Master of Science in Respiratory Care

Master of Science in Respiratory Care Overview

This program provides an excellent career opportunity to join the first approved entry level to practice Master of Science in Respiratory Care (MSRC) degree program in Texas. Our program is one of four MSRC first-professional degree programs in the country and provides a great opportunity to become a leader in the Respiratory Care profession.

The Master of Science  in Respiratory Care degree requires a minimum of 92 hours of credit for graduation. This program requires 23 semester hours of program prerequisite requirements prior to admission to the Health Science Center.  The program prerequisites may be completed at any accredited college or university and includes the successful completion of a baccalaureate degree in any field. Prospective students do not need any healthcare experience to be considered.   The professional phase includes more than 1200 hours of in-hospital clinical practice. As a leadership program in respiratory care, this course of study aspires to provide graduates with the foundation needed to assume professional leadership roles in clinical practice, research, education and management. Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the  national board examinations in respiratory care as well obtain a state license.

Master of Science in Respiratory Care Online Program Overview 

The Master of Science in Respiratory Care Online Program is for; (1) the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)  who has earned a Bachelor of Science in respiratory therapy/respiratory care or (2) the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) who has an earned Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree in any field and has completed the required program requirements. The  graduates of this program  have many career options including leadership positions in clinical practice, management, education, research or further graduate education. The Master of Science in Respiratory Care Online program will require the student to complete 33 graduate credit hours for graduation from the Health Science Center.

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 Master of Science in Respiratory Care (MSRC) program include:

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree in any major from a regionally accredited college/university prior to program entry.
  • Completion of all required professional prerequisite courses with a "C" or better.
    • Anatomy & Physiology I & II Lectures & Laboratories, 8 semester credit hours OR Anatomy I Lecture & Laboratory AND Physiology I Lecture & Laboratory, 8 semester credit hours
    • Any Chemistry Lecture & Laboratory, 4 semester credit hours
    • Any Physics Lecture & Laboratory, 4 semester credit hours
    • Microbiology Lecture & Laboratory, 4 semester credit hours
    • Statistics Lecture OR Statistics for Psychology Lecture, 3 semester credit hours
      • Students may be allowed to co-enroll in the program while working to complete an suitable Statistics course.  The course must be completed by the end of the first semester enrolled to continue in the program.
  • Senior standing at the time of application and the ability to complete all preprofessional coursework and earn a bachelor degree by the beginning of the Fall semester of the of the first year.
  • Overall GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Completion of the online Allied Health Centralized Application System (AHCAS), https://ahcas.liaisoncas.com, or Texas Common Application, https://www.applytexas.org
            • Payment of non-refundable $95 application fee when using the AHCAS application or  a $60 application fee if using the Texas Common Application
  • Two letters of recommendation: attesting for applicant’s readiness for graduate level studies

​International Applicants only:

  • Each foreign transcript will be evaluated to ascertain that courses are equivalent in content and rigor to prerequisite courses offered by regionally accredited higher education institutions in the United States.
  •  Submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores
    • Minimum TOEFL scores 560 (paper) or 80 (Internet)

Application Requirements

  • Completion of the online Allied Health Centralized Application System (AHCAS), https://ahcas.liaisoncas.com, or Texas Common Application, https://www.applytexas.org
            • 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.
    • Two completed letters of recommendation
    • Note: Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be evaluated by an acceptable NACES Members organization. For additional information – www.naces.org

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

If you are made an official offer of acceptance  for the Health Science Center Master of Science in Respiratory Care (MSRC) 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 detailed instructions. Be advised all immunizations must be completed 30 days before registration and some immunizations take 3 - 6 weeks to be effective.
  • 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.

The University Registrar Mailing Address:

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

Master 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 the Master of Science in Respiratory Care (MSRC) online Program for a prospective student who holds the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential and a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care OR hold the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential  and  a bachelor's degree in any field as described below.

This includes:

  • Holds the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential from the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).
  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Care/Respiratory Therapy OR completion of a bachelor’s degree in any major from a regionally accredited college/university prior to program entry.
  • Completion of all required professional prerequisite courses with a "C" or better
    •  Statistics Lecture OR Statistics for Psychology Lecture (3 semester credit hours)
      • Students may be allowed to co-enroll in the program while working to complete program requirements (beginning, Fall 2017). Students must have Statistics completed by the end of the first semester enrolled. All other course requirements for admission must be completed prior to beginning the MSRC ONLINE  program.
  • Senior standing at the time of application and the ability to complete all preprofessional coursework by the beginning of the first semester of the of the first year.
  • Overall GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Completed application to the program and submission of official transcripts for all college coursework completed.
  • Two letters of recommendation: attesting for applicant’s readiness for graduate level studies
  • Personal Interview with program faculty

​International Applicants only:

  • Each foreign transcript will be evaluated to ascertain that courses are equivalent in content and rigor to prerequisite courses offered by regionally accredited higher education institutions in the United States.
  •  Submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores
    • Minimum TOEFL scores 560 (paper) or 80 (Internet)

Application Requirements

  • Hold the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential  from the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).
  • Completion of the online Allied Health Centralized Application System (AHCAS), https://ahcas.liaisoncas.com, or Texas Common Application, https://www.applytexas.org
            • 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.  
    • Two completed letters of recommendation
    • Note: Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be evaluated by an acceptable NACES Members organization. For additional information – www.naces.org

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

If you are made an official offer of acceptance for the Health Science Center Master of Science in Respiratory Care (MSRC) 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 detailed 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.

The University Registrar Mailing Address:

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

Degree Requirements

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

  • Complete all required respiratory care professional courses with a grade of C (75%) or better.
  • Maintain a 3.0 overall GPA each semester.
  • Successfully complete the self assessment examinations given by the National Board for Respiratory Care.
  • Successfully complete a comprehensive end-of-year and program competency assessment.
  • Successfully complete a research project (create and implement an educational project, create and implement a quality improvement plan, or create and implement a research project).
  • Hold current certification in Basic Life Support for Healthcare Professionals (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Neonatal Resuscitation Provider course (NRP).
  • Complete all University requirements for graduation.

Online Program Requirements

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

 Master of Science in Respiratory Care Sample Plan of Study

First Year
FallCredit Hours
RESC 5002Introduction to Respiratory Care 5
RESC 5005Pharmacology 4
RESC 5010Cardiopulmonary Physiology 5
RESC 5011Patient Assessment 5
Spring
RESC 5020Diseases Affecting the Cardiopulmonary System 4
RESC 5023Cardiopulmonary Diagnostics and Pulmonary Function Testing 3
RESC 5030Pediatric & Neonatal Respiratory Care 4
RESC 5031Critical Care & Mechanical Ventilation 5
RESC 5041Clinical Practice Introduction 1
Summer
RESC 5013Management & Leadership in Health Profession 3
RESC 5015Education in Respiratory Care 3
RESC 5017Introduction to Research 3
RESC 5042Critical Care Introduction 3
Second Year
Fall
RESC 6011Clinical Seminar 1 2
RESC 6019Clinical Practice 1 12
RESC 6030Research Project 1 2
Spring
RESC 6029Clinical Practice 2 12
RESC 6031Research Project 2 2
RESC 6033Clinical Seminar 2 2
Summer
RESC 6032Clinical Practice 3 8
RESC 6034Research Project 3 2
RESC 6035Clinical Seminar 3 2
 Total Credit Hours: 92.0

Master of Science in Respiratory Care Online Program for RRT with BSRC OR RRT with Bachelor's degree in any field

Sample Plan of Study

RESC 5010Cardiopulmonary Physiology5
RESC 5011Patient Assessment5
RESC 5013Management & Leadership in Health Profession3
RESC 5015Education in Respiratory Care3
RESC 5017Introduction to Research3
RESC 6001Respiratory Care Professional Issues and Trends4
RESC 6011Clinical Seminar 12
RESC 6030Research Project 12
RESC 6031Research Project 22
RESC 6033Clinical Seminar 22
RESC 6034Research Project 32
Total Credit Hours33

Master of Science in Respiratory Care Objectives/Program Outcomes

Goals of the Master of Science in 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 Master of Science in Respiratory Care (MSRC) 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 MSRC 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). 

Lastly, the MSRC program will prepare leaders for the field of respiratory care by including curricular content that includes courses and objectives related to the acquisition of skills in management, education, research and advanced clinical practice. 

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. 

Master of Science in Respiratory Care 

Continuation as a Respiratory Care student is dependent on maintenance of a cumulative grade point average. Master of Science in Respiratory Care Students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 (B). If the students GPA falls less than a 3.0 the student will be placed on probation.  While on probation, a student must maintain a B average in those courses for which he or she is registered or be considered for dismissal.  

Any time a student whose cumulative grade point average falls below the required point will be subject to being placed on probation. 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 5002. Introduction to Respiratory Care. 5 Credit Hours.

This course will introduce the student to respiratory therapies, protocols and hands-on experience with basic respiratory care equipment to gain experience. Specific modes of therapy are examined to recognize principles of application to patients, indications, hazards, contraindications, and efficacy. The equipment this course will focus include; medical gases, oxygen delivery devices, humidifiers, aerosol generators, pressure ventilators, gas delivery, metering and analyzing devices, percussors, environmental devices, manometers, gauges and vacuum systems, manual resuscitators, artificial airways, intubation equipment, maintenance of artificial airways, tracheostomies secretion removal devices.

RESC 5005. Pharmacology. 4 Credit Hours.

This course presents the physiologic and pharmacologic basis of cardiopulmonary medications. This course describes several aspects of formulation and preparation of the most commonly prescribed respiratory drugs. Indications, contraindication, and side effects of drugs related to the cardiopulmonary system will be included.

RESC 5010. Cardiopulmonary Physiology. 5 Credit Hours.

This course provides a study of cardiopulmonary anatomy and physiology. 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 cardiopulmonary relationship and clinical applications of these phenomena in the cardiopulmonary system will be emphasized.

RESC 5011. Patient Assessment. 5 Credit Hours.

This course provides the fundamentals of respiratory assessment beginning with the review of existing data in the patient record, patient history, physical examination, oximetry, blood gases, respiratory monitoring, laboratory studies, chest and upper airway radiographs, ventilation/perfusion scans, bedside EKG interpretation, cardiovascular monitoring, and nutritional assessment. These data, procedures, and equipment will be utilized in the delivery of care to patients with chronic cardiopulmonary disorders in alternate care settings. Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, tobacco education programs, respiratory therapy protocols, and case management will be incorporated into patient care plans.

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.

RESC 5017. Introduction to Research. 3 Credit Hours.

This course provides an introduction to the methods of scientific research to include research design and statistical analysis. Critical review of the components of research reports will be performed to include definition of the problem, review of the literature, research design, data analysis and results.

RESC 5020. Diseases Affecting the Cardiopulmonary System. 4 Credit Hours.

This course provides a broad approach to etiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of pulmonary diseases and disorders. This course will stress the obstructive, restrictive pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases. Non-respiratory disorders impacting cardiopulmonary function will be discussed.

RESC 5023. Cardiopulmonary Diagnostics and Pulmonary Function Testing. 3 Credit Hours.

This course focuses on normal and abnormal cardiopulmonary function utilizing diagnostic tools. The course provides hands on opportunities to perform, interpret, and evaluate various cardiopulmonary diagnostic results to include the operation, calibration, quality control, and maintenance of pulmonary function and gas analysis equipment.

RESC 5030. Pediatric & Neonatal Respiratory Care. 4 Credit Hours.

This course describes the most important concepts associated with neonatal and pediatric patient care. From fetal growth and development, through assessment and determining treatment plans for the most common neonatal and pediatric cardiopulmonary diseases. This includes cardiopulmonary congenital diseases, gastrointestinal, and neurologic diseases. The course also includes hands on opportunities to work with the respiratory care equipment used to care for neonates and pediatric patients.

RESC 5031. Critical Care & Mechanical Ventilation. 5 Credit Hours.

This course describes the role of the respiratory therapist in the critical care settings. Instruction and hands on opportunities will be provided to set-up, operate and maintain mechanical ventilators and related equipment. The course will include the history of mechanical ventilation, modes of mechanical ventilatory support, implementation, patient stabilization, monitoring, hemodynamics, ventilator weaning and discontinuance.

RESC 5041. Clinical Practice Introduction. 1 Credit Hour.

This clinical practice introduction provides the student the opportunity to observe and achieve competencies related to respiratory care procedures in general medical and surgical floors. Introduces students to clinical respiratory care procedures. Topics include: introduction to the clinical affiliate, patient assessment, medical gas therapy, aerosol therapy, incentive spirometry, positive pressure breathing, chest physiotherapy and airway care.

RESC 5042. Critical Care Introduction. 3 Credit Hours.

This clinical observation provides the students the opportunity to observe and achieve competencies related to respiratory care procedures in the adult, pediatric and neonatal critical care units, the diagnostic and pulmonary 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. Prerequisite: RESC 5041.

RESC 6001. Respiratory Care Professional Issues and Trends. 4 Credit Hours.

Current trends and issues relevant to cardiorespiratory care will be explored. Health care delivery systems, management, treatments and technologies, ethical issues in health care, as well as issues related to professional development and practice will be discussed.

RESC 6011. Clinical Seminar 1. 2 Credit Hours.

Case presentations are required to integrate clinical and theory. Review of respiratory care with an emphasis on problem solving and decision making. Practice board credentialing examinations will be administered for national board examinations preparation. Current issues relevant to respiratory care will be explored to include new treatments and technologies, and issues related to professional development and practice. Prerequisite: Second year status.

RESC 6019. Clinical Practice 1. 12 Credit Hours.

This course provides students the opportunity to further develop both basic and advance skills required in the intensive care of the respiratory patient. Topics include: patient assessment, medical gas therapy, aerosol therapy, incentive spirometry, positive pressure breathing, chest physiotherapy, airway care using nasal, endotracheal, tracheal tubes, initiation of mechanical ventilation, patient stabilization and monitoring, evaluation of hemodynamic variables, bronchial hygiene, evaluation for weaning, endotracheal intubation, extubation, arterial line sampling, arterial puncture, blood gas analysis, and non-invasive monitoring. The students will also complete a pulmonary function, bronchoscopy observation, long-term care, and pediatric rotations. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of first year course work.

RESC 6029. Clinical Practice 2. 12 Credit Hours.

This course provides an opportunity to acquire clinical experience in the intensive care of neonatal and pediatric patients. Topics include: patient assessment, medical gas therapy, aerosol therapy, incentive spirometry, chest physiotherapy, airway care, initiation of mechanical ventilation, patient stabilization and monitoring, evaluation of hemodynamic variables, bronchial hygiene, evaluation for weaning, endotracheal intubation, monitoring (invasive and non-invasive), labor and delivery assistance, and transport. Students are also given the opportunity to further develop their adult critical care skills.

RESC 6030. Research Project 1. 2 Credit Hours.

This course provides the student with guided activities to develop an appropriate research question and research methodology for completion of the required research requirements.

RESC 6031. Research Project 2. 2 Credit Hours.

Guided activities to develop an appropriate research question and research methodology and begin data collection for completion of the required program research requirements. Prerequisite: Second year status.

RESC 6032. Clinical Practice 3. 8 Credit Hours.

This course provides an opportunity to advance the students clinical experience in neonatal and pediatric respiratory care in the areas of patient assessment and monitoring (invasive and noninvasive), mechanical ventilation, ECMO, airway care, labor and delivery assistance and transport. Students will also have an opportunity for reinforcement of adult intensive care. In addition, students are provided with an opportunity in home health, skilled nursing facility, pulmonary rehabilitation and sleep.

RESC 6033. Clinical Seminar 2. 2 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 respiratory care. Current issues relevant to the neonatal and pediatric respiratory 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) Therapist Multiple Choice Self Assessment examination is required in order to meet course requirements. Prerequisite: Second year status.

RESC 6034. Research Project 3. 2 Credit Hours.

Guided activities to develop an appropriate research question, research methodology, completion of data collection and analysis for completion of the required program research requirements. Prerequisite: Second year status.

RESC 6035. Clinical Seminar 3. 2 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 clinical respiratory care and disease management. Current issues relevant to respiratory care will be discussed ethical issues in health care, smoking cessation, palliative care, and issues related to professional development and practice. Review of respiratory care as it pertains to the credentialing examinations administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) will continue. Successful completion of the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) self-assessment examinations are required in order to meet course requirements.