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Program Admission Requirements

Pre-Admission Information Sessions

Interested in the Respiratory Care program?  Students are required to attend an Allied Health Programs Information Session before seeing a Student Services Center advisor about entering this program. These sessions provide important information about program eligibility, requirements, costs and more.

Applying for Program Admission

This degree program requires a special program application.  Please read all of the information on this page carefully.

  • Program prerequisites must be completed (with grades posted) as described in Program Requirements before applying to the program.
  • Once prerequisite coursework is complete, students can access the online HRP Program Application on the MyPima Academics tab in the Academic Planning section.
  • Upon receipt of an eligible online HRP Program Application request, PCC transcripts will be evaluated to determine if program admission requirements have been met.  If met, a program application and applicable program policies will be mailed to address listed on student file.  Program application must be completed and returned to the West Campus for final processing.  Application requests are denied when Respiratory Therapy enrollment requirements have not been successfully satisfied or when grades have not been posted on PCC transcripts.  Applicants will receive an electronic message indicating requirements that have not been met.  

Program Pre-Admission Requirements

  • New and Transfer students are required to complete the program admissions application.
  • Complete assessment exams for math, reading, and writing.
  • International students must score higher than 450 on the institutional TOEFL (Test of English as a Second Language).
  • Transfer courses earned from another Regionally Accredited Institution are not valid until they have been officially evaluated & grades have been posted on PCC transcripts.  An official (sealed) transcript and Student Request for Transcript Evaluation form must be submitted to PCC Admissions Office 
  • If grades and/or assessment scores are not posted on PCC transcripts at the time of program application, application requests will be denied. 
  • Support courses may be completed prior to or during RTH core curriculum.

Program Admissions and Course Information

  • Vaccinations required for entering/continuing in the Respiratory Care program: The Respiratory Care program works with hospitals and agencies that require the hepatitis B vaccination (series of three vaccinations) and an annual flu vaccination.  All students who are enrolled or entering the Respiratory Care program must provide documentation of receiving these vaccinations or a positive titer.  Please be aware that the hepatitis vaccination is a series of three shots with 1-2 months between the first and second shot and four months between the second and third shot. All students must get these vaccinations and/or titers immediately. Students who do not provide proof of receiving the vaccinations or a positive titer when entering the Respiratory Care program will have to reapply to the program. The hospitals and agencies that PCC works with strictly enforce these requirements.  Additional vaccination requirements for the clinical portion of the program are listed in the next section of this page.
  • The Respiratory Care program admits 32 qualified students each fall semester dependent on availability. 
  • Completion time for the RTH program is based on compass assessment results, completion of program admission requirements, support courses and/or completion of RTH core courses. 
  • Must receive a C grade or better in all core courses to progress to the next semester.

To participate in the clinical portion of the Respiratory Care program, students must:

  • Provide and maintain an Arizona Department of Public Safety Fingerprint Clearance Card.
  • Pass a urine toxicology screening exam.
  • Be able to perform a number of physical activities in the clinical portion of the program.  At a minimum, students will be required to lift patients without the use of a mechanical device, stand and walk for several hours at a time, perform bending activities, move medical equipment, and perform chest compressions.  The clinical Respiratory Care Program also places students under considerable mental and emotional stress as they undertake responsibilities and duties impacting patients’ lives.  Students must be able to demonstrate rational and appropriate behavior under stressful conditions.  Individuals should give careful consideration to the mental and physical demands of the program prior to making application.
  • Be able to assess and gather information regarding the patient, i.e., color changes in the skin, hearing heart and lung sounds through a stethoscope, feeling pulses, communicate effectively with the patient and health care team, and the ability to synthesize the data obtained to critically think and make emergency decisions. 
  • Present proof of immunization and/or immunity for MMR/Varicella/TDaP.
  • Show proof of negative TB skin test or negative chest x-ray for TB.
  • Maintain health insurance and a CPR card at the Health Care Provider Level throughout enrollment in the program.

Note: The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care requires students to successfully complete an Advanced Cardiac Life Support course prior to graduation.  The Respiratory Care program requires successful completion of the Advanced Cardiac Life Support course prior to the third semester of the Respiratory Care program.

Important Information on Licensure

Students should be aware that federal and state law requires documentation that the applicant for Respiratory Care Practitioner licensure is a U.S. citizen, national, or a person described in specific categories, to be eligible for licensure in Arizona.

All applicants applying or renewing a license must also demonstrate U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S.  A statement of Citizenship form with the documents identified in the Evidence of Citizenship attachment must accompany all license applications and renewals.

Students are eligible for a temporary Arizona State License after they successfully graduate from the Respiratory Care program of Pima Community College.  Once students pass their entry-level national board examination (CRT), they are then eligible to apply for a permanent license.  The board examinations are administered nationally by the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC).