Respiratory therapy

University of Missouri-Columbia
Bachelor of health science in clinical and diagnostic sciences
A model of a respiratory system.
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A bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy from MU will help you provide the hands-on care that assists in recovery and management of a wide range of medical conditions. If you hold the NBRC RRT credential or the Canadian equivalent, this may be the degree for you.

Top-ranked programs in two categories

Mizzou’s online bachelor's programs ranked among the nation’s finest in two U.S. News & World Report 2023 categories:

Best Online Programs U.S. News and World Report Bachelor's 2023 Badge.
Best Online Programs U.S. News and World Report Veterans Bachelor's 2023 Badge.

Quick facts

Official name

Bachelor of health science in clinical and diagnostic sciences with an emphasis in respiratory therapy


University of Missouri-Columbia

Program type

Bachelor's degree

Academic home

College of Health Sciences | Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences

Delivery mode

100% online


Higher Learning Commission

Transfer credit hours


Transfer estimated cost


*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, your course choices and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.

A respiratory therapist with a child.

Career prospects

MU graduates are employed as

  • Advanced clinicians
  • Department managers
  • Medical equipment industry leaders
  • Clinical and academic educators
  • Community educators
  • Consultants
The MU respiratory therapy program boasts 100 percent job placement after graduation. University of Missouri Health, School of Health Professions.
job placement
Most current salary from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
median salary

Program structure

This program is 100 percent online: no campus visits are required. You may meet your course work requirement with both semester-based and self-paced courses.

Core course work covers

  • Advanced mechanical ventilation
  • Adult critical care
  • Clinical ethics
  • Community and patient education
  • Pediatric respiratory care
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation


100% online

Calendar system


Typical program length


Typical course load

Varies if full time or part time

Program Goals

This program provides graduates of entry-into-respiratory-care-professional-practice degree programs with additional knowledge, skills and attributes in leadership, management, education, research or advanced clinical practice, both to meet their current professional goals and to prepare them for practice as advanced degree respiratory therapists.

Expected Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Utilize management and leadership principles to solve problems and improve performance.
  2. Demonstrate strategies and techniques to enhance patient education and rehabilitation.
  3. Employ research methodology to analyze relevant medical literature.
  4. Integrate pertinent clinical data into recommendations for appropriate critical care interventions.
  5. Understand ethical theories and principles as they apply to patient scenarios.
  6. Analyze multiple perspectives on current issues in healthcare


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

This program (CoARC #510020) holds Provisional Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
This status signifies that a program with an Approval of Intent has demonstrated sufficient compliance with the Standards through submission of an acceptable Provisional Accreditation Self-Study Report and any other documentation required by the CoARC, as well as satisfactory completion of an initial on-site visit.

Faculty spotlight

Jennifer Keely

Professor Keely has been teaching in the MU RT program since 2008 in addition to being a 2001 graduate of the program. Her areas of expertise are adult critical care and writing for the health professions. She teaches Pharmacology, Equipment and Techniques, Principles of Mechanical Ventilation, Adult Critical Care, Clinical Ethics and Patient and Community Education. She also serves as the faculty advisor for the Respiratory Therapy Students Association.

Jennifer Keely, M Ed, RRT, RRT-ACCS
Program Director
Linda Lair, RRT, MS, RPFT

Linda Lair has a master's in training and development and is a Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist. She began her career as an on-the-job trainee in the mid-1980s working in home care, pulmonary rehabilitation and fixed-wing patient transport with patients across the lifespan. She has served as the Director of Clinical Education for the University of Missouri's respiratory therapy program since 2008. In addition to coordinating all the students’ clinical experiences and precepting students, she teaches Pulmonary Function Testing; Pulmonary Rehabilitation; and Organization and Administration.

Linda Lair, RRT, MS, RPFT
Director of Clinical Education and Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences
Ivan Lee

Ivan Lee is a proud alumnus of the University of Missouri's respiratory therapy program class of 2012 and has been facilitating online learning for the program since 2021. His clinical specialties and interests include adult critical care, research, high-fidelity simulation and management of patients with sleep-related breathing disorders. He has taught Clinical Leadership; Community and Patient Education; and Current Issues in Respiratory Care.

Ivan Lee
Professor, Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences

Learn more about this program

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