of undergraduate study or after two years at a community college. With an advanced curriculum and located at an academic medical center, students receive extensive experience in advanced respiratory therapy techniques. Learn more

  • Bachelor's Degree-Completion Program: For working professionals with an associate's degree, KU also offers a flexible online program to acquire the bachelor's degree. Please note: this program is available only to students with professional experience as a respiratory therapist and possessing current RRT credential. Learn more

Did you know?

Employment positions needing respiratory therapists is expected to grow by 21 percent this decade – much faster than the average for all occupations.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Graduates of KU’s respiratory care bachelor's degree program are eligible to sit for the Entry Level Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) Exam and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) exam given by the National Board for Respiratory Care. Passing the Entry-Level CRT Examination is required for licensure in the state of Kansas.

The mission of the KU Department of Respiratory Care Education is to educate students to become leaders in clinical practice, teaching, and research in order to make a positive impact on the advancement of the profession. The department strives to achieve this goal through excellence in the following areas:

  • Providing the highest quality education possible in respiratory therapy,

  • Mentoring students during experiences on faculty research projects, and

  • Remaining active in community outreach efforts and serving in leadership positions with national professional organizations.

Accreditation Statement
CoARC logo: Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory CareThe University of Kansas respiratory care program at KU Medical Center is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (, 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, Texas 76021-4244; (817) 283-2835. Documents relating to accreditation status are available at the department office by request. Information for students.

Outcomes data from the Annual Report of Current Status has been posted on the CoARC website. View the Programmatic Outcomes Data at

Last modified: Mar 16, 2020

Applications are currently being accepted for KU's bachelor's degree program in respiratory care. The curriculum is designed to prepare highly skilled entry-level respiratory therapists.

How to apply

For working respiratory therapists: explore KU's bachelor's degree-completion program

Karen Schell photo

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Scholarships are available for seniors in the respiratory care program. Applications are due April 1. Please contact the department for details.