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Eligibility and Requirements

Most students planning to attend KU's bachelor's degree program in respiratory care enter as a college junior after completing the first two years of prerequisites on the KU Lawrence campus or at another accredited college or university.

To ensure prerequisites, electives, and other eligibility is met, students interested in this program should contact an academic advisor as soon as possible.

Two students working on a mannequin in the lab.

To be considered for admission into this program, the items detailed below are required. Students in this program are required to have a computer that meets the minimum software and hardware requirements.

Prerequisite Courses

Prior to entering the program students must complete two (2) years of undergraduate college course work including all prerequisite courses.

Transfer students: to be transferable to KU, course work must be from an educational institution that is regionally accredited. This is not the same as national accreditation. More information.

Grade Point Average

An overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) for college course work is required to be eligible to apply. In addition, student transcripts must document an individual course grade of no less than "C" on each prerequisite course.

Observation Experience

Students will "shadow" a respiratory therapist in a professional health care environment to get an idea of what the profession is like.
Ask for permission and then make arrangements to spend at least two hours with this professional during clinical duties. This requirement may be fulfilled after applying to the program, but documentation must be received before a decision will be made to accept the student. LMH Health is a great option for students in Lawrence, Kansas.

Technical Standards

All individuals admitted to the program will be asked to verify that they can meet the technical standards with or without accommodation(s). Applicants who disclose a disability are considered for admission if otherwise qualified.

Background Check

The Joint Commission requires all incoming students to submit and provide a new background check report to KU. This one-time fee must be paid by the student directly to the company performing the background investigation.

Students will be asked to provide information and make the payment after official acceptance into the program. For more information, please see the School of Health Professions background check instructions. In addition, drug screening may be required to participate at clinical training sites.

International Students

An applicant is considered an international student if they require a visa, currently reside in the U.S. with non-immigrant status, or currently reside in the U.S. as a permanent resident. Additional requirements and documentation are required for international students to become eligible for KU programs. Please review the information for international students before applying.

English Language Proficiency: all students in respiratory care are required to have strong command of the English language to ensure a successful experience in the program, to be properly prepared for employment after graduation, and also to ensure patient safety. Students must meet the communication component of the technical standards in order to effectively communicate critical information to other health professionals and to the patient.

Special language requirements apply to any student whose native language is not English or who has not earned a baccalaureate degree (or higher) from an institution in one of the following countries: United States, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or English-speaking provinces in Canada.

Applicants whose first language is not English but who have become U.S. citizens and do not hold degrees from one of the countries indicated above, must also verify English language competence. To verify strong command of the English language, official exam results from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) must be obtained within two years prior to application. These scores will help determine if a student will need additional language training with a health care focus.

Applicants required to complete the TOEFL or IELTS must earn the minimum scores listed below:

  • Internet-based TOEFL minimum requirements: a minimum TOEFL score of 80 on the Internet-based TOEFL or 550 on the old paper exam and a minimum of 20 in each section of the new paper exam.
  • IELTS minimum requirements: a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 on the academic test.
  • For application cycle deadline of February 2020: official documentation means test scores must be sent directly from the administering agency to KU Medical Center using ETS school code 6895. Failure to submit official documentation will delay the admission process.

NOTE: The standardized test of English language is a requirement for students admitted to KU-Lawrence campus in fall 2018 or later.

A TOEFL or IELTS score that does not meet the minimum score requirements will be an indicator that there is a need for further English language training with a health care focus. While the tests scores will not be an admission criterion, students will be required to engage in additional English language support to participate in the program.

Additional Resources

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University's programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785) 864-6414, 711 TTY.

Last modified: Jun 29, 2020

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.