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Respiratory Care, BS

  • Respiratory care student

    Evaluate, Treat, and Care for People With Breathing Trouble and Other Cardiopulmonary Disorders

    Important members of the health care team, respiratory therapists work with all types of patients, ranging from premature infants whose lungs are not fully developed to elderly people whose lungs are diseased. 

    Respiratory therapists provide complex therapies that require considerable independent judgment and the use of sophisticated medical equipment. They also have a major role in educating patients and families about lung disease so recovery can be maximized.

    The Curriculum

    This 120-credit program of study consists of two phases of study.

    • Phase one includes 61 credits in the preclinical courses of chemistry, biology, physics, and math, plus the Liberal Studies requirements completed at the IUP main campus. Students are expected to earn a minimum grade point average of at least 2.25 in math and science courses and a minimum overall 2.0 grade point average to secure a seat in the clinical phase. 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. IUP does not guarantee admission to the clinical phase of the program.
    • Phase two includes 59 credits completed at the IUP at Northpointe regional campus. Students gain clinical experiences at hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home health care agencies. Students have clinical experience at several Pittsburgh hospitals of superior quality such as West Penn Hospital, Allegheny General Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and Forbes Hospital.

    A curriculum track is available for those who are already certified respiratory therapists (CRT) and interested in earning a bachelor’s degree. The bachelor’s degree facilitates career advancement. 

    The Bachelor of Science degree program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania is located on main campus in Indiana, Pa. and IUP at Northpointe regional campus in Freeport, Pa. and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care

    Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care 
    1248 Harwood Road 
    Bedford, TX  76021-4244 

    View current program outcomes

    Freshman Year


    Course Name Credits
    BIOL 105 Cell Biology 3
    CHEM 101 College Chemistry I 4
    ENGL 101 Composition I 3
    Health and Wellness Requirement 3
    Total Credits 13


    Course Name Credits
    CHEM 102 College Chemistry II 4
    HIST 196/197/198 3
    MATH 105 (or Higher) College Algebra* 3
    BIOL 150 Human Anatomy 3
    Fine Arts:Introduction to Art/Music/Theater/Dance 3
    RESP 101 Profession of Respiratory Care 1
    Total Credits 17
    Sophomore Year


    Course Name Credits
    ENGL 202 Composition II 3
    BIOL 151 Human Physiology 4
    SOC 151 Principles of Sociology 3
    PSYC 101 General Psychology 3
    Philosophy/Religious Studies Requirement 3
    Total Credits 16


    Course Name Credits
    BIOL 241 Microbiology 3
    PHYS 151 Medical Physics Lecture 3
    ENGL 121 Humanities Literature 3
    Global and Multicultural Awareness 3
    Free Elective 4
    Total Credits 16
    Junior Year


    Course Name Credits
    RESP 326 Respiratory Care Clinical Practice I 3
    RESP 328 Introduction to Respiratory Care 4
    RESP 329 Respiratory Care Equipment 4
    RESP 330 Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation 2
    RESP 335 Patient Care Skills 3
    Total Credits 16


    Course Name Credits
    RESP 327 Pharmacology 3
    RESP 333 Respiratory Care Clinical Practice II 3
    RESP 334 Respiratory Care Instrumentation And Application 4
    RESP 336 Cardiopulmonary Evaluation and Clinical Correlation 4
    RESP 337 Introduction to Pulmonary Function Studies 1
    Total Credits 15
    Senior Year: Fall
    Course Name Credits
    Total Credits 13
    RESP 425 Clinical Case Studies 3
    RESP 426 Respiratory Care Clinical Practice III 4
    RESP 428 Essentials of Electrocardiography 2
    RESP 431 Pediatric Respiratory Care 1
    RESP 434 Neonatal Respiratory Care 3
    Senior Year: Spring
    Course Name Credits
    RESP 429 Design and Function of Respiratory Care Program 2
    RESP 430 Pulmonary Function Studies 3
    RESP 433 Respiratory Care Clinical Practice IV 4
    RESP 436 Respiratory Care Teaching 2
    RESP 437 Methods of Critical Care 2
    RESP 438 Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation 1
    Total Credits 14

    *Students may opt to complete a math course with a higher course number than 105 to fulfill the math requirement.

    RESP 300- and 400-level courses are taught at the School of Respiratory Care, the Western Pennsylvania Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa.

    RESP 342 Preceptorship in Respiratory Care (1 cr) provides students with an opportunity to gain additional clinical experiences in a supervised health care setting. This course may be repeated for a maximum of five credits.

    A minimum of 40 hours is required for each credit.

    Synthesis course: not required
    Writing Intensive Course: not required

    Graduates of the Respiratory Care Program Are:

    • Eligible to sit for the national certification examinations offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care and be awarded the Certified Respiratory Therapist credential and the Registered Respiratory Therapist credential.
    • Prepared for graduate degrees that may lead to careers in administration, education, and other health care fields.