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Working as a respiratory therapist you'll have the critical skills to address breathing and other cardiopulmonary disorders. Your training will prepare you to care for patients ranging from premature infants to geriatric patients who are facing asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, cardiovascular disorders and trauma.


As a respiratory therapist in the hospital setting, you'll provide care and life support to patients in the emergency room, intensive care units, general hospital areas, the pulmonary diagnostics laboratory, disease and sleep disorder settings and rehabilitation.

Respiratory Therapy Degree Specializations

  • pulmonary rehabilitation
  • neonatology
  • adult critical care
  • management
  • education
  • sleep disorders
  • cardiopulmonary diagnostics
  • hyperbaric oxygen therapy

The employment outlook for respiratory therapists is expected to grow by 21 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Check out your possible career prospects within the respiratory care profession.

Degree Options at KU

Our respiratory care program offers you different options to complete your degree, depending on your situation and schedule:

  • Respiratory Care Bachelor's Degree — Prepare for a career in the fast-growing field of respiratory therapy with a degree from KU. 
  • Respiratory Care Dual Degree — Students enrolled in a community college associate degree respiratory therapy program can simultaneously take up to three classes in KU's respiratory care program. 
  • Respiratory Therapy Degree Advancement — Registered respiratory therapists can complete a bachelor's degree in respiratory care online at KU. 
  • Respiratory Care METC — Through a partnership with the Medical Education Training Center at Fort Sam Houston, KU offers a way to seamlessly shift into the respiratory care online degree completion program. 

Our Mission

We are devoted to educating students to become leaders in clinical practice, teaching and research in order to make a positive impact on the advancement of the profession. We strive to achieve this goal through excellence in the following areas:

  • providing the highest quality education possible in respiratory care,
  • mentoring students during experiences on faculty research projects and
  • remaining active in community outreach efforts and serving in leadership positions with national professional organizations.
KU School of Health Professions

University of Kansas Medical Center
Respiratory Care and Diagnostic Science
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 1013
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-4630 • 711 TTY