Respiratory Therapy

Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences (Respiratory Therapy)

Respiratory therapists assess and treat dysfunction involving the heart and lungs. Respiratory therapists work in hospitals, intensive care units, emergency rooms, air and ambulance transport, neonatal and pediatric units, patient homes, sleep laboratories, skilled nursing facilities, and in the medical device industry. They work closely with physicians to manage ventilators and artificial airways, administer prescribed inhaled medications, perform pulmonary function testing, and analyze arterial blood specimens.

Entry into Practice RRT

The Respiratory Therapy program at MU includes two years of pre-requisite coursework and two years (including summer semesters) of professional coursework, which can be completed in Columbia or at the program’s satellite campus at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. Students graduate with the Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) degree in Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences with an emphasis in Respiratory Therapy. Graduates of the program are eligible to challenge credentialing examinations administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC https://www.nbrc.org).

RRT Degree Advancement

A fully online degree advancement program is available for credentialed registered respiratory therapists (RRT) who seek a bachelor's degree. This program includes professional courses to enhance student knowledge in the areas of management, education, research and adult, neonatal/pediatric critical care. Students may transfer general education and respiratory therapy coursework from a regionally accredited institution/program prior to completing the core requirements of the program. 

Common Career Paths

You can do nearly anything with a Mizzou degree, but here are some common career paths taken by graduates of this major: