Respiratory Care FAQ

How may I learn more about the Respiratory Care program at IUP?

Individual appointments with the Respiratory Care program director, or designate may be made to discuss IUP’s respiratory care major. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the Respiratory Care department at 724-294-3300. In addition, you will find details about curriculum requirements, IUP at Northpointe, and more on the Current and Prospective Students page referencing the program.

When I am a respiratory care major at IUP, how will I know what courses to take and when I am ready to begin the respiratory care courses?

Every semester while at the IUP main campus, each respiratory care student meets individually with their assigned respiratory care advisor. During these meetings, the advisor and student discuss courses in which the student is currently enrolled, plans for subsequent semesters, and the transition to the clinical phase of the Respiratory Care program. The advisor continues to serve the student throughout the time they are taking the respiratory care courses.

What if I need help to succeed in some courses?

IUP has outstanding academic support services such as workshops, one-credit courses, and peer tutors. The Writing Center is another service that helps students succeed and excel. IUP faculty members also offer assistance during office hours, and many faculty members conduct review sessions outside of class time to help students prepare for exams. Once in the clinical phase of the Respiratory Care program, students are encouraged to often form study groups, seek tutoring from upper class students, and meet with faculty members for assistance and support.

How much will it cost to earn a degree?

While enrolled at IUP in the first phase of the program where students are enrolled in courses at IUP, students pay tuition and fees to IUP. For current costs, go to the Office of the Bursar. In addition to textbooks, there are additional expenses associated with the clinical courses, such as safety clearances, health screenings, clinical attire, liability insurance, and clinical related personal equipment.

May I take courses during the summer at IUP or at another college or university?

Many students decide to take courses during one or more summer and/or winter sessions. This often permits students to register for a lighter course load during the fall and/or spring semester or helps them to stay on track with plans to progress to the second phase of the program. While some students elect to complete summer courses at IUP, other students take classes at a college or university closer to their homes. The students’ advisor assists students who plan to take courses elsewhere. All courses must be approved by the advisor prior to the student enrolling elsewhere. A helpful website to investigate equivalent courses is the Online Transfer Credit Equivalency System. All 300- and 400-level respiratory care courses must be completed at IUP’s Respiratory Care program at the IUP at Northpointe campus.

When will I be ready to start the clinical component of the program and when would I graduate?

Students should plan to complete all courses in the pre-clinical phase of the program before progressing to the clinical phase and 300-level courses. It is expected that students have a minimum overall grade point average of 2.0 and a minimum grade point average of 2.25 in required science and math courses in order to be ready for the clinical phase of the program. C or higher grades in BIOL 150 Human Anatomy, BIOL 151 Human Physiology, and the math course will help students succeed in respiratory care courses. There are four semesters of sequenced respiratory care courses that begin only in the fall semester, so students plan for a May graduation after completing the two academic years at the Northpointe campus.

Since IUP does not guarantee admission to the clinical phase of the Respiratory Care program, what will I do if am not permitted to begin the respiratory courses?

Approximately 30 students are permitted to begin the 300-level courses at the Respiratory Care program each fall semester. In recent years, all students who met the expected minimum grade point average have progressed to the clinical phase on schedule. If a student is not permitted to progress, it is most likely because of low grades, especially in key science courses. In this case, a student may decide to repeat courses to earn higher grades and then plan for progression at a later date.

May I enroll in the program on a part-time basis?

Students may enroll in the first phase of the program on a full-time or part-time basis. Once the student begins the clinical phase at the Northpointe campus, full-time study is expected.

Where do I live while enrolled in the clinical phase of the Respiratory Care program at Northpointe?

Students are typically in courses five days a week during the clinical phase, so living close to the Northpointe campus is helpful. Most students look for apartments or plan to stay with family or friends located nearby. Some students elect to live in the residence halls on the Indiana campus.

Do I need my own car?

If you live on or near campus during the first phase of the program it is not necessary to have your own car. During the clinical phase, students visit a wide variety of clinical venues in southwestern Pennsylvania, requiring the student to have their own transportation, or a plan to carpool, car-share, or use taxi/car service.

Do many students have part-time jobs while in college?

The majority of students at IUP find part-time jobs while taking classes, and many students use the summer months to earn money to help them pay for college expenses.

What degree will I earn from respiratory care at IUP?

When you have completed all degree requirements, you will have earned a Bachelor of Science degree in respiratory care from IUP. A Bachelor of Science is considered the preferred degree in respiratory care.

What do students like most about IUP's respiratory care program?

While at IUP during the first phase of the program, students enjoy campus life, the diverse activities available to them, and the opportunity to meet new friends. Students often speak highly of their interactions with the faculty and the valuable learning support services. While at the Northpointe campus, students are impressed with the quality of instruction from the faculty and the support they receive as they progress in their courses. Most of all, they find it rewarding to work with patients and make valuable contributions to the quality of patient care.

Where do graduates find jobs?

Many recent graduates begin their careers as respiratory therapist in the many high-quality Pittsburgh area hospitals. Graduates from the central and eastern parts of Pennsylvania accept positions at hospitals in these areas. Graduates have accepted positions at prestigious health care institutions in and outside of Pennsylvania such as Duke University Medical Center, Hershey Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Virginia Health System. Every year, new graduates are fortunate to receive job offers from locations across the country.

I am already a certified respiratory therapist. How many more courses will I have to complete to earn my Bachelor of Science degree in Respiratory Care?

Students who have already earned the CRT and graduated from an accredited associate degree or certificate program have 33 credits posted to their IUP transcript and are exempt from 100- and 300-level respiratory care courses. Students in this track must complete the remaining 400-level courses (27 credits) offered at the Northpointe campus. Transcripts are reviewed on a course-by-course basis to determine what liberal studies courses still need to be completed. Students must earn at least 120 credits, and 45 of those credits must be IUP courses. Since students earn 27 credits in IUP 400-level respiratory courses, they need only complete another 18 credits from IUP to meet this residency requirement. Many courses may be completed at IUP's main campus or the Northpointe campus, located only 35 minutes from Pittsburgh along Route 28. Many IUP courses are also available online. Alternatively, AS-CRT students may decide to select a different major for the bachelor's degree, in which case the IUP Admissions Office will assist with transcript evaluation and options.

For the CRT Track: Is part-time study an option?

Students may elect to register for their remaining liberal studies requirements on a part-time basis. In addition, the respiratory care faculty will confer and advise with each student in the CRT track to plan for full-time or part-time study of the respiratory courses that best suit the student's needs.

For the CRT Track: What are the expenses associated with the program?

Information about tuition and fees for the IUP courses is available at the Office of the Bursar. In addition to textbooks, there are additional expenses associated with the clinical courses, such as safety clearances, health screenings, clinical attire, liability insurance, and clinical related personal equipment.

How will completing the bachelor's degree help me in my career?

The bachelor's degree helps the CRT sharpen clinical and teaching skills and further develop management/leadership abilities. Many high-level positions in the profession require the bachelor's degree, which also opens opportunities for admission to a master's degree program in areas such as health care administration, business, and education. The liberal studies component of the curriculum further supports the graduates' ability to live rich full lives and play constructive roles in their community.

I already have a bachelor's degree. How many more courses will I have to complete to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Respiratory Care?

Students who have already earned a first bachelor's degree from a college or university are admitted to the respiratory care program with advanced placement. Often, especially if the first degree is in a science area, students must only complete a few remaining science courses before progressing to the clinical phase of the program. In some cases, students may complete the second degree in as few as five semesters.