College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions
BS in Respiratory Care
Respiratory care is an exciting, fast-paced profession that combines advanced technology with compassionate care of people with breathing disorders. Our program prepares you to work as a respiratory therapist with patients of all ages, from premature infants to older adults, in this high-tech, high-touch career.
About the Major
The University of Hartford offers the only entry-level bachelor’s degree program in New England. More hospitals are now requiring a bachelor’s degree for respiratory therapists, and it gives you an edge throughout your career, from landing your first job to advancing to leadership positions.
Our fully accredited four-year program provides graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree and eligibility for state licensing and credentialing by the National Board for Respiratory Care.
This program offers more than 750 hours of clinical experience and will provide you with the knowledge, skills, professionalism and hands-on experience to begin your career as a respiratory therapist.
Respiratory Care: Teamwork and Technology
In the Respiratory Care program, students learn the importance of teamwork to improve patient care and make a difference in the lives of others. Hear from one of our students and our director of clinical education in this short video.
What can respiratory therapists do?
Respiratory care practitioners can:
- Evaluate patient data to determine the appropriateness of prescribed respiratory care;
- Assemble and check all necessary equipment;
- Conduct therapeutic procedures, modifying them as needed, and evaluate the outcome;
- Maintain patient records and communicate relevant information to other members of the healthcare team; and
- Assist the physician in performing special procedures in the clinical laboratory, procedure room, operating room, or emergency room.
Respiratory care practitioners are also qualified to assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of other respiratory care practitioners and the clinical training of respiratory care students.
The job outlook for respiratory therapists is strong. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for respiratory therapists will grow 23 percent over the next 10 years, much faster than the average for all occupations.
More than 90 percent of our graduates are employed in the field of respiratory care within 12 months of graduation. Our graduates work at leading hospitals across the region, including:
- Hartford Hospital
- Yale-New Haven Hospital
- Boston Children’s Hospital
- Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
Anysia Lombardo ‘17, Registered Respiratory Therapist at Boston Children’s Hospital
The program is set up so that every semester you grow a little more and gain the confidence you need to become an excellent respiratory therapist. You gain hands-on experience with equipment and machines in the classroom laboratories and apply that knowledge during the clinicals at top hospitals.”
The Respiratory Care program is a total of 125 credits. A sample of courses is listed below. View the full curriculum using the link to the course catalog.
Professional courses in the Respiratory Care program total 51 credits and include:Respiratory Pharmacology
Pulmonary Diagnostics and Therapy
Mechanical Ventilation and Resuscitation
Ethical Issues in Respiratory Care
Science courses total 37-38 credits and include:Introductory Biology
Human Anatomy and Physiology
Principles of Chemistry
Mechanics, Heat and the Body
General education requirements total 37-38 credits and include:Academic Writing
Introduction to Healthcare Professions
Business and Professional Communications
In order to perform the tasks required of a respiratory therapist, certain physical/behavioral capabilities are required. Students must demonstrate the ability to perform required functions, as a routine part of classroom, laboratory, or clinical education. Click here to read the full technical standards for the program.
- Students must be competent in interpersonal and communication skills to effectively interact with diverse population groups.
- Students will develop and employ critical thinking skills.
- Students will acquire expected knowledge and competencies.
- Students will demonstrate a commitment to professional growth and development.
Learning Outcomes:Learning Outcome 1
1.1. Students will demonstrate effective oral communication skills.
1.2. Students will demonstrate effective written communication.
Learning Outcome 2
2.1. Students will apply problem-solving strategies in the patient care setting.
2.2. Students will demonstrate the ability to respond to a critical situation.
Learning Outcome 3
3.1. Students will demonstrate competency in respiratory therapy procedures.
3.2. Students will demonstrate expected knowledge.
Learning Outcome 4
4.1. Students to demonstrate professionalism during their clinical experience.
4.2. Students will integrate a commitment to life-long learning into their professional practice of respiratory therapy.
Assessment of Program Effectiveness
- Students will pass the high cut score of the TMC exam.
- Students will be gainfully employed as respiratory therapists within the first 12 months following graduation.
- Students will successfully complete the program.
- Students will be satisfied with their education.
- Employers will be satisfied with the performance of our graduates.
You will begin your clinical training in your sophomore year at one of our 15 clinical partners. Rotations include neonatal, pediatric, adult critical care, and long-term care, and give you a wide range of clinical experiences. Clinical study is integrated throughout the second, third, and fourth years of the program.
Our clinical sites include the following hospitals and healthcare organizations:
Brigham and Women's Hospital Respiratory Care
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
Children's Hospital Boston Respiratory Care
Danbury Hospital Respiratory Care
Gaylord Hospital Respiratory Care
Hartford Hospital Respiratory Care
John Dempsey/UConn Respiratory Care
Johnson Memorial Respiratory Care
Midstate Medical Center Respiratory Care
St. Francis Hospital Pulmonary Medicine
Yale-New Haven Hospital Respiratory Care
Our program is open to qualified full- and part-time students. Freshmen and transfer students from associate's degree, registered respiratory care programs may apply.
For admission into the Department of Health Sciences, 16 units of secondary subjects are expected, among which the following are strongly recommended:
- English - 4 units
- Social Studies - 2 units
- Foreign Language - 2 units
- Math - 3 units including one unit of algebra and trigonometry
- Science - 2 units
- Other academic subjects - 3 units
Applicants for the Bachelor of Science degree programs, including Respiratory Care, must have three years of college preparatory mathematics. Trigonometry must be one of the courses.
If you are applying as a transfer student, you will submit your application and documentation to our Office of Admission. Our staff are knowledgeable about credit articulation agreements that we have with other institutions and work closely with the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions to provide transfer students with the information they need to make a smooth transition.
Respiratory Care Program Director
Director of Clinical Education
Accreditation and State of Connecticut Certification
Our respiratory care program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) and the State of Connecticut. Information about CoARC and the accreditation process is available at www.coarc.com. For program outcome data, visit this page on the CoARC website.
Professional Licensure Disclosure
Please click here to read the professional licensure disclosure statement for the University of Hartford's Respiratory Therapy undergraduate major.