Become a medical professional

If you are an aspiring student with the desire to work in a dynamic and stimulating medical profession with unlimited potential and excellent employment outlook, then the Respiratory Care Program is for you.

Reasons why Respiratory Care is a good fit:

  • A career in a unique medical profession with great salary and employment outlook
  • A unique, specialized medical career in high demand
  • Learn in a state-of-the-art laboratory and complete clinical rotations at world-renowned partners  

What is Respiratory Care?

Respiratory care applies a combination of academic and clinical training to teach you mastery of specialized respiratory skills so that they may assist patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. Respiratory therapists will treat a large variety of patients including those with asthma, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, respiratory failure, black lung, sleep apnea, cardiac arrest, premature neonates, and more.

The U.S. News & World Report ranks Respiratory Therapist in the top 25 Health Care Professions. Click through to see the full details.

Start Fresh or Transfer In 

Carlow University is pleased to offer two tracks for the completion of a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care (BSRC):

Carlow’s location in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh offers easy access to clinical sites and future employers. Students are able to take advantage of the University’s longstanding relationships with world-renowned health systems, while still working and learning with Carlow faculty. 

Carlow’s program is one of just 60 BSRC programs in the country!

Carlow BSRC Program Recognized by Coalition for Baccalaureate and Graduate Respiratory Therapy Education

Carlow Stories: Enrique Mu
"As responsible respiratory professionals and community members, we believe that it is not only vitally important to provide a comprehensive education but it is also our responsibility to do so to promote a just and merciful world. Click here for the full newsletter"

Carlow is an institutional member of the Coalition of Baccalaureate and Graduate Respiratory Therapy Education (CoBGRTE) and the Pennsylvania Society for Respiratory Care (PRSC)

How much do Respiratory Care Therapists usually make?

Average Starting Salary
According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistic, the median annual wage for respiratory therapists was $58,670 in May 2016.

Job Outlook

Employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 23% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations which is 7%.

Where do Respiratory Care practitioners work? 

  • Hospitals giving breathing treatments to people with asthma and other respiratory conditions.
  • Intensive care units managing ventilators that keep the critically ill alive.
  • Emergency rooms delivering life-saving treatments.
  • Newborn and pediatric units helping kids with conditions ranging from premature birth to cystic fibrosis.
  • Operating rooms working with anesthesiologists to monitor patients’ breathing during surgery.
  • Patient’s homes providing regular check-ups and making sure people have what they need to stay out of the hospital.
  • Sleep laboratories helping to diagnose disorders like sleep apnea.
  • Skilled nursing facilities and pulmonary rehabilitation programs helping older people breathe easier and get more out of life.
  • Doctor’s offices conducting pulmonary function tests and providing patient education.
  • Asthma education programs helping kids and adults alike learn how to cope with the condition.
  • Smoking cessation programs assisting those who want to kick the habit for good.
  • Air transport and ambulance programs rushing to rescue people in need of immediate medical attention.
  • Case management programs helping devise long-term care plans for patients

Does a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care give me opportunities for upward mobility?

In this profession, there is nowhere to go but up! Respiratory therapists who enjoy managing other people find great career ladders in most settings—particularly in the hospital, which still employs the majority of therapists. Respiratory therapists with advanced educational skills and who excel on the job have no problem rising up the ranks from staff therapist, to shift supervisor, to department manager. There are even therapists who have ascended to the highest levels of hospital administration!

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Professional Licensure Disclosure

The curriculum for Carlow University BS in Respiratory Care meets the requirement for licensure in all US States and Territories.


(Respiratory Care - Traditional On-Ground Program track) The Carlow University Respiratory Care Program (CoARC program # 200617) offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Respiratory Care at its Pittsburgh PA campus and holds Provisional Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. This status signifies that a program that has been granted an Approval of Intent has demonstrated sufficient compliance to initiate a program in accordance with the Standards through the completion and submission of an acceptable Provisional Accreditation Self Study Report (PSSR), completion of an initial on-site visit, and other documentation required by the CoARC. The conferral of Provisional Accreditation denotes a new program that has made significant progress towards meeting the Standards of Accreditation. The program will remain on Provisional Accreditation until achieving Continuing Accreditation. It is recognized by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) toward eligibility to the Respiratory Care Credentialing Examination(s). Enrolled students completing the program under Provisional Accreditation are considered graduates of a CoARC accredited program. 

(Respiratory Care Degree Completion/ Advancement track) Respiratory Care Degree Advancement programs are “educational programs designed specifically to meet the needs of practicing respiratory therapists with an RRT who, have already completed an accredited respiratory care program with an entry into respiratory care professional practice degree and wish to obtain advanced training in respiratory care” (AARC-Degree Advancement Programs in Respiratory Care). In 2015, The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, which oversees respiratory care education, developed a set of Standards for Degree Advancement programs, however, this is a voluntary process and not required by Respiratory Care Degree Advancement Programs. Thus, the Respiratory Care Degree Advancement Program at Carlow University is currently not accredited by CoARC. 


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