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

BS respiratory students and professor

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 students in sim lab
Our on-campus, high-tech simulation lab gives you the opportunity to practice patient care skills prior to starting your clinical rotations.

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.

Career Outlook

BS Respiratory Care career outlook

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

Kaitlynn Oudekerk

BS in Respiratory Care, '22

Kaitlynn was hired before graduation as a respiratory therapist at the prestigious Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The clinical placements in UHart's respiratory program and personal attention she received from faculty prepared her well for this opportunity. Read more

“The support I received from faculty and staff was instrumental in landing this opportunity. All of the opportunities on and around campus prepared me to achieve my career goals.”

Degree Requirements

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
Medical-Surgical Problems
Ethical Issues in Respiratory Care
Clinical Practice

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
Everyday Statistics
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.

Mission StatementThe Respiratory Therapy Program at The University of Hartford will prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRT's). The program will prepare leaders for the field of respiratory care by including curricular content that includes objectives related to acquisition of skills in one or more of the following: management, education, and/ or advanced clinical practice in areas such as adult critical care, neonatal/ pediatric care, emergency room, pulmonary rehabilitation and pulmonary laboratory.
Program Goals:
  1. Students must be competent in interpersonal and communication skills to effectively interact with diverse population groups.
  2. Students will develop and employ critical thinking skills.
  3. Students will acquire expected knowledge and competencies. 
  4. 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
  1. Students will pass the high cut score of the TMC exam.
  2. Students will be gainfully employed as respiratory therapists within the first 12 months following graduation.
  3. Students will successfully complete the program.
  4. Students will be satisfied with their education.
  5. Employers will be satisfied with the performance of our graduates.

Clinical Training

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:

Baystate Hospital Respiratory Care

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

Admission Requirements

Respiratory Care admission requirements

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.

Transfer Admissions

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.

Additional Information

Respiratory Care Program Effectiveness Data 2018-2020

Respiratory Program Policy and Procedure Manual

Respiratory Care Student Clinical Handbook

Program Contacts

Karen Griffiths
Respiratory Care Program Director

Nikolaos Galiatsatos
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 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.

Making a difference is the ultimate reward.