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KU offers a bachelor's degree in respiratory care with the option to specialize in pulmonary rehabilitation, neonatology, adult critical care, management, education, sleep disorders, cardiopulmonary diagnostics, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Learn more: What is a respiratory therapist?

These essential health care workers evaluate and treat patients of all ages for a wide range of breathing disorders. Learn more in the short video above.

See the Student Experience!

A Career in High Demand

Most students enter this program after completion of their sophmore year of undergraduate study or after finishing two years of community college course work.

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.

With an advanced curriculum and located at an academic medical center, students receive extensive experience in advanced respiratory therapy techniques. The program includes a semester-long clinical assignment during the senior year in the student's area of specialization.

photo of students standing next to recruitment display table.

  • Current KU students in biology and pre-pharmacy and other majors have a great opportunity to enter respiratory care due to existing undergraduate prerequisites overlapping admission requirements for the program.

  • At KU Medical Center, students learn from a broad range of health care problems in an urban setting. The dynamic approach to health care will build a solid foundation for students to be well prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation. Students also have the opportunity to perform clinic rotations with affiliate hospitals in the Kansas City Metro Area to enrich their skills and understanding of respiratory care.

  • The highly regarded KU faculty possess diverse backgrounds of experience in academia, clinics, hospitals, and management and are dedicated to providing necessary knowledge and skills for students to succeed in today’s health care landscape.

two students in blue scrubs seated next to the plants and water display outsideCurrent KU students should add the pre-respiratory care interest code to their file. This does not affect the designated major. Most KU students begin college study in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. During your first semester, contact a respiratory care adviser to plan course work so prerequisites will be met on time.

It is recommended that students apply to the respiratory care program while completing the prerequisites so advising can be provided along the way.

Transfer students from other institutions should contact an advisor as soon as possible, as specific rules apply to how course work may transfer for credit toward a bachelor's degree at KU. A maximum of 64 credit hours may be transferred to the program from another academic institution. Note: To be transferable, prerequisite course work must be from an educational institution that is regionally accredited. This is not the same as national accreditation. More information.

Graduates of KU's bachelor's degree program in respiratory care are eligible to take the national registration examination which provides eligibity for licensure in this field in all U.S. states. Licensing for employment in the state of Kansas is provided by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts. The National Board for Respiratory Care provides information on specific state licensure requirements.

Last modified: Jan 29, 2021

Prospective Students

Applications are still open for the class beginning fall 2021.

The deadline for priority status was February 1. However, applications may be accepted after that date based on space available in the next class.

Learn about the program

Program overview
Eligibility and requirements
Tuition and fees
KU Core Courses PDF document
Clinical Affiliates
How to apply
Frequently asked questions

Explore the opportunities in this program: Connect with an advisor today!

Karen Schell

Karen Schell, D.H. Sc, RRT-NPS
913-588-4633 (TTY 711)

Students currently enrolled on the KU Lawrence campus may also contact the KU Undergraduate Advising Center.