Degree type(s): Bachelor's
Degree field(s): Healthcare
Location(s): Online
Program offerings by location and modality are subject to change.

Online Respiratory Therapy Degree - Associate to Bachelor Program

University of Mary is proud to offer this online bachelor of science in respiratory therapy for registered respiratory therapists who currently possess an associate’s degree.

As a Catholic university with a long history of offering degrees for healthcare professions, the University of Mary will welcome the first group of students starting their Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy degrees in September 2017.

If you are already a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), and you want to earn an online bachelor’s in respiratory therapy, you found the right spot.

The American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC) set a goal for 80% of practicing respiratory therapists to have or be working toward a respiratory therapist bachelor’s degree by 2020. Also, did you know respiratory therapists with a bachelor’s degree typically earn more than those with a two-year associate degree? 

If you start now you can be one of the first to complete this online respiratory therapist degree and be a leader in your profession!

This respiratory therapy program from the University of Mary, an accredited university located in Bismarck, North Dakota, is designed to help respiratory therapists advance and expand the respiratory therapy profession through continued education.

Healthcare organizations increasingly set higher standards for respiratory therapists, including the ability to work with more independence in patient care settings. The goal is to ensure safe and effective respiratory therapy care.

This BS in respiratory therapy is specifically designed for students who already hold an associate degree in respiratory therapy and who want to earn a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy. Often, a program like this is called RRT to BSRT.

This online respiratory therapy program is offered year-round, so you can graduate sooner.

With so many healthcare challenges today, respiratory therapists from top respiratory therapy programs get hired for good jobs in communities of all sizes throughout the country.

Online Respiratory Therapy Degree Program Highlights

The University of Mary is an accredited, Catholic university that has offered respiratory therapy, nursing and other healthcare degrees for decades.

With a solid foundation of on-campus degree programs, the University of Mary is pleased to add this online respiratory therapy bachelor’s degree program.


Why should you go from an associate to bachelor degree? Upon completing this online respiratory therapy program, you'll gain these critical skills:

  1. Provide enhanced patient care in a variety of settings.

  2. Understand the diverse disciplines open to respiratory therapists.

  3. Work with families and other healthcare professionals in effective teams.

  4. Strengthen understanding of the medical profession as a whole.

  5. Maintain and use an ethical framework for informed decision-making.


  1. Start Anytime

    Most RRT to BSRT classes start every 7 or 15 weeks year-round.

  2. Go at Your Own Pace

    The courses are designed to be flexible with your work schedule, and can be taken to fit your personal needs and lifestyle

  3. Need More Graduation Requirements to Graduate?

    No problem! Your advisor will work with you to customize your program of study to complete any additional graduation requirement courses you may need to take while in your RRT to BSRT curriculum.

Your advisor will work with you to develop a degree plan that works for YOU!


  1. Competitively Priced

    You can complete your RRT to BSRT degree for only $320 per credit; the University of Mary is one of the most affordable private universities in the United States.

  2. Immediate Return on Investment

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who have a bachelor's degree earn more and are less likely to be unemployed than those with an associate's degree.


  1. Accreditation

    The Bachelors of Science in Respiratory Therapy (BSRT) degree at the University of Mary is accredited by CoARC - Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

  2. Scholar Practitioners

    In addition to being exceptional educators, our faculty are also experienced Respiratory Therapists who bring real-world expertise to the classroom.

  3. Support When You Need It

    Because our focus is on helping you advance your knowledge of Respiratory Care as a whole, you will get the level of personal attention and support you need at the University of Mary.

  4. Values-based Education

    Our RRT to BSRT online program is firmly grounded in the Christian, Catholic, and Benedictine values of the university.

Earning Your Online Respiratory Therapy Degree

Thanks to the online program option and year-round study, all of your respiratory therapist degree requirements will be completed online. Currently, there is not an option to earn this associate to bachelor’s in respiratory therapy on the University of Mary’s main campus in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Careers for Associate to Bachelor Degree Respiratory Therapists

The majority of programs for respiratory therapists only provide associate degree options. That means respiratory therapists who earn their bachelor’s degree now may have an advantage in job hunting over those who only have the associate degree. 

The U.S. Department of Labor has projected employment of respiratory therapists to grow through at least 2024 at a rate that’s faster than the average for all occupations.* 

According to this labor report, “The growing need for respiratory therapists with degrees from accredited programs comes from growth in the middle-aged and elderly population. More people in those age groups leads to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. In addition, there is a growing emphasis on reducing readmissions in hospitals. This might increase demand for respiratory therapists in nursing homes and in doctors’ offices.” 

Many other University of Mary healthcare degree graduates receive job offers before graduation. This includes jobs with a variety of healthcare facilities, including Catholic hospitals.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.

Admission Requirements

  • Completed online application. - Apply Here!
  • Have earned an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science (or equivalent) in Respiratory Therapy from a program with Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) accreditation.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or higher, with a GPA of 2.75 or higher in the respiratory therapy courses transferred in to the University of Mary.
  • Submitted official transcripts from all accredited institutions of higher education attended.
  • Passed the NBRC Registered Respiratory Therapy (RRT) examination and have current license.

Graduation Requirements
41 Credits - Can be completed any time while in the RRT to BSRT program.

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II
  • General Psychology
  • Composition II
  • Microbiology
  • College Algebra OR Statistics
  • Theology
  • Sociology OR Cultural Anthropology
  • Ethics

* Counts toward the 41 300+ level credit hour requirements for respiratory therapist BS degree.

Because the University of Mary requires students applying to this respiratory therapy program be a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) before being accepted, up to 18 semester hours will be granted for the RRT credential that applies toward the bachelor of science in respiratory therapy program.

All students must meet the University of Mary upper division requirement that requires students to take 44 hours of 300-400 level course work for the BS degree in respiratory therapy.

A minimum of 124 credit hours is required to earn the bachelor of science degree. 

BS in Respiratory Therapy Courses (credit hours as noted)

  • BUS 351 The American Healthcare System (3)

  • BUS 407 Healthcare Law & Regulatory Environment (3)

  • NUR 319 Pathophysiology (3)

  • IPE 401 Interdisciplinary Care (1)

  • RTH 335 Advanced Cardiopulmonary Physiology (4)

  • RTH 337 Advanced Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology (3)

  • RTH 418 Leadership and Management (3)

  • RTH 422 Advanced Clinical Cardiopulmonary Assessment (4)
  • RTH 436 Advanced Critical Care (4)

  • RTH 450 Research and Evidence Based Practice (3)
  • RTH 452 Health Promotion (3)

  • RTH 455 Respiratory Therapy Seminar (2)

  • RTH 499 Respiratory Therapy Specialty Capstone (4)

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. 

If you are thinking about pursuing a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy, you might also be interested in the following undergraduate and program offered at the University of Mary:

The BS in Respiratory Therapy also provides a foundation for application to other patient care professions offered at the graduate and doctoral levels at the University of Mary, including:

Program Advisors:
Dr. Christine Sperle, Chair and Director
Jessica Arndt, Director of Clinical Education
Megan Schneider, Coordinator and Instructor 

For more information about the Respiratory Therapy bachelor’s degree program, please contact University of Mary Admissions at 800-288-6279.