Advance your career in respiratory therapy

Alicia Reed

Bachelor of Health Sciences - Respiratory Therapy '14 | Lenox, IA

Alicia Reed found her groove in the online respiratory therapy degree program by taking classes at her own pace while balancing her growing family and full-time work demands.


Delivery of this program is 100 percent online: no campus visits are required.

The length of your program depends on how many credit hours you transfer and whether you study part time or full time.

Successful completion of the program requires a minimum of 120 university-level credit hours, including transfer credits from other regionally accredited institutions, MU general education requirements, respiratory therapy core courses, and electives fulfilling your concentration area.

At least 30 of your last 36 credit hours must come from MU courses completed just prior to graduation; 25-26 of these make up the core curriculum for the respiratory therapy bachelor’s degree advancement.

MU general education requirements

  • MATH 1100 College Algebra or equivalent* (3 credit hours). Pre-, basic or intermediate algebra is not equivalent.
  • ENGLSH 1000 Exposition and Argumentation or equivalent* (3 credit hours). Typically known as Composition II at other institutions.
  • Writing intensive courses* (5–6 credit hours). Two approved MU writing intensive courses that have ENGLSH 1000 as a prerequisite. One of these must be 3000 level or higher and within your major field of study.
  • Math reasoning course* (3 credit hours). One approved math reasoning proficiency course that has MATH 1100 College Algebra as a prerequisite (e.g., STAT 1200, STAT 1300, CHEM 1320, PHYSCS 1210).
  • American history or government.

* You must complete these courses with a grade of C- or better.

You must have at least one course at or above the 2000 level in two of the following three areas:

Area 1: Biological, physical and mathematical science (minimum 9 credit hours)

  • Mathematical science includes courses in mathematics or statistics that have college algebra as a prerequisite.
  • Include at least one biological or physical science and its related laboratory.
  • Include courses from at least two different areas of science.

Area 2: Behavioral and social science (minimum 9 credit hours)

  • Course work in psychology, sociology, history and political science.
  • Include courses from at least two different departments.

Area 3: Humanities and fine arts (minimum 9 credit hours)

  • Course work in such areas as art or music history, philosophy, religious studies and public speaking.
  • Include courses from at least two different departments.

Respiratory therapy required courses and electives

The chart below shows when core courses are traditionally offered. Courses are 3 credit hours each, unless otherwise noted. The University reserves the right to change or cancel courses as needed.

Required courses

HLTH_SCI 4480 Clinical Ethics1  XX
CDS 4500 Emergency and Disaster Management in Healthcare
1 credit hour
HLTH_SCI 3900W Introduction to The Research Process and Evidence Base - Writing Intensive2XX 
RS_THR 4220 Community and Patient Education I
1 credit hour
RS_THR 4240 Pulmonary Rehabilitation  X
RS_THR 4420 Pediatric Respiratory CareX  
RS_THR 4820 Adult Critical Care X 
RS_THR 4660 Advanced Mechanical Ventilation TheoryX  
Pick one of the following:
RS_THR 4440 Organization and AdministrationX  
CDS 3200 Essentials of Pathology
2 credit hours
RS_THR 4640 Teaching Practicum X 

Electives (if needed)

RS_THR 4720 Advanced Pulmonary Function Technology
2 credit hours
CDS 4840 Asthma Education
2 credit hours
HLTH_SCI 4400 Culture and Health Literacy for the Health ProfessionsX X
HLTH_SCI 4420 Health Literacy and Behavioral ComplianceXX 
HLTH_SCI 3300 Public Health Principles, Practice, and EducationXXX
HLTH_SCI 4300 Health Care in the United StatesXX 
PSYCH 2110 Learning, Memory, and Cognition   
PSYCH 3870 Sleep and Sleep Disorders
PSYCH 4830 Psychology of Women
SOCIOL 3310 Social Psychology

1 Writing intensive (WI) in the fall semester, not WI in spring or summer

2 WI


The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.

State authorization

States require that the University of Missouri be authorized to deliver university-level distance/online education to their residents. Each state handles this process differently.

Please see our state authorization page.

How to apply

We strongly recommend you email a copy of your unofficial transcripts to the respiratory therapy degree completion program for review before you apply.

  1. Fulfill the admission requirements:

    • You must hold the NBRC RRT credential or the Canadian equivalent.
    • Completed at least 24 credit hours of applicable college course work, including the equivalent of MATH 1100 or ENGLSH 1000 with a grade of C- or better.
    • If English is not your native language, please submit a TOEFL score of at least 80 (internet-based test) or an IELTS score of at least 6.5.
  2. Mark your calendar

  3. This program accepts rolling admissions, so you can apply at any time. However, we recommend you apply by the dates below.

    Application dates

    Fall Spring Summer
    Transfer students July 1 Dec. 1 June 1
  4. Gather your papers

  5. In the online application, you will need to supply:

    • Verification of your NBRC credentials
    • Copies of your current BLS and ACLS certifications
    • Copies of your PALS and NRP certifications (if applicable)
    • Two reference letters, one of which must be from your current RC supervisor, manager or medical director
    • Official transcripts of all completed college work sent from each school directly to
      • Office of Admissions
      • University of Missouri
      • 230 Jesse Hall
      • Columbia, MO 65211
  6. Complete the online application

  7. You will need to complete two separate applications:

    MU Undergraduate Admissions online application

    Degree advancement application (PDF)

    Submit your application and the documentation above to

    • Respiratory Therapy Degree Advancement Program
    • Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences
    • University of Missouri
    • 605 Lewis Hall
    • Columbia, MO 65211-4230

    or scan and email to

Ask us about this program

For information about academic issues or course content, please contact

This program is administered by the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences.