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    Jun 14, 2024  
2010-2011 Georgia Health Sciences University Catalog 
2010-2011 Georgia Health Sciences University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy (2+2)

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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 on GHSU’s campus. All 2+2 students begin the program fall semester after completing a core curriculum. GHSU’s program consists of five semesters and includes classroom and clinical education.

The percentage of respiratory therapists with higher degrees has increased considerably since 1992. In 2005, nearly one-third of all respiratory therapists had a bachelor’s or graduate degree. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree are highly marketable for lucrative positions.

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.

GHSU 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 GHSU 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.

Because of an acute shortage of registered therapists, the job market is excellent. The number of full-time employee positions has increased by over 20,000 since 2000, according to the American Association for Respiratory Care. According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, demand for respiratory therapists is expected to increase much faster than the national average for other occupations through 2012, with particular demand in the Southeast.

Registered therapists assume considerable responsibility and command high salaries. The mean annual salary for respiratory therapists in 2005 was $56,160. The mean salary for experienced respiratory therapists ranges from $50,000 to $70,000 depending on job responsibilities, education and location. Private industry offers particularly lucrative career opportunities.

Admission Requirements

Admission is based on college grade point average, completion of the 60-hour academic core from a regionally accredited institution, personal interview, references and assessment of professional qualities needed to complete the program. Admission criteria include a minimum overall GPA of 2.30; current cardiopulmonary and first aid certification; and a minimum TOEFL score of 550 paper based, 213 computer-based or 79 Internet-based and TSE-P score of 45 for applicants whose first language is not English. Completion of the CPR for Professional Rescuers course is strongly recommended. Job shadowing is required prior to enrollment. Shadowing in critical care is recommended. Computer literacy is expected.

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

GHSU 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. GHSU helps students fund their education through grants, scholarships, loans, a service commitment program and/or employment.

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


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

When to Apply

This is a transfer program that requires applicants to attend another accredited college or university to complete the core curriculum. Sophomores can apply for transfer admission to GHSU. Accepted applicants will transfer fall semester to begin their junior year.

Applications received on or before April 1 will be given priority consideration. Applications must be received by April 1.

How to Apply

Apply online at, or contact:

Office of Academic Admissions
170 Kelly Building–Administration
Georgia Health Sciences University
Augusta, Georgia 30912
Telephone: 706-721-2725


Courses to Take the First Two Years

The program’s core curriculum is divided into six categories (A-F). Options for completing these prerequisites for transfer to GHSU:

A. Essential Skills 9 semester hours  
English Composition I 3 hours  
English Composition II 3 hours  
College Algebra, Mathematical Modeling,
Trigonometry, Pre-calculus or Calculus
3 hours  
B. Institutional Options** 4-5 semester hours  
Introduction to Computers
Critical Thinking
Creative Writing
Health and Wellness
Medical Terminology
Any approved guided elective from Area F
C. Humanities and Fine Arts** 6 semester hours  
Foreign Language
Speech, Oral Communications
Drama, Art or Music Appreciation
Electives in Humanities and Fine Arts
D. Science, Mathematics and Technology 10-11 semester hours  
One eight-hour laboratory course sequence in biology, chemistry or physics and an additional course in mathematics, science or technology.
E. Social Science** 12 semester hours  

U.S. History
U.S. Government
Other History
Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups
Lower-division electives in Psychology and Sociology

F. Courses Appropriate to the Major 18 semester hours  
Anatomy and Physiology I and II w/labs 8 hours  
Microbiology 4 hours  
Guided electives
Biology,* Chemistry,* Research
Methods, Human Development,
Physics, Statistics
6 hours  

* If this is taken in another area of the core, additional hours would be taken in additional guided electives to a total of 18 semester hours.

** If a student planning to transfer to GHSU from another school in the University System of Georgia has completed this area with courses taken there or at another institution from which GHSU accepts transfer credit, GHSU will accept the area as satisfied. A student planning to transfer from a school not in the University System of Georgia should choose from the list of courses. 

Estimated Tuition and Fees

 For estimated tuition and fees, please see the Tuition and Fees  section of this catalog.

Respiratory Therapy Program Curriculum

Junior Year

Senior Year