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Respiratory Care

Associate of Applied Science

Develop skills through classroom, laboratory and clinical experience to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT). 

Pima’s Respiratory Care program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) [more].

Selective Admissions Program: In order to be fully admitted to this program, you must fulfill the requirements listed in Program Admissions. See an advisor for details.

Title IV Financial Aid eligible: Yes

What can I do with this degree?

Career Options: Apply to take the exam given by the National Board of Respiratory Care to become a certified respiratory therapist.  This degree also qualifies graduates to take the registered respiratory therapist exam.  Become licensed in Arizona. Work in hospitals, special-care facilities and other settings taking care of cardiopulmonary patients.

Academic Options: While this degree was not designed to transfer to a 4-year university, it may apply toward Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) or other programs.  See Pima’s Transfer Partnerships page to determine which universities offer BAS programs, and research how the universities may accept this program in transfer.

Program Requirements 2018-2019

Students must receive a C grade or better in all core courses to progress to the next semester.  Course substitutions are not accepted in the Respiratory Care program.

Program Prerequisites

These courses are not eligible for Title IV financial aid. Students must have completed the following (with grades posted) before they may begin the application process.

International students must score higher than 450 on the institutional TOEFL (Test of English as a Second Language)
MAT 097 Intermediate Algebra or placement into MAT 151 or higher 0-3
Subtotal 0-3

Preparatory Coursework

Students must have completed the following (with grades or C or better posted) before they may begin the application process

REA 112HP or REA 112 or Accuplacer reading placement score of 92 or higher 0-4
BIO 156IN OR BIO 201IH OR 201IN OR BIO 156 bypass exam score of 70% or higher 0-4
HCA 100 or STU 100 1
Subtotal 1-9

General Education Requirements

 General Education requirements are fulfilled by core or support courses.*


Required Core Courses

A grade of C or better is required for graduation.

Course # Course Title Credits
HCA 152 Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) 1
RTH 110 Introduction to Respiratory Care 2
RTH 112 Respiratory Physiology 4
RTH 121/121LB Basic Therapeutics/Lab 4
RTH 123/123LB Basic Assessment and Monitoring/Lab 4
RTH 124 Pharmacology for Respiratory Care 3
RTH 135LC Clinical Procedures I 4
RTH 156 Cardiopulmonary Diseases I 3
RTH 162 Principles of Mechanical Ventilation 3
RTH 241/241LB Application of Mechanical Ventilation/Lab 4
RTH 243/243LB Advanced Assessment and Monitoring/Lab 4
RTH 245LC Clinical Procedures II 4
RTH 251/251LB Neonatal and Pediatric Specialty Therapeutics/Lab 5
RTH 255LC Clinical Procedures III 4
RTH 256 Cardiopulmonary Diseases II 2
RTH 257LB Clinical Applications and Professional Development 1
Subtotal 52

Required Support Courses

Course # Course Title Credits
BIO 205IN Microbiology [SUN# BIO 2205] 4
  or HIS 141
  or HUM 260
Contemporary Native Americans of the Southwest 
  History of the United States I  [SUN# HIS 1131]
  Intercultural Perspectives
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology [SUN# PSY 1101] 4
WRT 101 English Composition I  [SUN# ENG 1101] 3
WRT 102 English Composition II [SUN# ENG 1102] 3
Subtotal 16
Total (not including program prerequisites or preparatory coursework) 68
Total  (including program prerequisites and preparatory coursework)

* Other general education requirements are fulfilled by required prerequisites courses: Communication - WRT 101; Arts and Humanities  - AIS/ANT 206 or HIS 141 or HUM 260; Social and Behavioral Science - PSY 101; Mathematics and Science -  BIO 205IN and Math prerequisite; Other Requirement - WRT 102;  Special Requirement (C or G) - HIS 141 or HUM 260.