Two students work with equipment in the lab; a skull teaching model in the foregroundA group of graduates and faculty in black robes at graduationTwo students work with respiratory therapy equipmentFour female students stand next to their research poster

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. These essential health care workers evaluate and treat patients of all ages for a wide range of breathing disorders.

A professional license is required to provide clinical services in this field. KU's bachelor's degree program prepares graduates to be leading professionals in clinic practice and specialty areas. Two programs are available:

Did you know?

Employment positions needing respiratory therapists is expected to grow by 19 percent this decade – much faster than the average for all occupations.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • 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

Graduates of KU’s Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care 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.

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. Follow this link directly to the Programmatic Outcomes Data page:

Last modified: Nov 23, 2015

KU celebrated its 35th year of presenting undergraduate degrees in respiratory care. The event on Sept. 25 followed a positive site review by the Council of Accreditation for Respiratory Care. View photos

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

Karen Schell photo

KU alumnus brings respiratory care to Ghana. Read story

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