Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

    Apr 24, 2024  
2016-2017 Augusta University Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Augusta University Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy (2+2)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Degrees and Majors

Career Information

The Bachelor of Science Program in Respiratory Therapy is a 2+2 program, meaning the student completes the first two years at any accredited college or university of choice, and the last two years at this university. All 2+2 students begin the program fall semester after completing a core curriculum. The program consists of five semesters and includes classroom and clinical education.

Only 18% of therapists have a B.S. in Respiratory Therapy. Therapists with a B.S. are able to work in fields such as pharmaceutical sales or management which command higher salaries.

Respiratory Therapy: A Life-and-Breath Career

Respiratory therapists treat patients with cardiopulmonary disease and other disorders requiring life-support technologies. Patients range from newborns to the elderly. In the hospital, respiratory therapists assist physicians by assessing the patient’s condition, planning and initiating treatment and providing patient education. Treatments include oxygen and humidity therapy, chest physical therapy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and state-of-the-art life support technologies. Respiratory therapists also obtain and analyze arterial blood samples to evaluate and optimize patient oxygenation and ventilation and evaluate cardiopulmonary function using specialized equipment.

A Multi-Skilled Profession

Respiratory therapy requires manual skills and a broad range of cognitive capabilities. Respiratory therapists’ relative autonomy demands a high degree of responsibility and professionalism. Their significant patient contact requires empathy, interpersonal skills, communication and the ability to collect, evaluate and synthesize patient information. Therapies are based on strong patient assessment, highly technical skills requiring good manual dexterity and mechanical aptitude to perform them safely and acceptably.

Related interests may include physician assistant, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and radiologic sciences.

Graduates are eligible to take national credentialing exams from the National Board for Respiratory Care, leading to designations of certified and registered respiratory therapist, certified and registered pulmonary function technologist and competency recognition as a perinatal/pediatric respiratory care specialist and certified asthma educator. These credentials are recognized nationally and internationally. First-time pass rates for graduates are well above the national average.

Career Opportunities

Most respiratory therapists work in acute-care hospitals, but roles outside the traditional work setting are rapidly growing. Career opportunities include education, research and patient care in clinics, skilled nursing or long-term acutecare facilities and physicians’ offices. Therapists with a bachelor’s degree can work as disease or case managers, clinical educators, supervisors, departmental directors, medical equipment marketers, clinical or education specialists and pharmaceutical representatives.

Registered therapists assume considerable responsibility and command high salaries. The mean salary for experienced respiratory therapists ranges from $57,000 to $70,000 depending on job responsibilities, education and location. Private industry offers particularly lucrative career opportunities.


Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to take the credentialing examinations for the Respiratory Therapist offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care.

Technical Standards

In addition to demonstrating personal characteristics appropriate for a health professions career, students must satisfy general and specific technical standards. Visit to review these requirements

Financial Aid

The university participates in all federal student aid programs as well as state and private programs. Educational assistance may be available for students who want to work in rural Georgia. The university helps students fund their education through grants, scholarships, loans, a service commitment program and/or employment.

Students are very competitive for national, regional and local scholarships for the first and second year.


Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
1248 Harwood Road
Bedford,Texas 76012-4244

Admission Requirements

Please see the Office of Academic Admissions website for specific admissions information:

Estimated Tuition and Fees

For estimated tuition and fees, please see the Financial Information  section of this catalog.

Respiratory Therapy Program Curriculum

Core Curriculum Areas A‑E: 42 Hours

For more information on Core Curriculum Areas A-E, see Core Requirements .

Core Curriculum Area F: 18 Hours

Wellness Graduation Requirement: 4 Hours

Students who transfer to Augusta University with less than 60 credit hours must complete the Wellness Requirement.

Junior Year

Senior Year

Total Program Hours: 134

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Degrees and Majors