BHS in Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences with Emphasis in Respiratory Therapy

Degree Program Description

Respiratory care is a diverse, growing, health profession with extensive patient contact, often with the critically ill. Respiratory therapists administer prescribed respiratory care and life support to patients with deficiencies and abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary system. They work in many settings requiring a considerable degree of independent clinical judgment under the direct or indirect supervision of a physician. The two-year, professional phase of the program begins the summer semester of the junior year. Students complete lecture and laboratory courses designed to develop knowledge and skills necessary for application to the clinical settings. Required courses in management, research, respiratory physiology and pharmacology, pathology and cardiology are integrated with the respiratory therapy curriculum. The final semester of the program consists entirely of clinical externships and online coursework. Students may select affiliated hospitals outside the Columbia area for this clinical experience or remain in Columbia. The MU RT program has a satellite campus at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Accreditation of the program is granted by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)

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Major Program Requirements

The following are MU courses. Students transferring from other institutions should contact the program director to select appropriate courses for admission. Students must complete the courses listed below in addition to degree and University requirements, which include University general education requirements.

Major core requirements
BIO_SC 1010
BIO_SC 1020
General Principles and Concepts of Biology
and General Biology Laboratory (or BIO_SC 1500)
ENGLSH 1000Exposition and Argumentation3
CHEM 1320College Chemistry I4
ESC_PS 4170Introduction to Applied Statistics3
HIST 1100Survey of American History to 18653
or HIST 1200 Survey of American History Since 1865
or POL_SC 1100 American Government
MATH 1100College Algebra3
CDS 2190Medical Terminology3
MICROB 3200Medical Microbiology and Immunology4
or MICROB 2800 Microbiology for Nursing and Health Professions
MPP 3202Elements of Physiology5
PHYSCS 1210College Physics I4
PTH_AS 2201
PTH_AS 2203
Human Anatomy Lecture
and Human Anatomy Laboratory
RS_THR 1000Introduction to Respiratory Therapy (Optional)1
SOCIOL 1000Introduction to Sociology (or another qualifying Behavioral / Social Science)3
PSYCH 1000General Psychology3
COMMUN 1200Public Speaking3
Additional Humanities6
Core requirements
CDS 3200Essentials of Pathology2
CDS 3460Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Diagnostic Applications I3
CDS 4440Organization and Administration3
CDS 4460Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Diagnostic Applications II3
CDS 4500Emergency and Disaster Management in Healthcare1
CDS 4955Introduction to Research (or equivalent WI course in Research)3
RS_THR 3000Fundamentals of Respiratory Care1
RS_THR 3220Equipment and Techniques5
RS_THR 3290Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology2
RS_THR 3420Principles of Mechanical Ventilation3
RS_THR 3440Mechanical Ventilation Lab3
RS_THR 3941Clinical Practice I2
RS_THR 3942Clinical Practice II4
RS_THR 3943Clinical Practice III2
RS_THR 4020Perinatal/Neonatal Respiratory Care3
RS_THR 4040Respiratory Pathophysiology5
RS_THR 4085Problems in Respiratory Therapy2
RS_THR 4220Community and Patient Education I1
RS_THR 4240Pulmonary Rehabilitation3
RS_THR 4420Pediatric Respiratory Care3
RS_THR 4460Evidence-Based Medicine in Respiratory Care3
RS_THR 4620Pulmonary Function Technologies2
RS_THR 4940Clinical Practice IV5
RS_THR 4973Clinical Practice V4
RS_THR 4983Clinical Practice VI4
RS_THR 4993Clincal Practice VII5
Total Credits135

Professional Credentialing / Licensure

After graduation, students are eligible to take the credentialing exams offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care. Graduates will also be required to apply for licensing in the state in which they choose to work. 

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
MATH 11003HLTH_SCI 10003 
PSYCH 10003CHEM 13204 
HIST 1100, 1200, or POL_SC 11003ENGLSH 10003 
BIO_SC 1010
BIO_SC 1020
5ESC_PS 4170 or STAT 12003 
Humanities3COMMUN 12003 
 17 16  
Second Year
CDS 21903MPP 32025RS_THR 3000 (online)1
PHYSCS 12104MICROB 32004 
RS_THR 10001SOCIOL 1000(or another behavioral / social science)3 
PTH_AS 2201
PTH_AS 2203
5Humanities Course (level 2000 or higher)3 
 16 15 1
Third Year
CDS 32002CDS 34603CDS 44603
RS_THR 32205RS_THR 39424RS_THR 39432
RS_THR 32902RS_THR 40203RS_THR 42201
RS_THR 39412RS_THR 34203RS_THR 42403
RS_THR 40405RS_THR 34403 
 16 16 9
Fourth Year
RS_THR 44203RS_THR 49734 
CDS 4955 (or equivalent WI course in Research)3RS_THR 49834 
RS_THR 49405RS_THR 49935 
CDS 45001RS_THR 44603 
CDS 44403RS_THR 4085 (Current Concepts in Respiratory Care)2 
RS_THR 46202  
 17 18  
Total Credits: 141

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students who have attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by logging in to myZou and navigating to Self Service, then Student Center, and clicking on “Request Degree Audit.” The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.

MU students who have NOT attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

For newly admitted or prospective students, MU degree audits can be created at Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center in the lower level of the Student Success Center.  No appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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