Respiratory Therapy at The University of Akron

Respiratory Therapy Bachelor's Program

Respiratory Therapy is a career with a “great return on investment” (U.S News & World Report, April 15, 2010).

According to a survey by American Association for Respiratory Care in 2012, the projected average salary for a respiratory therapist in the U.S. is over $62,000.

The University of Akron's Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Respiratory Care. Visit its website to obtain more information about the accrediting agency and its policies and standards. Find CoARC program outcomes here.

After successfully completing all of the requirements for this program, and after being recommended by faculty of the College of Health Professions, a student will be awarded a bachelor's of science (BS) degree in Respiratory Therapy.


What is respiratory therapy?

Respiratory therapy is...

  • a health care profession that works with patients who have heart or lung disease;
  • a baccalaureate degree program;
  • a great career with outstanding job prospects; and
  • a licensed profession in the State of Ohio.

The University of Akron's Respiratory Care Program...

  • has been an accredited program for more than 30 years. It is currently accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Respiratory Care;
  • has greater than 95% job placement every year since it has been in existence; and
  • has pass rates on certification and registry exams which exceed national averages.

What do respiratory therapists do?

  • The primary job of the respiratory therapist is to help assess, diagnose and treat the patient with lung or heart disease.
  • The physician orders the therapy, and we carry it out.
  • We spend a lot of time evaluating the therapy to assure that it is working, and is appropriate for the patient.
  • We help the physician provide the correct therapy.

Types of settings

  • Respiratory therapists work in hospitals, nursing homes, offices, sales, sleep labs, and even in the patients' own homes.
  • We care for the very young (newborn) to the very old (geriatrics).
  • our equipment may be quite simple (oxygen cannula) to very complex (mechanical ventilators that breathe for the patient).

How the clinical training works

  • Students learn the skills they need on campus in lecture classes.
  • They practice the skills in labs on campus.
  • They later practice the skills on real patients in hospitals, under supervision of a clinical instructor.

Hospital affiliations

  • Students receive more than 1,100 hours of clinical time in hospitals.
  • An excellent working relationship exists between the hospitals and the University of Akron.

Working in respiratory therapy

  • Ohio has a licensure law. To be eligible for the license, you must graduate from an approved program, and pass the licensure exam.
  • Students are eligible to work in a hospital while in the program, after completing a clinical course.
  • The state licensure law is designed to protect the public. If you have a criminal background, you many not be able to get a license. Contact the licensure board for specifics.

Apply for the program

  • Application to the program is a two-part process.
  • Apply to the University of Akron and get accepted.
  • Apply to the Respiratory Therapy program itself.
  • Nov. 30 annually is the deadline to apply.
  • Acceptance is based upon a combination of grade point average, and science/math course grades.
  • Clinical space is limited. Not everyone who applies may be accepted.

For high school students

If I'm a high school student, what can I do to prepare for the program?

  • Take classes which emphasize science and math, since that is the background needed for Respiratory Therapy
  • Take biology, algebra, physics, chemistry
  • Get the highest grade point average you possibly can
  • Visit a respiratory care department and talk with a respiratory therapist to make certain you know what you are getting into
  • Research the career at www.aarc.org

For college students

If I'm a college student, what can I do to prepare myself?

  • Take classes that emphasize science and math, specifically those in the respiratory therapy curriculum.
  • Take Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, Biochemistry and Math for Modern Technology.
  • Get the highest grade point average you possibly can
  • Visit a respiratory therapy department and talk with a respiratory therapist to make certain you know what you are getting into.

Entering the program

What are my chances of getting into the Respiratory Therapy program?

  • Interest in this profession is very high and growing.
  • Admission to the program is limited to 20 students as full admits who start in Spring Semester of their sophomore year.

Career outlook

Is this a good career?

  • Respiratory Therapy is an excellent career choice.
  • Jobs in have been great in Respiratory Care! The demand is very high, and generally exceeds the supply of new respiratory therapists. Demand for RTs is projected to grow by 20 percent through 2022.
  • UA graduates are passing the exams in high numbers.
  • The baccalaureate program offers additional prestige over associate degree programs from other institutions.

For more information

For more information, send a message to stacia@uakron.edu


Advisory committee

Our advisory committee is comprised of healthcare professionals and students in our program. They advise us on trends in the workplace, and we use those insights to inform our curriculum. We are grateful for their service to our program!

PDF icon  Respiratory Therapy Advisory Committee