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Student practicing CPR. Photo taken pre-COVID.

Respiratory Care, B.S.

To ensure the respiratory therapy workforce is prepared to meet the growing challenges and demands it will face in terms of protocol-driven care and disease management, the American Association for Respiratory Care has called for 80 percent of therapists to either hold or be working toward a bachelor's degree. The degree provides opportunity for professional career enhancement and offers the foundation for rapid advancement in administration, research, and critical care.

Visit the program website for more information.

National Job Growth

Respiratory care opportunities are projected to grow 10% in the U.S. by 2025.

Michigan Job Growth

Respiratory care opportunities are projected to grow 5% in Michigan by 2025.

Located near Grand Rapids' Medical Mile

The respiratory therapy program is housed in the state-of-the-art Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, located near Grand Rapids' Medical Mile.

Source: EMSI, 2021

Program Overview

The program is designed for working respiratory therapists who would like to advance their education and careers. Minimum criteria for program acceptance:

  • Associate degree in respiratory care from a CoARC accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) or Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) who is RRT eligible
  • Application for admission to GVSU
  • Submission of official transcripts from all other colleges/universities attended
  • Secondary application for BSRC program
  • Personal statement of career goals and how this program will help achieve educational and professional objectives

Students who are not currently respiratory therapists and are interested in pursuing a career in respiratory care are encouraged to visit to contact a College of Health Professions Student Services academic advisor.

Why Study Respiratory Care at Grand Valley?

  • For students also working as respiratory therapists, the program offers flexibility with both online and hybrid formats.
  • Students can complete the 45 required credits in as few as one year/three semesters.
  • Located in the state-of-the-art Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall in close proximity to five hospitals, the Grand Rapids Medical Education and Research Center, and many research, clinical, and treatment facilities.
  • Courses are taught by faculty members who meet the highest levels of professional standards, not graduate assistants.
  • The College of Health Professions maintains a dedicated staff of academic advisors in its Student Services Office to meet the academic advising needs of its students.

Location & Format

All undergraduate students begin their academic career on the Allendale Campus. Students in this major continue their upper division studies on the GVSU Health Campus, near the Grand Rapids Medical Mile.



Students pursuing this degree will need to transfer in an associate degree in respiratory care from a CoARC accredited institution, and can transfer up to 80 credits of coursework. In addition, they will need to complete 45 credits of GVSU respiratory care coursework. There is an option for GVSU students to complete the associate degree through a community college and return for the final three semesters.

Career Options

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states the job outlook for respiratory therapists is 19% growth, much higher than for other health care fields or all occupations. The expanding role of respiratory therapists and the aging population leads to an increased demand for these services. A bachelor's degree prepares the respiratory therapist for careers in management, education, and research, and to move toward becoming an advanced practice respiratory therapist or physician assistant.

Combined Degree Programs

This undergraduate degree can be combined with a master's degree to save you time and money, and get you into the workforce sooner. On average, students save $8,500 in our combined degree programs and take up to four fewer classes than if earning the degrees separately.

You can even build your own combined degree from programs in different disciplines to further personalize your education and meet specific career goals.

Skills Employers Want

The B.S. in Respiratory Care at GVSU will develop the skills you need to land the job you want. Whether the skills are advanced or general, you will build a resume of qualifications that are sure to attract employers. The following skills correlate with those pulled from actual job postings.

  • Medical Records
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Auditing
  • Nursing
  • Respiratory Care
  • CPT Coding
  • Basic Life Support
  • Medical Terminology

Source: EMSI, 2020

Admission Requirements


Respiratory care requires a selective secondary admissions/application process. See the Academic Programs section of the catalog for details.

For More Information

College of Health Professions
School of Interdisciplinary Health
Respiratory Care
500 Lafayette Ave. NE, Suite 106
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 331-5555

Admissions Office


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