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KU Respiratory Care

Respiratory therapists, also known as respiratory care practitioners, address breathing and other cardiopulmonary disorders. Working in exciting and dynamic environments, these highly skilled professionals are integral in emergency rooms, clinics, sleep labs, hospitals, home care, research, leadership, management, and other areas of health care.

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care

This program prepares entry-level respiratory therapists for employment in health care. Most students enter this program after completion of their sophomore year of undergraduate study or after two years at a community college. With an advanced curriculum and located at an academic health center, students receive extensive experience in advanced respiratory therapy techniques. Learn more

Bachelor's Degree Advancement Program

For working professionals with an associate degree, KU also offers a flexible online program to acquire the bachelor's degree in respiratory care. Please note: this program is available only to those with professional experience as a respiratory therapist and possessing current RRT credential. Learn more

Did you know?

Employment positions needing respiratory therapists is expected to grow by 21 percent this decade – much faster than the average for all occupations.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Graduates of KU’s respiratory care bachelor's degree 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 CRT examination is required for licensure in the state of Kansas.


The mission of the KU respiratory care program is to educate students to become leaders in clinical practice, teaching, and research in order to make a positive impact on the advancement of the profession.

The department strives to achieve this goal through excellence in the following areas:

  • Providing the highest quality education possible in respiratory therapy,

  • Mentoring students during experiences on faculty research projects, and

  • Remaining active in community outreach efforts and serving in leadership positions with national professional organizations.

Last modified: Jun 23, 2021

For respiratory therapists currently working in health care, take a look at KU's online bachelor's degree advancement 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 April 1. Please contact the department for details.