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Respiratory Therapy

Bachelor's Degree

The Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy Program is a four-year program that blends hands-on, laboratory and class learning. 

This program provides you with the knowledge, skills and hands-on experience that will help you begin your exciting career in the respiratory therapy field.

There is a growing demand for highly skilled respiratory therapists, and the Radford University Carilion program has the classes, faculty, real-world experiences and state-of-the-art lab to prepare you to be a top employee in your field. 

For more detailed program information and requirements, visit our Academic Catalog.

98% on time graduation rate
100% Board pass rate
100% Job placement rate

Program Overview

The Respiratory Therapy Program at RUC provides students with opportunities to participate in hands-on experiences with diagnostic procedures like: 

  • Drawing and analyzing blood samples to determine the levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide and other gases in order to assess the best course of treatment for a patient. 
  • Measuring the capacity and efficiency of a patient's lungs to determine if there is impaired function. 
  • Performing stress tests and other studies of the cardiopulmonary system. 
  • Studying disorders of people with disruptive sleep patterns. 
  • Obtaining and analyzing sputum and breath specimens. 
  • Reading and analyzing chest x-rays and electrocardiograms. 

Our program and clinical affiliates provide hands-on experience in sub-acute care, ICU rotations — pediatric, neonatal and adult — flight transport, long-term vent units, physician office rotations, sleep labs, pulmonary function testing and more. 

What makes this program different?  

  1. As a student at Radford University Carilion, you will be part of a healthcare clinic that employs nearly 14,000 healthcare professionals and has facilities that span more than 200 miles. You will have access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, national leaders in all areas of healthcare practice and administration.
  2. Our clinical affiliates include high level centers in which you can choose rotations.  These rotations give you practical, real life experiences on rapid response teams and flight transport, as well as rotations in sleep labs, long-term vent units, ICU and more. 
  3. Radford University Carilion organizes and is dedicated to interprofessional education (IPE).  Each semester, we host interprofessional experiences. These experiences gives you the most crucial one-of-a-kind, hands-on learning you can get as an undergraduate, preparing you to excel professionally.

Salaries and Career Path

Multiple national agencies report the annual salary for respiratory therapists between $66,580 to $78,897 with top earners (80th to 100th percentile) making between $100,000 to $134,500 per year.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Respiratory Therapists is expected to increase by up to 26% in coming years.

Our baccalaureate graduates are highly recruited with 75%-100% signing letters of intent prior to graduation.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements to the Freshman and Sophomore years follow Radford University guidelines.  This program is accredited for 38 applicants per cohort.


The Respiratory Therapy program at Radford University Carilion is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), program number 200312.  The CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.

The CoARC’s main webpage -
The CoARC’s outcomes webpage -

This program meets the educational requirements for licensure for every state.

Admissions Information for Junior Transfer Students  

In addition to the traditional four-year academic path in Respiratory Therapy, Radford University Carilion offers the opportunity for junior-level transfer students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 and eight credits of anatomy and physiology (at a level of "C" or higher) if you have done one of the following:

  1. Completed the first two years of our plan of study [PDF].
  2. Graduated from a regionally accredited community college with an associate's degree.
  3. Graduated from a regionally accredited institution with a bachelor's degree.