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Earn KU's bachelor's degree in respiratory care over two years, or five academic semesters.

In KU's bachelor's degree in respiratory care program, you will complete 60 hours of course credits in just more than two years. Prior to entry into the program, you must have two years of undergraduate coursework — at least 43 credit hours of prerequisites and 17 elective hours.

  • A KU bachelor’s degree requires at least 120 total credit hours.
  • Must be enrolled as a full-time student.
  • All 60 credit hours of the two-year program are taken on-campus.
  • For students entering KU as freshmen: most KU Core requirements must be met by the prerequisites. KU students may fulfill KU Core goals 1.1, 5 and 6 through courses taken during the respiratory care program.

Students may transfer a maximum 64 credit hours from another institution to KU. To graduate from KU, 45 credits must be from junior/senior-level coursework. Transfer credits must come from an educational institution that is regionally accredited. This is not the same as national accreditation. You are responsible for completing additional electives to fulfill the university's requirement of 120 total credit hours for a bachelor's degree from KU.

Students cannot transfer previous respiratory courses to the on-campus program. Those who have completed a single combined anatomy and physiology course will need to complete either a second, higher-level anatomy and physiology course or take a separate course in physiology.

Bachelor's Degree of Respiratory Therapy Coursework

Year One
Fall Semester Spring Semester Summer

RESP 300 Introduction to Respiratory Care Procedures (4 credits)

RESP 302 Respiratory Care Evidence-Based Practice II (1 credit)

RESP 330 Pulmonary Function (2 credits)

RESP 301 Respiratory Care Evidence-Based Practice I (1 credit)

RESP 325 Mechanical Ventilators (3 credits)

RESP 340 Respiratory Review I (2 credits)

RESP 305 Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology (2 credits)

RESP 326 Mechanical Ventilation Lab (2 credits)

RESP 345 Clinical Application III (3 credits)

RESP 306 Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology (2 credits)

RESP 335 Clinical Application II (4 credits)

RESP 310 Clinical Pharmacology (2 credits)

RESP 620 Community and Global Health (3 credits)

RESP 315 Clinical Application I (3 credits)

Total: 14 credit hours

Total: 13 credit hours

Total: 7 credit hours

Year Two
Fall Semester Spring Semester  

RESP 410 Neonatal Respiratory Care (3 credits)

RESP 405 Advanced Critical Care (4 credits)

RESP 411 Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care Lab (2 credits)

RESP 420 Health Care Management, Ethics and Law (2 credits)

RESP 415 Clinical Application IV (4 credits)

RESP 610 Scientific Investigation Part II (1 credit)

RESP 440 Health Care Leadership and Management (3 credits)

RESP 615 Registry Review (2 credits)

RESP 605 Scientific Investigation Part I (1 credit)

RESP 625 Clinical Application V (4 credits)

Total: 13 credit hours

Total: 13 credit hours

Two-year program total: 60 credit hours

** These schedules are provided for reference only. For complete, current information about courses and requirements in our respiratory care bachelor's degree program, please visit the Academic Catalog.

Clinical Experience

At KU, on-the-job experience is an integral part of the curriculum. You'll begin clinical rotations during the second semester of the program. Clinical rotations provide exposure to patient care and experience in performing respiratory care procedures.

Professional Credentialing

When you graduate from an accredited program, you're eligible to take a two-part exam with the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). A passing score on the Therapist Multiple-Choice (TMC) examination allows you to take the clinical simulation examination.

Passing this two-part examination bestows upon you the registered respiratory therapist (RRT) credential. Upon receiving, you're eligible to take other credentialing specialty examinations such as neonatal/pediatric, pulmonary function, asthma, pulmonary rehabilitation and critical care.


Upon obtaining an NBRC credential, graduates can apply for licensure in the states of Kansas and Missouri. For those wishing to obtain licensure in other states, please refer to the State licensing board.

Advising and Questions

photo of Alex LopezWe're here to answer questions and provide assistance as you explore the field of respiratory care! It is very important to contact us for advising as early as possible in your college career.

High school students, counselors and those in their early years of college study may contact Alex Lopez, our school's outreach and recruitment specialist, with questions at or 913-588-1743 (711 TTY).

photo of Larry SteinIf you're interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree in respiratory care at KU, please complete the program advising worksheet and then contact Lawrence Stein, M.S., RRT, clinical assistant professor and on-campus program coordinator, to schedule an advising session.

Vaccines and Clinical Site Requirements

The University of Kansas Medical Center requires various immunizations for its students. For a detailed list please visit the student health forms webpage or speak with Student Health Services. These immunization requirements help promote health and safety and facilitate clinical placement.

Many, if not all, clinical sites who partner with the University of Kansas Medical Center require proof of these vaccines for students engaged in training or other programmatic experiences at clinical sites. Not being vaccinated may preclude students from participating in activities, potentially impeding their ability to complete all program requirements for degree completion. Applicants with questions should speak with a representative from the academic program to which they intend to apply.

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