Degree type(s): Master's
Degree field(s): Healthcare
Location(s): Bismarck, ND

MS in Respiratory Therapy Overview

Graduate degree; Master of Science

Earn your master’s degree in a program designed to prepare leaders in the field of respiratory therapy. In the Respiratory Therapy master’s program at the University of Mary, you will gain the knowledge and skills to provide therapies, develop care strategies, and offer education for patients suffering from a variety of respiratory and cardiac problems. Graduates of the professional curriculum are eligible to sit for state licensing and national credentialing examinations offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care, leading to the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential.  

The pre-professional liberal arts curriculum includes biology, chemistry, math, physics, humanities, social-behavioral sciences, and philosophy/theology requirements. The professional respiratory therapy program is located at CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck, North Dakota (which includes faculty offices, laboratory, classroom and clinical facilities), and is co-sponsored by the University of Mary and CHI St. Alexius. The master’s program curriculum consists of classroom, laboratory, and clinical practicum courses, including over 1100 hours of supervised experience in direct patient interaction.

Respiratory Therapy Pre-Med Track

The respiratory therapy pre-med option allows you to take all courses required for admission to most medical schools while completing requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in Respiratory Therapy. After completing the degree, you may choose to apply for admission to medical school, and work as a respiratory therapist before and during medical school.

Respiratory Therapy Master’s Program Highlights

The Respiratory Therapy master’s degree program at the University of Mary offers unique learning experiences and hands-on opportunities to learn within a supportive healthcare community:

  • Earn your MS in Respiratory Therapy in a program designed to accelerate your mobility into leadership roles, such as healthcare education coordinators, clinical instructors, clinical team leaders, assistant managers, or specialty therapists.
  • Gain valuable career experience through classroom, laboratory, and clinical practicum courses, including over 1100 hours of supervised experience in direct patient interaction.
  • Learn from experienced faculty who bring professional respiratory therapy practice experience to the classroom.
  • Develop a foundation for the practice of professional skills, therapeutic use of self, ethical decision making, attitudes of service, and respect for others through a curriculum based in Christian, Catholic, Benedictine values.

Career Outlook for Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory therapists are essential members of the modern healthcare team and work in collaboration with physicians and other health professionals in adult and newborn intensive care units, hospital emergency rooms, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, sleep-related breathing disorders clinics, and in the home. In addition to treatment, respiratory therapists perform complex diagnostic and monitoring procedures to assist physicians in devising an appropriate care strategy. In the home, outpatient, and community settings, respiratory therapists provide education to patients and families in the day-to-day self-management of chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The U.S. Department of Labor projects that employment of respiratory therapists will grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations, due in part to the growth in the middle-aged and elderly population. The University of Mary Respiratory Therapy master’s degree program outcomes (including attrition, job placement, and graduate credentialing success) can be compared to the outcomes of all accredited programs in the United States at the CoARC website. 

 

PRE-PROFESSIONAL PHASE

Freshman

  • CHE 109: Fundamentals of Chemistry (4)
  • ENG 121: Composition II (3)

or

  • COM 110: Oral Communication (3)
  • ANT 171: Cultural Anthropology (3)
  • ALU 122: Freshman Leadership Seminar (1)
  • THE (Choice): THE 104, 110, 112, or 234 (3)
  • CIS 101: Introduction to Computers (4)
  • CHE 110: Intro to Organic & Biochemistry (4)
  • ENG 121: Composition II (3)

or

  • COM 110: Oral Communications (3)
  • MAT 103: College Algebra (4)
  • THE (Choice): THE 207, 208, 308, 215, 315, 220, or 363 (3 or 4)
  • NUR 217: Pharmacology (3)

or

  • ATH 316: Basic Pharmacology in HPS (3)

Sophomore

  • PHY 203: Introduction to Physics (4)
  • BIO 207: Anatomy and Physiology I (4)
  • POL 101: Responsible Citizenship (3)
  • THE 328: Moral Issues Seminar (4)

or

  • PHI 482: Medical Ethics (4)
  • Apply for admission to RT program
  • BIO 208: Anatomy and Physiology II (4)
  • ART (Choice): ENG 130, Art 108,  MUS 196, Art 115, or ART 116 (3)
  • PSY 201: General Psychology (4)
  • BIO 209: Medical Microbiology (4)

Transfer Students: Pre-professional credits may be transferred from another accredited college or university.

PROFESSIONAL PHASE+

Junior

  • RTH 301: Introduction to Respiratory Care (3)
  • RTH 305: Basic Procedures (6)
  • RTH 307: Basic Procedures Laboratory (1)
  • RTH 335: Clinical Cardiopulmonary Physiology (6)
  • RTH 320: Clinical Practicum I (3)
  • RTH 422: Clinical Cardiopulmonary Assessment (5)
  • RTH 426: Human Diseases I (4)
  • RTH 436: Critical Respiratory Care (5)
  • RTH 438: Ventilator/Critical Care Laboratory (1)

MAY/SUMMER

  • RTH 427: Human Diseases II (2)
  • RTH 416: Pediatric/Neonatal Respiratory Care (3)
  • RTH 430: Clinical Practicum II (5)

Senior

  • RTH 411: Respiratory Care in Alternate Sites (2)
  • RTH 450: Research (2)
  • RTH 452: Health Promotion (2)
  • RTH 441: Clinical Practicum III (8)
  • RTH 418: Department Leadership (2)
  • RTH 420: Professional Seminar (2)
  • RTH 428: Respiratory Care Specialty (8)

 + At CHI St. Alexius Health

ADDITIONAL COURSES FOR PRE-MED TRACK*

  • BIO 103: Biology I (4)
  • CHE 111: General Inorganic Chemistry I (4)
  • CHE 112: General Inorganic Chemistry II (4)
  • CHE 217: Organic Chemistry I (4)
  • PHY 304: Intermediate Physics (4)
  • CHE 318: Organic Chemistry II (4)

Recommended:

  • BIO 311: Genetics (4)
  • CHE 310: Biochemistry (4)

*May Term/Summer work will be required for those

intending to pursue the pre-med track

Even as one of the most affordable private universities in the nation, the University of Mary does offer a variety of scholarships. In fact, 99% of main campus undergraduate students receive some form of scholarship! 

Some scholarships are available for specific academic programs, such as nursing, while other scholarships are available for certain student populations, such as military and veteran students

We strongly encourage you to contact your personal admissions representative to discover all of the options that might be available to you. In many cases, a program specific scholarship is just one component of a complete financial aid package. 

Our admissions professionals will work together with our Office of Financial Assistance to ensure that you get the best financial aid package possible to finance your education. 

The application deadline is February 15 each year. Applicants for admission to the Professional Master of Science in Respiratory Therapy degree must meet the following minimum qualifying criteria: 

1. Earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with an overall college grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher   

2. Admission to the University of Mary Graduate Studies  

3. A 3.00 or higher GPA in the respiratory therapy program's prerequisite pre-professional courses in math, biology, chemistry, physics, pharmacology, ethics, English (communication) and social sciences, with no individual course grade below a "C."  

4. Three letters of reference from the applicant's undergraduate professors or academic counselors who are in a position to judge the applicant's written communication proficiency and ability to perform graduate level work. In addition, applicants must have successfully completed the following prerequisite courses: 

  • General Inorganic Chemistry (two semesters)  
  • Microbiology  
  • College Algebra  
  • Ethics  
  • Introduction to Physics  
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology (two semesters)  
  • Pharmacology

Upon meeting preliminary qualifying criteria, applicants are eligible for a respiratory therapy admissions interview. Admissions decisions are based academic GPA, references, and the interview score.

Program Advisors: Dr. Will Beachey (Director)

For more information on the MS in Respiratory Therapy program, please contact the University of Mary Graduate Admissions Office at (800) 288-6279.

If you are considering a master’s degree in respiratory therapy, you might also be interested in the following graduate programs offered at the University of Mary: