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Eligibility and Requirements

Most students planning to attend KU's Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care program enter as a college junior after completing the first 2 years of prerequisites on the KU Lawrence campus or at another accredited college or university. In order to complete prerequisites and recommended electives, interested students should contact an academic advisor for assistance in course selection.

Two students working on a mannequin in the lab.To be considered for admission into this program, the following are required:

  1. Prerequisite Courses
    Prior to entering the program students must complete two (2) years of undergraduate college course work including all prerequisite courses.
    Transfer students Note: To be transferable, prerequisite course work must be from an educational institution that is regionally accredited. This is not the same as national accreditation. More information.

  2. Grade Point Average
    An overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) for college course work is required to be eligible to apply. In addition, student transcripts must document an individual course grade of no less than "C" on each prerequisite course.

  3. Observation Experience
    Students will "shadow" a respiratory therapist in a professional health care environment to get an idea of what the profession is like.
    Ask for permission and then make arrangements to spend at least two hours with this professional during clinical duties. This requirement may be fulfilled after applying to the program, but must the form must be received before a decision will be made to accept the student. Lawrence Memorial Hospital is a great option for students in Lawrence.

  4. Technical Standards
    All individuals admitted to the program will be asked to verify that they can meet the technical standards with or without accommodation(s). Applicants who disclose a disability are considered for admission if they are otherwise qualified.

  5. Background Check
    The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) requires all incoming students to pay for a background check. This one-time fee must be paid directly to the company performing the background investigation. You will be asked to provide information and make the payment once you have been officially accepted into the program. For more information, please see the School of Health Professions background check instructions.

  6. International Students
    An applicant is considered an international student if he or she requires a visa, or currently resides in the U.S. with non-immigrant status, or currently resides in the U.S. as a permanent resident. Additional requirements and documentation are required for international students to become eligible for KU programs. Please review the information for international students before applying.

English Language Requirements

All students in respiratory care are required to have a strong command of the English language to ensure a successful experience in the program, to be properly prepared for employment after graduation, and also to ensure patient safety. Students must meet the communication component of the technical standards in order to effectively communicate critical information to other health professionals and to the patient.

Special language requirements apply to any student who does not possess English as his/her native language, or who has not earned a baccalaureate degree (or higher) from an institution in one of the following countries – United States, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or English-speaking provinces in Canada.

Please note: Applicants whose first language is not English but who have become U.S. citizens and do not hold degrees from one of the countries indicated above, must also verify English language competence. To verify strong command of the English language is met, official exam results from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) must have been obtained within the two years prior to application. These scores will help determine if a student will need specific and concentrated oral language training with a medical focus.

All applicants will be required to complete TOEFL or IELTS with the minimum scores as listed below.

  • Internet-based TOEFL minimum requirements: A minimum TOEFL score of 80 on the Internet-based TOEFL or 550 on the old paper exam and a minimum of 20 in each section of the new paper exam.
  • IELTS minimum requirements: A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 on the academic test.
  • For application cycle deadline of February 2020: Official documentation means that your test scores must be sent directly from the administering agency to KU Medical Center. ETS school code for KUMC: 6895. Failure to submit official documentation will delay the admission process.

NOTE: The standardized English language test will not be a requirement for admission to the program for anyone admitted to KU Lawrence Fall 2017 or prior with the respiratory care application cycle deadline of February 2019 or prior. For applications admitted to KU Lawrence prior to this cycle, the TOEFL or IELTS is only a requirement after admission into the program. A TOEFL or IELTS score that does not meet the minimum score requirements will be an indicator that there is a need for further English language training with a medical focus. For such students, while the tests scores will not be an admission criterion, they will be required to engage in additional English language support in order to continue in the program.

Related Resources

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University's programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785) 864-6414, 711 TTY.

Last modified: Sep 07, 2018

Prospective Students
The priority deadline to apply to this program is February 1.

Applications may be accepted after the deadline based on space available in the next class.

Learn about the program:
Program overview
Eligibility and requirements
Tuition and fees
KU Core Courses PDF document
Clinical Affiliates
How to apply
Frequently asked questions

Explore the opportunities in this program: Connect with an advisor today!

Karen Schell

Karen Schell, D.H. Sc, RRT-NPS
913-588-4633 (TTY 711)

For advising on the KU Lawrence campus, please contact Robin Merritt at the KU Undergraduate Advising Center or visit third floor Summerfield Hall.