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Respiratory Care (B.S.)

B.S., Respiratory Care

College of Health and Human Services

What You’ll Do

From a tiny, premature baby struggling for each breath to an elderly patient with the same struggle due to lung disease, respiratory therapists have the expertise to help. As a Respiratory Care major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, you will spend two years on the IUP campus and two years at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Respiratory Care in Pittsburgh as you study for this rewarding profession.

At IUP, you’ll take 61 credits covering chemistry, biology, physics, math, and the Liberal Studies classes needed for your degree. You’ll need to meet minimum grade requirements to enter the second, clinical phase of the degree. IUP does not guarantee admission to the highly competitive clinical phase.

During the two-year clinical program, you’ll gain experience at hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home health care agencies. In addition to West Penn, students have clinical experience at several Pittsburgh medical facilities such as Allegheny General Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and WPH Forbes Regional Campus.

What You’ll Become

The Bachelor of Science degree in Respiratory Care prepares you to evaluate, treat, and care for people with breathing and other cardiopulmonary disorders or to further your studies with graduate school. Those in this field work with a variety of patients, from premature infants with underdeveloped lungs to senior citizens with lung diseases. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for respiratory therapists are expected to increase 21 percent from 2008 to 2018. This promising outlook is based, in part, on the expected increase in the middle-aged and elderly population, according to the report.  Most jobs are in hospitals, but positions are also available in extended care facilities, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, physicians’ offices, sleep laboratories, and companies providing home care services.

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Special Features

  • IUP’s Respiratory Care majors are usually 100 percent employed at graduation. Within three years after graduating, many have advanced to supervisory jobs.
  • Students can choose to live in the Suites on Maple East at IUP, which has a wellness theme and is geared toward students enrolled in Nursing and Allied Health, Food and Nutrition, and Health and Physical Education. One section of the suites building comprises a residential environment supportive of a substance-free lifestyle.
  • The Respiratory Care program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.
  • Graduates of the IUP Respiratory Care program are eligible for the national certification examinations offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care. Successful students can be awarded the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) designation and the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) designation.