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Respiratory Therapy Program

Format: In person on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah
Credit Hours: 130

Major in respiratory therapy and take the first step toward working on the front lines of heart and lung conditions as a credentialed respiratory therapist.

As a respiratory therapist, your work will focus on assessing, treating and managing patients with acute or chronic heart and lung illnesses and breathing disorders. Respiratory therapists play a vital role in administering life-saving interventions such as acquiring and maintaining artificial airways and managing mechanical ventilation life-support equipment. Our program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, and will give you the training and hands-on skills to achieve the highest professional credentials available in respiratory therapy.

Graduates are eligible for two credentials after graduation, and would be eligible for three board sub-specialist certifications after significant experience and training under medical direction.

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B.S. Degree Program, Respiratory Therapy Major – Traditional Entry

Format: In person at Armstrong Campus
Credit Hours: 130

Georgia Southern University’s Respiratory Therapy Program offers a traditional entry program for students with no previous degree in respiratory therapy. This program requires in-person classes and laboratories, in addition to clinical rotations beginning in the spring semester. A high level of critical thinking skills, interpersonal and fine motor skills among others, are minimally required to be successful in the respiratory therapy program.

A bachelor’s degree from our accredited respiratory therapy program qualifies graduates for entry into the advanced practitioner credentialing system, leading to the highest professional credential available in the field of respiratory therapy.

Scholarship Opportunities

Traditional Entry-Level BSRT Program Admission Criteria

Admission to Georgia Southern University.

All transfer credits must be evaluated by the Undergraduate Office of Admissions and posted on the Georgia Southern transcript upon official acceptance to the University. 

Admission to Georgia Southern University does not guarantee admission to the respiratory therapy program. The department has a separate formal admissions process managed by the Allied Health Centralized Application Service (AHCAS). Cohorts start each Fall Semester.

Admission is made on a space-available basis and is limited to the best-qualified students. Meeting admission criteria does not constitute acceptance into the program. Minimum admission criteria include:

  1. Completion of all core requirements for the major before the program start date
  2. An overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or greater
  3. A grade of C or higher is required for all courses in Core Areas A, D, and F
  4. A calculated GPA of 2.5 or greater in math and science courses found in Areas A, D, and F. This calculated GPA includes all passed and failed attempts of a course except for courses for which academic renewal has been approved
  5. Students with outstanding admission requirements must provide proof of meeting with the program director before the beginning of the admitted semester. Failure to do so will result in removal from the admitted list, and
  6. Students who are dismissed from the program due to more than one (1) course failure may be considered for readmission to the program after a period of 5 years
  7. Prospective Qualified Students are required to shadow a respiratory therapist for a minimum of 4 hours, before the start of the program. Note – not having shadowing hours completed will not prevent prospective qualified students from being interviewed. 
    1. Prospective qualified students must meet minimum admissions criteria to obtain assistance from the RT program for shadowing hours.
    2. Students should contact respiratory@georgiasouthern.edu for assistance in shadowing

Areas of Specialization

The healthcare field of respiratory therapy is focused on treating patients with cardiopulmonary (heart/lung) illnesses and breathing difficulties. Respiratory therapists work in acute-care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, homecare/DME settings and physician’s offices. The registered respiratory therapist (RRT) is involved in the assessment and management of patients with acute or chronic diseases or conditions affecting the heart and lungs. RRTs are also involved in the diagnosis and prevention of cardiopulmonary disease.

B.S. Degree Program, Respiratory Therapy Major – Bridge

Format: Online
Credit Hours: 130
Note: There are no in-person requirements. All students establish a preceptor/mentor at their home hospital/clinic to facilitate project completion for courses within the Online Degree Completion program.

The Degree Completion/Bridge BSRT program is for NBRC Credentialed RRTs with an AS or AAS in Respiratory Therapy who wish to complete their bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy while working in the field. This program is fully online, which allows working respiratory therapists the flexibility of completing core requirements and respiratory therapy courses. The Degree Completion/Bridge BSRT program is designed to strengthen the student’s professional career in Respiratory Therapy by contributing to the growth and development of respiratory care as a profession; educating respiratory care providers in a scientific approach to problem-solving and patient care; providing the interpersonal and communication skills needed to work effectively as a member of the interdisciplinary health care team; and foster respect, critical thinking, and a genuine desire for knowledge to enhance patient care in respiratory therapy. RRTs may receive advanced placement via equivalency credit. (Equivalent credit will be awarded individually based on the candidate’s academic transcript).

Degree Completion/Bridge BSRT Program Admission Criteria

Admission to Georgia Southern University. 

All transfer credits must be evaluated by the Undergraduate Office of Admissions and posted on the Georgia Southern transcript upon official acceptance to the University. Degree Completion/Bridge BSRT applicants will have official transcripts or transfer credit, course substitutions, or achieve a “C” or better in all classes required in Areas A-E. 

The Degree Completion/Bridge BSRT program is for NBRC Credentialed RRTs with an AS or AAS in Respiratory Therapy who wish to complete their bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy while working in the field. Military respiratory therapists will receive special consideration. The respiratory therapy program requires students to fill out an additional application found here Degree Completion/Bridge BSRT Program Application

Additional required forms to submit to the program:

  1. Copy of AS or AAS in Respiratory Therapy/Care degree,
  2. Overall GPA of at least 2.5, 
  3. Copy of NBRC RRT credential,
  4. Resume of respiratory therapy work history,
  5. Verification of current state license, 
  6. Documentation of additional NBRC specialty credentials, if applicable, and
  7. Documentation of BLS, ACLS, PALS, and/or NRP.

Careers in Respiratory Therapy

The U.S. News has ranked respiratory therapy No. 36 on the list “100 Best Jobs in America” and No. 15 on the list “Best Health Care Jobs” for 2023!

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited Respiratory Therapy program qualifies you for jobs and career advancement into leadership roles within healthcare organizations, including:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Pulmonary medicine
  • Physician offices
  • Hospice care
  • Nursing care facilities
  • Long-term acute-care facilities
  • Home healthcare services

In some hospitals, respiratory therapists perform tasks that fall outside their traditional role, such as:

  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Smoking cessation counseling
  • Asthma and cystic fibrosis education
  • Disease prevention
  • Case management
  • Polysomnography

Program Outcomes

Number of GraduatesJob PlacementRetentionTMC Exam High Cut ScoreGraduate SatisfactionEmployer Satisfaction
3-year Average17100%86%90%100%100%

Professional Licensure

The Department of Clinical Sciences anticipates that graduates of this program will seek the following professional state licenses or certifications: Certified Respiratory Therapist, (CRT) and Registered Respiratory Therapist, (RRT).

The Department of Clinical Sciences has determined that the required classes and educational activities of this academic program will qualify a graduate of this program to take the exam for a Respiratory Therapist State License or certificate in Georgia. The credentialing process is a two-part, nationally administered examination. Part one, a comprehensive written exam, is taken after graduation. Graduates who pass this exam will earn the entry-level credential “Certified Respiratory Therapist” (CRT), and will be eligible to take the Clinical Simulation Examination. The entry-level CRT credential is required for licensure by most states and the Georgia Composite State Board of Medical Examiners. Candidates who pass both the Therapist Multi-choice Examination and Clinical Simulation Examinations will earn advanced-practitioner status, and the credential Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT). The department has not determined whether this program satisfies the requirements of all states and territories for the Respiratory Therapist State Licensure. Visit the American Association for Respiratory Care to determine the requirements of your state or territory.  

Accreditation

Georgia Southern University’s Respiratory Therapy program awards the Bachelor of Science degree and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), program #200277.

CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcome based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.

CoArc

Do You Have Questions? Contact Us!

Department of Clinical Sciences

Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus
11935 Abercorn Street
Savannah, GA 31419

Respiratory Therapy

Phone: 912-344-2550
Fax: 912-344-3472
Email: respiratory@georgiasouthern.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a respiratory therapist do?

The profession’s site is www.aarc.org and look for a video collection titled “Life and Breath” as well as”BeAnRT!” designed for college students. The Georgia Society for Respiratory Care is also a helpful source for more information. Take a look at Focus and The Advance for Respiratory Care Professionals to see student-oriented writing and professional development information.

When should I change my major to respiratory therapy?

Students who declare a respiratory therapy major will start as health science: pre-professional respiratory therapy majors. Students will be advised by professional advisors on their home campus. Once accepted into the Respiratory Therapy program the student will be changed to a respiratory therapy major prior to the start of their first semester in the program.

Please tell me about the community service requirement.

Prospective students must complete 20 hours of community service prior to their interview. Ideally, prospective students have 10 to 20 hours of observation at the hospital of your choice in the Respiratory Therapy, Sleep or Cardiopulmonary Department. A respiratory therapist or their supervisor must sign and initial your observation hours. If you cannot finish your community service before your interview, it must be completed before you start the program in the fall.

What are the academic requirements of the program?

Students interviewed for the program are usually late sophomores approaching 60-70+ hours of semester credit, and having completed the initial Area D sequence of science (Biol, Chem, Physics and Labs) and Statistics. The core curriculum guide is on the department website. Students can work with their advisors, and select courses with emphasis on completing the sciences by the end of their sophomore year. We recommend that students take the sequence of BIOL 1107 and 1108 and labs,  Human Anatomy and Physiology I, Human Anatomy and Physiology II and labs, Microbiology and lab, and Physical Environment (no lab) prior to the spring interview. Additionally, your GPA should be at least 2.5 to be considered as a respiratory therapy major student (especially in the Area D and F sciences) and you should be near completion of all electives in Area A-E courses, to make you a more competitive candidate.

What does the interview process consist of?

The application process, College Application Services or CAS, starts in November and the deadline is March 1st. We interview in the spring of the year. You can interview as a provisional candidate if your classes are not complete. You will meet with students and faculty members at the 30-60 minute interview in the spring preceding the program’s start date.

What are the academic thresholds to establish who gets into the program?

Your GPA should be > 2.5 and you should be near completion of all electives in Area A-E courses to make you a competitive candidate for the Respiratory Therapy program.

What about my transfer credit?

If you have transfer credit, check the transfer credit link, choose your state and college for transfer credit. Ideally, classes should transfer as equivalent to a Georgia Southern course (i.e., BIOL, CHEM) NOT as an elective (ELEC). Discuss transfer credit concerns with your advisor.

What happens after I am accepted?

The program administrative assistant will contact you either by telephone or email, if you are a candidate for the program, followed by a formal letter. After acceptance into the program, you will receive an admissions packet of forms required by the department and university that is due back before the start of classes in the fall. The department will make several follow-up calls, emails and letters to be sure you have completed all courses. Then you will have a physical, a check on immunizations, etc.

Tell me more about financial aid and the course load.

The first fall semester after being accepted into the Respiratory Therapy program students usually take Medical Terminology (RESP 2110), Patient Assessment (RESP 3110) and  Introduction to Intro to Research in Health Professions (HLPR 2000). Every other semester are full-time (> or = 12 hours). There are fees assessed by the program to cover materials needed in laboratories and safety equipment. Classes in the major will start in August, and we go 5 semesters, including the internship.


For all Online Programs:

Federal Law requires colleges and universities to make certain disclosures to prospective students of these programs. These disclosure include information on the University’s authority to operate outside of Georgia, complaint processes, adverse actions, and refunds.

For required disclosures in general with regard to online programs offered by the University, visit the Office of Legal Affairs website.

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Last updated: 7/24/2023