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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 over 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.

You can fulfill KU Core goals 1.1, 5 and 6 through courses taken during the last two years of the program.

  • Most KU Core requirements must be met by the prerequisites
  • A KU bachelor’s degree requires at least 120 total credit hours
  • Must be enrolled as a full-time student
  • All 60 hours of the two-year program are taken on-campus
  • Apply by June 30 for the fall semester. Priority deadline is February 1 (applications will be evaluated through June 30).

Current KU Lawrence students: Add the pre-respiratory care interest code to your student file. During your first semester, contact Ashley Barry (, on-campus student coordinator, to plan coursework so prerequisites are met on time. This does not affect the designated major.

Transfer students: Contact Ashley Barry (, on-campus student coordinator, for advising as soon as possible. You can transfer a maximum of 64 credit hours from another institution. 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 405 Advanced Critical Care (4 credits)

RESP 400 Chronic Respiratory Disease Management: The Evolving Role of the Respiratory Therapist (3 credits)

RESP 410 Neonatal Respiratory Care (3 credits)

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

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

RESP 610 Scientific Investigation Part II (1 credit)

RESP 415 Clinical Application IV (4 credits)

RESP 615 Registry Review (2 credits)

RESP 605 Scientific Investigation Part I (1 credit)

RESP 625 Clinical Application V (4 credits)

Total: 14 credit hours

Total: 12 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

Do you have a question about KU's Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care? Are you interested in scheduling a tour? Contact Ashley Barry (, on-campus student coordinator for the respiratory care bachelor's degree program, for academic advising or answers to any of your questions.

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Requirements

The University of Kansas Medical Center, including the University of Kansas School of Health Professions and this academic program, partners with multiple health systems and health care providers to provide clinical and programmatic experiences for its students. Many of our clinical partners are currently requiring all students to have received the COVID-19 vaccine before their on-site experiences and training may begin. As a result, unvaccinated students could be precluded from participating in these activities, potentially impacting their ability to complete all program requirements. Students with concerns should speak with the clinical coordinator or department chair.

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