Department Detail

Respiratory Therapy

The Respiratory Therapy Program has two admission tracks:

The Four-year Base Program (B.S.R.T.)

Respiratory Therapy is an allied health specialty that concentrates on the treatment, management, control and care of patients’ breathing.  A respiratory therapist is an integral part of the health care team that uses their didactic and clinical practice to evaluate treatments, therapeutics, medications and ventilation for the best outcomes for patients. The B.S.R.T. program prepares students to enter the workforce as registered respiratory therapists.

The Degree Advancement Program (R.R.T. to B.S.R.T)

The R.R.T. to B.S.R.T .Degree Advancement Program (DAP) offers a relevant and challenging program that will impact graduates and the patients whom they treat. Degree advancement students earn a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy. The degree is earned completely online without having to relocate. Students network with other practicing professionals. Successful graduates will have the skills needed to advance in their field.

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Requirements for All Respiratory Therapy Students

The following must be completed after a student has been selected for, but prior to their start in the clinical portion of the program and are also requirements for continuation:

  • Physical examination and required immunizations
  • Background checks (Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance, FBI fingerprint check, and PA State Police Criminal Record Check)
  • Drug and alcohol screens

The student should consider these factors before enrolling in this program. If the student has any questions regarding this, he or she should contact the program director.

In addition to tuition and fees, students must purchase uniforms, supplies, liability insurance, testing, and clinical parking fees. Students will be assigned computer simulations that will be completed throughout the program. This will prepare students to sit for the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) exams when they have graduated.

Students will also be required to help within the community and gain knowledge outside of the classroom setting by acquiring Professional Development credits. These outside credits could include volunteering at American Lung Association events, attending informational sessions within the community that teach different types of cardio pulmonary disorders and diseases

Program Overview and Requirements, B.S.R.T.

Selective Program

Entry into this program is not guaranteed with admission to the University; this is a selective admission program, and specific admissions criteria must be met.

Admission Criteria Pre-Respiratory

  • Please see Admissions to Marywood University
  • Admission Criteria Clinical Program:
  • Must have a 2.5 grade point average.
  • Must pass their pre respiratoryt courses with a C or higher
  • Must show immunity to certain diseases. 
  • Must complete Child Abuse clearance and criminal background check annually 
  • Must have current American Heart Association BLS (basic life support)
  • Meet with the program director
  • Meet essential qualifications

Applications for the clinical portion of the program will begin in the fall semester of their sophomore year. 

Students will be responsible for course fees as well as additional fees during the course of the program.  These fees will include but are not limited to; membership in American Association of Respiratory Care, exam fees, digital time and record keeping software license, regional conference fee, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Basic Life Support (BLS) courses.

Recommended Curriculum

Freshman Fall
ENGL 160 Writing Skills 3
CHEM 121 General Chemistry 3
CHEM 121L General Chemistry Lab 1
RESP 100 Introduction to Respiratory Care 2
PHIL 113 Introduction to Philosophy 3
LANG Language Elective 3
Freshman Spring
SOC 211 Introduction to Sociology 3
PSYC 211 General Psychology 3
RESP 110 Physics of Respiratory Therapy 2
LANG Language Elective 3
RST 112 Modern Belief 3
Elective Elective Course minimum 1
Sophomore Fall
ENGL 180 World Literature 3
HIST Global History 3
PHIL Philosophy Elective 3
COMM 101 Dynamics of Speech Communication 2
FA Fine Arts Elective 3
Respiratory Clinical Applications
Sophomore Spring
RESP 200 Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology 3
RESP 210  Acid Base Physiology 1
RESP 220 Legal and Ethical Issues in Respiratory Care 2
RESP 225 Hospital Orientation Lecture 2
RESP 225L Hospital Orientation Lab 1
ND 465 Research in Nutrition and Dietetics 3
RST Religious Studies Elective (200 level) 3
Junior Fall
RESP 300 Oxygen Administration Lecture 3
RESP 300L Oxygen Administration Lab 1
RESP 305 Clinical Practice I 2
RESP 310 Patient Assessment 3
RESP 320 Disease States 3
RESP 330 Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology 3
Junior Spring
HIST History Elective 3
RESP 340 Respiratory Therapeutics Lecture 3
RESP 340L Respiratory Therapeutics Lab 1
RESP 345  Clinical Practice II 2
RESP 350 Leadership & Management in Healthcare 3
MATH 155 Statistics for Behavioral Sciences 3
Senior Fall
RESP 400 Cardiopulmonary Laboratory Studies 3
RESP 400L Cardiopulmonary Laboratory Studies Lab 1
RESP 410 Educational Principles in Healthcare 3
RESP 420 Critical Care Lecture 5
RESP 420 Critical Care Lab 2
RESP 425 Clinical Practice II 2
Senior Spring
ENGL English Elective (300 Level) 3
RESP 430  Neonatal Pediatrics Lecture 4
RESP 430L Neonatal Pediatrics Lab 2
RESP 435 Clinical Practice IV 3
RESP 440 Respiratory Capstone 3
DEAN 073 CHHS UG Degree Candidacy (graduation eligibility) 0

Program Overview and Requirements, R.R.T. to B.S.R.T.

Flexible Scheduling

The B.S. degree completion program is completely online to allow working therapists to earn their bachelor’s degree while continuing in their careers.

Curriculum Overview

There are 30 required credits in the AS RRT – BSRT Curriculum. Students will earn the academic credentials required to pursue a graduate degree and expand their opportunities for professional development. Program coursework focuses on written and oral communication, patient advocacy, ethics, quality improvement, leadership and management, teaching in health care, critically reviewing studies, advanced respiratory care modalities and topics, and an inter-professional capstone.  (Those students with a differing degree from AS will work with an Academic Advisor to complete additional coursework to fulfill requirements.)

Program Outcomes

The goal of the RRT to BS degree program is to provide professional respiratory therapists with additional knowledge and skills in order to meet current professional standards and goals.

Admission Requirements: Students must possess their initial credential as a respiratory therapist and an associate level degree. 

Two Tracks of Completion

Track A Elective: Language Track

Three courses in Language from the following:

  •             SPAN102
  •             SPAN 212
  •             SPAN 211
  •             SPAN 307
  •             SPAN  111

Track B Elective: Philosophy and Religious Studies 

Three courses in Philosophy and Religious Studies from the following:

  •             PHIL 113         R ST 112
  •             PHIL 312         R ST 213
  •             PHIL 315

Curriculum Sequence

SemesterCourse #Course NameCredits
Summer RESP 350 Leadership and Management in Healthcare 3
Fall  RESP 410 Educational Principles in Healthcare 3
Fall Track Elective 1 3
Spring RSCH Quantitative Research 3
Spring  Track Elective 2 3
Summer RESP 320 Disease Management 3
Summer  Track Elective 3 3
Summer RESP 360 Advanced Concepts 3
Fall RESP 405 Specialty Clinical Observation 3
Fall RESP 440 Respiratory Capstone 3
Transfer Credits AwardedNumber of Credits (max)
AAS Degree Completed 62
AS Degree Completed 70
Additional Credits Awarded 20
Successful Completion of RRT Credential Examination

Students must show successful completion of RRT credential in order to graduate from this program.

More explanation will be given once a student is accepted into the program.

Career Opportunities

Graduates find employment as respiratory therapists in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, home healthcare companies, and as pharmaceutical sales representatives. The Respiratory Therapist program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) [See]. Continuation in this program requires that the student receive a grade of C or higher in each course pursued.

Competency Profile

  • Demonstrate proficiency as respiratory therapists as described by the National Board for Respiratory Care
  • Assist physicians in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of patients afflicted with cardiopulmonary disorders
  • Function effectively as members of the healthcare team
  • Comprehend, apply, and evaluate clinical information relevant to their role as registered respiratory therapists. (Cognitive Domain)
  • Demonstrate technical proficiency in all registered respiratory therapist skills. (Psychomotor Domain)
  • Demonstrate personal behaviors consistent with professional and employer expectations for the registered respiratory therapist. (Affective Domain)

Acquiring Core Skills

In addition to the clinical skills that students will learn as part of their curriculum, the Respiratory Therapy Program incorporates core skills training into the program that will benefit all Respiratory Therapy students in their careers.

Writing in the Profession

Students will demonstrate the ability to write effectively in the profession. Elements include the ability to organize an argument, support the argument with high quality relevant evidence, deliver it with good sentence structure and grammar, and cite and reference appropriately.

Oral Communication/Consultative Function/Knowledge

Students will deliver a consultative presentation with recommendations that reflect the knowledge gained through courses in this program.

Critical Inquiry/Evidence-based Medicine

Students will demonstrate the ability to formulate a clinical question, search the medical literature, and assess the collected literature for quality, relevance and limitations.

Teamwork/Interprofessional Cooperation

Students will demonstrate collaboration in interprofessional teams to accomplish a common goal.

Ethical Leadership

Students will demonstrate effectively the ability to lead a group of professionals in an ethical manner promoting patient advocacy.

Teaching Patients and Healthcare Professionals

Students will demonstrate the ability to educate patients, their families, and healthcare professionals.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements include current Certification in American Heart Association BLS (CPR), American Heart Association Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification, American Heart Association Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification, professional development credits, and satisfactory performance on comprehensive written, laboratory, simulation, and oral exit examinations.

Membership in the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) is required by the start of the second semester of the clinical portion of Respiratory Therapist program.

Respiratory Therapy Website