Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care Overview

In addition to at least 60 semester hours of general education and pre-professional prerequisite course requirements, the Bachelor of Science degree in Respiratory Care requires a minimum of  65 hours of upper division credit for graduation. This program requires 42 semester hours related to the Texas Core Curriculum and 18 semester hours of specific program pre-professional prerequisite requirements prior to admission to the Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care for the professional phase. The pre-professional phase requirements may be completed at any accredited college or university. The professional phase includes 1,100 hours of in-hospital clinical practice. Additional elective coursework in management and education may be taken by students interested in these areas. Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to sit  for the national board examinations in respiratory care as well as apply for state license.

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care Online Program Overview

The Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care online program is for the respiratory therapist who has earned an associate degree in respiratory therapy or respiratory care from a CoARC accredited program and earned the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential. These individuals will complete 32 upper division credit hours for graduation. In addition to at least 60 semester hours of general education course requirements, this program requires 42 semester hours related to the Texas Core Curriculum. These general education and Texas Core Curriculum courses may be completed at any regionally accredited college or university. Additional elective coursework in the Respiratory Care Program such as  management and education may be taken by students interested in these areas.

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care Admissions Requirements

Admission to the program is on a competitive basis. Student selection is based on a number of factors including overall grade point average, prerequisite grade point average, consistency of academic performance, coursework completed prior to application and interpersonal abilities.  Application deadline is June 15.  Requirements for admission to the professional phase of the program in respiratory care include:

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care applicants must complete the Texas Core Curriculum (42 hours) and Professional Prerequisite courses with a grade of a grade of “C” or better. Certain professional prerequisite courses will apply towards meeting the Texas Core requirements as indicated below (*):

Students may be allowed to co-enroll in the program while working to complete Texas Core requirements.  Students must have all Texas Core courses completed no later than their enrollment in the final semester in the BS in RC program.

Texas Core Curriculum Requirements                                                  

  • English Composition I & II  (6 semester credit hour)
  • College Algebra or higher  (3 semester credit hours)
  • Natural Sciences
    • (BIOL, CHEM, PHYS or other natural science)  (12 semester credit hours)
  • Humanities
    • Any Philosophy, Language, Humanities, or English Literature course (3 semester credit hours)
  • Visual and Performing Arts
    • Any Arts, Drama, Dance or Music course (3 semester credit hours)
  • History 1301 & 1302 (6 semester credit hours)
  • Government 2305 & 2306 (6 semester credit hours)
  • Any Psychology or Sociology course (3 semester credit hours)

Professional Prerequisites

  • College Algebra or higher (3 semester credit hours*)
  • Statistics (Math or Psychology Statistics) (3 semester credit hours*)
  • Anatomy  & Physiology I with laboratory and Anatomy & Physiology II with laboratory OR Anatomy with lab AND Physiology with lab  (8 semester credit hours *)
  • Microbiology with lab  (4 semester credit hours*)
  • Any Physics (3 semester credit hours)
  • Any Chemistry (3 semester credit hours)
  • Free electives (to ensure 60 semester credit hour minimum) (9 semester credit hours)

* Part of the Texas Core Curriculum

Application Requirements

  • Sophomore standing or higher at the time of application (minimum of 60 hours)
  • Completion of all professional prerequisite required courses with a grade of "C" or better
  • A minimum overall GPA of a 2.5 in coursework.
  • Ability to complete all general education curriculum and program prerequisite courses by fall enrollment in the program.
  • Completion of the online Allied Health Centralized Application System (AHCAS), or Texas Common Application
            • Payment of non-refundable $95 application fee when using the AHCAS application or  a $60 application fee if using the Texas Common Application
  •  Submission of the following documents to AHCAS or Office of University Registrar contingent on which application system was used:
    • All Official Transcripts from each college/university attended.  Applicants who are enrolled in college courses at the time of application should submit official transcripts showing courses in progress.  An updated transcript must be submitted upon completion of courses.  
    • Note: Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be evaluated by an acceptable NACES Members organization. For additional information – www.naces.org
  • ​International Applicants only: Submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores; minimum scores 560 (paper) or 90 (Internet).   
  •  Admission is on a competitive basis. In addition to non-academic factors that may be considered, the basis for inviting an applicant for an interview includes the applicant’s academic performance represented by coursework grades, load, trends, and degree of difficulty.

Required Documents (if you are accepted) to the Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care program:

If  an official offer of acceptance for the Health Science Center Bachelor  of Science in Respiratory Care (BSRC) program, all of the following items are required prior to matriculation:

  • Non-refundable $250.00 School of Health Professions Tuition Deposit. Directions for this process will be sent to accepted students.
  • Completion of a background check. Directions for this process will be sent to accepted students.
  • All Immunization records: Immunization requirements can be found at the Health Science Center Student Health Center Web Page – see website for full instructions.
  • Evidence of current health insurance showing dates of coverage. Unless proof of proper insurance coverage is provided before the first day of classes, students will be charged for a health insurance policy through the university. The fee for this policy is non-removable once the payment due date passes and is non-refundable once paid.
  • Final updated transcripts must be submitted upon completion of courses from each college/university to the Office of University Registrar. All Foreign transcripts must be also sent to include the original transcript and the NACES evaluated official transcript (course by course).

The University Registrar Mailing Address:

Office of the University Registrar – MC 7702
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229-3900

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care ONLINE Program Admissions Requirements

Admission to the program is on a competitive basis. Student selection is based on a number of factors including overall grade point average, prerequisite grade point average, consistency of academic performance, coursework completed prior to application and interpersonal abilities. Application deadline is June 15 for fall enrollment and November 1 for spring enrollment.  Requirements for admission to the professional phase of the program in respiratory care include:

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care Online Program applicants must complete the Texas Core Curriculum (42 hours) and Professional courses with a grade of a grade of "C" or better. Certain professional prerequisite courses will apply towards meeting the Texas Core requirements as indicated below (*):

Students may be allowed to co-enroll in the program while working to complete Texas Core requirements (beginning, Fall 2017).  Students must have all Texas Core courses completed no later than their enrollment for the final semester in the BS in RC program.

All Texas Core requirements and program requirements must be completed by the  semester the student is graduating.

Texas Core Curriculum Requirements

  • English Composition I & II  (6 semester credit hour)
  • College Algebra or higher  (3 semester credit hours)
  • Natural Sciences
    • (BIOL, CHEM, PHYS or other natural science)  (12 semester credit hours)
  • Humanities
    • Any Philosophy, Language, Humanities, or English Literature course (3 semester credit hours)
  • Visual and Performing Arts
    • Any Arts, Drama, Dance or Music course (3 semester credit hours)
  • History 1301 & 1302 (6 semester credit hours)
  • Government 2305 & 2306 (6 semester credit hours)
  • Any Psychology or Sociology course (3 semester credit hours)

Program requirements

  • Statistics (Math or Psychology Statistics) (3 semester credit hours*)
  • Free electives (to ensure 60 semester credit hour minimum) (18 semester credit hours)

* Part of the Texas Core Curriculum

Application Requirements

  • The Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential must be earned prior to matriculation.
  • Completion of all required courses with a grade of "C" or better.
  • A minimum overall GPA of a 2.5 in coursework.
  • Ability to complete all general education curriculum and program prerequisite courses by the semester the student is to graduate.
  • Completion of the online Allied Health Centralized Application System (AHCAS), or Texas Common Application
            • Payment of non-refundable $95 application fee when using the AHCAS application or  a $60 application fee if using the Texas Common Application
  • Submission of the following documents to AHCAS or Office of University Registrar contingent on which application system was used
    • All Official Transcripts from each college/university attended.  Applicants who are enrolled in college courses at the time of application should submit official transcripts showing courses in progress.  An updated transcript must be submitted upon completion of courses.
    • Note: Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be evaluated by an acceptable NACES Members organization. For additional information – www.naces.org
  • International Applicants only: Submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores; minimum scores 560 (paper) or 80 (Internet).   
  •  Admission is on a competitive basis. In addition to non-academic factors that may be considered, the basis for inviting an applicant for an interview includes the applicant’s academic performance represented by coursework grades, load, trends, and degree of difficulty.

Required Documents (if you are accepted) to the Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care program:

If  an official offer of acceptance for the Health Science Center Bachelor  of Science in Respiratory Care (BSRC.) program, all of the following items are required prior to matriculation:

  • Non-refundable $250.00 School of Health Professions Tuition Deposit. Directions for this process will be sent to accepted students.
  • Completion of a background check. Directions for this process will be sent to accepted students.
  • All Immunization records: Immunization requirements can be found at the Health Science Center Student Health Center Web Page – see website for full instructions.
  • Evidence of current health insurance showing dates of coverage. Unless proof of proper insurance coverage is provided before the first day of classes, students will be charged for a health insurance policy through the university. The fee for this policy is non-removable once the payment due date passes and is non-refundable once paid.
  • Final updated transcripts must be submitted upon completion of courses from each college/university to the Office of University Registrar. All Foreign transcripts must be also sent to include the original transcript and the NACES evaluated official transcript (course by course).

Health Science Center Office of the University Registrar Mailing Address:

Office of the University Registrar – MC 7702
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229-3900

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care Degree Requirements

To graduate from the Respiratory Care Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care program, students must:

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care ONLINE Program Requirements

To graduate from the Respiratory Care Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care ONLINE program, students must:

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care Sample Plan of Study

First Year
FallCredit Hours
RESC 3002Fundamentals of Respiratory Care 5
RESC 3005Respiratory Care Pharmacology 3
RESC 3007Cardiopulmonary Physiology 5
RESC 3011Introduction to Patient Assessment 5
Spring
RESC 3008Introduction to Clinical Practice 1
RESC 3018Diseases Affecting the Respiratory System 4
RESC 3023Pulmonary Function Testing 3
RESC 3031Critical Respiratory Care Management 5
RESC 4003Pediatric and Neonatal Respiratory Care 4
Summer
RESC 3009Introduction to Critical Care 3
RESC 4017Introduction to Research 3
**Electives - BSRC students may wish to enroll in the following courses if considering the MSRC after completing the BSRC.  
RESC 5013Management & Leadership in Health Profession 3
RESC 5015Education in Respiratory Care 3
Second Year
Fall
RESC 4014Clinical Practice 1 (or RESC 4024 Clinical Practice 2) 9
RESC 4018Clinical Practice 1 Seminar 3
Spring
RESC 4024Clinical Practice 2(or RESC 4014 Clinical Practice 1) 9
RESC 4028Clinical Practice 2 Seminar 3
The total credit hours earned in the BSRC program is 65 hours. The total earned with the 2 elective courses is 71 hours  
 Total Credit Hours: 71.0

Bachelor of Respiratory Care ONLINE Program for RRT to BSRC Sample Plan of Study

First Year
FallCredit Hours
RESC 3007Cardiopulmonary Physiology (or RESC 3031 Critical Respiratory Care Management ) 5
RESC 4018Clinical Practice 1 Seminar 3
Spring
RESC 4003Pediatric and Neonatal Respiratory Care 4
RESC 4028Clinical Practice 2 Seminar 3
Summer
RESC 4017Introduction to Research 3
RESC 4021Issues and Trends 4
**Electives: Students may enroll in any of the following electives if considering the MSRC program after completing the BSRC program.  
RESC 5013Management & Leadership in Health Profession 3
RESC 5015Education in Respiratory Care 3
Second Year
Fall
RESC 4012Disease Management, Rehabilitation, and Extended Care 4
RESC 4040Capstone Project (The total number of credit hours earned in the online BSRC program is 32 semester credit hours. If a student enrolls in the two electives, the student will earn 38 semester credit hours.) 4
 Total Credit Hours: 36.0

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care Objectives/Program Outcomes

Goals of the Bachelor of Science Respiratory Care Program

The Respiratory Care Program is designed to offer the student an environment that fosters learning through didactic, laboratory and clinical experiences so that the student will be able to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes for the profession of respiratory care. 

Our minimum goal for the Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care (BSRC) program is designed to provide graduates of entry into respiratory care professional practice degree programs with additional knowledge, skills, and attributes in leadership, management, education, research, or advanced clinical practice both to meet their current professional goals and to prepare them for practice as advanced degree respiratory therapists.

In addition the BSRC program 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 therapist (RRT). 

General Respiratory Care Program Policies and Regulations

Advancement, Probation and Dismissal Academic

All respiratory care courses are taught in a sequential manner and each professional course in the program serves as the prerequisite for the subsequent course.  Therefore, courses must be taken in the planned sequence. 

 A student who earns a grade of a D or F in any course in any semester may not be permitted to register for subsequent courses or semesters, and the student may be subject to dismissal from the program. (Refer to current Health Science Center Catalog  for more information).

The Respiratory Care Student Progress Committee (SPC) may recommend dismissal, probation, repetition of courses, repetition of the year or other actions as deemed appropriate by the SPC.

Clinical Rotation Assignments & Additional Costs 

In addition to required tuition and fees, there are costs for textbooks, technology, scrubs, and equipment. The clinical rotation experiences included in the curriculum WILL  require students relocate outside of San Antonio for the duration of the rotations. All students are REQUIRED to participate in a "rural" rotation outside of San Antonio, Texas. Clinical rotation expenses will vary according to individual arrangements  and depend on the cost of travel, temporary housing,  maintenance of local accommodations, etc. Students are encouraged to budget for major expenditures that could be associated with these course experiences. Detailed information about program costs can be found on the Respiratory Care website.

Courses

RESC 3002. Fundamentals of Respiratory Care. 5 Credit Hours.

The course will present the principles of chemistry and physics as they apply to respiratory care. Students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with basic respiratory care equipment. Specific types of therapy are examined to understand the principles of application to patients, indications, hazards, contraindications, select, assemble, and troubleshoot equipment. Equipment will include oxygen delivery devices, aerosol generators, medication delivery devices, pressure ventilators, gas delivery, metering and analyzing devices, percussor, positive pressure devices, environmental devices, manometers, gauges, and vacuum systems.

RESC 3005. Respiratory Care Pharmacology. 3 Credit Hours.

This course introduces the physiologic and pharmacologic basis of pulmonary and cardiac medications. Students will study several aspects of the formulation and preparation of the most commonly prescribed respiratory drugs. Pharmacodynamics and pharmacoknetics will be discussed along with drug formulation, drug dosage calculations, indications, contraindications and side effects of cardiac and pulmonary medications. Topics covered include an overview of bronchactive agents, anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-asthmatics, neuromuscular blocking agents, diuretics, cardiac drugs and drugs that affect the central nervous system.

RESC 3007. Cardiopulmonary Physiology. 5 Credit Hours.

This course provides an in-depth study of cardiac and pulmonary anatomy and physiology, as well as the diagnostic procedures commonly used in the hospital to evaluate these systems. Topics include the function of the respiratory system, ventilatory mechanics, gas transport in the blood, natural and chemical regulation of breathing, circulation, blood flow and pressure, and cardiac output. The heart-lung relationship and clinical applications of these phenomena in the cardiopulmonary system will be emphasized.

RESC 3008. Introduction to Clinical Practice. 1 Credit Hour.

The introduction to clinical practice provides the students the opportunity to observe and attain clinical competencies related to respiratory care procedures in general medical and surgical floors. This course Introduces students to the clinical respiratory care procedures. Topics include: introduction to the hospital and patient assessment, medical gas therapy, aerosol therapy, airway clearance therapy, hyperinflation therapy and airway care.

RESC 3009. Introduction to Critical Care. 3 Credit Hours.

This course provides the students the opportunity to observe and achieve competencies related to respiratory care procedures in the critical care units, the diagnostic labs, and other specialty areas. The topics include initiation of mechanical ventilation, patient stabilization and monitoring, measurement and evaluation of hemodynamic variables, bronchial hygiene, evaluation for weaning, extubation, arterial line samples, arterial puncture, blood gas analysis, and noninvasive monitoring. Clinical Practice observation and previous semester courses are a prerequisite to take this course.

RESC 3011. Introduction to Patient Assessment. 5 Credit Hours.

This course will introduce the student to the fundamentals of respiratory assessment to include review of existing data in the patient record, patient history, physical examination, oximetry, blood gases, respiratory monitoring, pulmonary function assessment, laboratory studies, chest and upper airway radiographs, ventilation/perfusion scans, bedside EKG interpretation, cardiovascular monitoring, and nutritional assessment. The student will be introduced to the concepts associated with chronic care and disease management.

RESC 3018. Diseases Affecting the Respiratory System. 4 Credit Hours.

The course provides a comprehensive approach to etiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of common pulmonary diseases and syndromes. Main topics include obstructive and restrictive pulmonary and cardiovascular disorders. Non-respiratory disorders impacting cardiopulmonary function commonly encountered in the critical care unit will be discussed.

RESC 3023. Pulmonary Function Testing. 3 Credit Hours.

This course provides a comprehensive overview of diagnostic tests used to evaluate normal and abnormal pulmonary function. Students will have the opportunity to perform, interpret and evaluate various tests of lung functions, including spirometry, measurement of lung volumes, diffusing capacity and metabolic measurements. Additionally, students will learn how to operate, calibrate and do quality control on pulmonary function and gas analysis equipment.

RESC 3031. Critical Respiratory Care Management. 5 Credit Hours.

This course provides a study of invasive and non-invasive patient monitoring techniques and equipment. Invasive topics will include arterial pressure monitoring, central venous and pulmonary artery catheters, as well as cardiac output measurement. Non-invasive monitoring topics include pulse oximetry, transcutaneous monitoring, inductance plethysmography, capnogrpahy and electrocardiogram. It also covers instruction on the phase of adult critical care and continuous mechanical ventilation. The history of mechanical ventilation , modes of mechanical ventilatory support, implementation, patient stabilization, monitoring, hemodynamcis, ventilator weaning and discontinuance will be covered.

RESC 4003. Pediatric and Neonatal Respiratory Care. 4 Credit Hours.

The processes of growth and development relating to respiratory care, from the fetus to the adolescent, will be discussed. The study relates physiologic function to respiratory care including assessment, evaluation, and treatment. Topics include fetal growth and development, neonatal growth and development, fetal assessment, fetal evaluation, neonatal assessment, neonatal evaluation, neonatal respiratory care, neonatal pathology, pediatric pathology, and pediatric respiratory care.

RESC 4012. Disease Management, Rehabilitation, and Extended Care. 4 Credit Hours.

This course provides an overview of the concepts, procedures, and equipment utilized in the delivery of long-term care to persons with a chronic cardiopulmonary disorder. The development and implementation of disease management programs for the care of patients with asthma, COPD, and other chronic conditions is presented. Pulmonary rehabilitation, patient education, and smoking cessation programs are reviewed. Provision of health care services in the home and other nonacute settings is examined, along with technological and procedural aspects of cardiopulmonary equipment.

RESC 4014. Clinical Practice 1. 9 Credit Hours.

Students will have an opportunity to develop skills required in the basic floor and intensive care of the respiratory patient. Topics include patient assessment, oxygen therapy, aerosol therapy, hyperinflation therapy, airway clearance therapy, airway care using the various tracheal tubes, initiation of mechanical ventilation, comprehensive ventilator management, measurement and evaluation of hemodynamic parameters, invasive and noninvasive monitoring, arterial blood gas puncture and analysis. The students will complete rotations in the pulmonary function laboratory, bronchscopy, long-term care, home care, extended care settings and introduced to the neonatal and pediatric care settings.

RESC 4017. Introduction to Research. 3 Credit Hours.

This course provides an overview of the basic principles of research, research design and statistical analysis as it relates to healthcare professionals, with the goal of encouraging involvement in research after graduation. Students will develop a hypothesis, write a problem statement, review the literature, evaluate the literature, design a study, analyze data, write an abstract and prepare a poster for presentation to the class.

RESC 4018. Clinical Practice 1 Seminar. 3 Credit Hours.

Case presentations are required to integrate clinical and theory. Review of respiratory care with an emphasis on problem solving and decision making. Self Assessment credentialing examinations will be administered for preparation of the national credentialing examination. Current issues relevant to respiratory care will be discussed to include new treatments and technologies, and issues related to critical care, professional development and practice.

RESC 4021. Issues and Trends. 4 Credit Hours.

Current issues relevant to the cardiopulmonary sciences and respiratory care will be explored. Health care delivery systems, new trends in organization and management, new treatments and technologies, ethical issues in health care, as well as issues related to professional development and practice will be discussed in the capstone course for advanced standing students. For Bachelor Degree completion students only.

RESC 4024. Clinical Practice 2. 9 Credit Hours.

Critical respiratory care is introduced to include all tasks presented in Clinical Practice I as applied to the intensive care unit. Topics include: Patient Assessment, medical gas therapy, lung expansion therapy, airway clearance therapy, mechanical ventilation, patient stalization and monitoring, evaluation of hemodynamic parameters, evaluation of ventilator weaning, intubation and extubation, all monitoring devices, labor and delivery and patient transport. In addition, tracheostomy care, ventilator monitoring, arterial puncture and blood gas analysis, endotracheal intubation, EKG services, and bronchoscopy observation are introduced. Case presentations are required to integrate clinical and classroom theory.

RESC 4028. Clinical Practice 2 Seminar. 3 Credit Hours.

Case presentations are required to integrate clinical and theory. Emphasis will be placed on decision making and problem-solving as they relate to neonatal and pediatric cardiopulmonary critical care. Current issues relevant to the neonatal and pediatric respiratory critical care will be discussed. Review of respiratory care will continue as it pertains to the Therapist Multiple Choice and Clinical Simulation credentialing examinations administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). Successful completion of the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) Clinical Simulation Self-Assessment examination is required in order to meet course requirements.

RESC 4040. Capstone Project. 4 Credit Hours.

The capstone course is a focused on a project on current issues in any area of cardiopulmonary sciences, including quality improvement, disease management, clinical critical care, leadership or management or patient education. The project shall focus on the theory, analysis and current practices and issues.

RESC 5013. Management & Leadership in Health Profession. 3 Credit Hours.

Leadership principles and management of respiratory care departments, health care organizations and programs will be studied.

RESC 5015. Education in Respiratory Care. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is an introduction to basic principles and techniques used in respiratory care education. Topics include patient education, inservice education, course design, objectives, lesson-plan development, learning activities, use of media, development of presentations, testing, and evaluation. Senior status is required.