Respiratory Care (AS)

Respiratory Care image

You want to help people breathe better, but don’t have four years to commit to college. The associate degree is the first half of our bachelor’s degree program. It’s meant for students that would like to enter the marketplace as soon as possible.

You’ll receive instruction in cardiopulmonary care and participate in clinicals at our primary affiliate hospitals. There is always the option to return for your bachelor’s degree since the courses build on each other.

The first fall and spring semesters will be spent on campus completing general education requirements. After that, you’ll have class and clinicals at our primary affiliate hospitals in Sioux Falls (Avera McKennan and Sanford) or Rapid City (Rapid City Regional Hospital).

Benefits of studying respiratory care at DSU

DSU is the only university in South Dakota offering this degree. All our faculty hold the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) national credential. In addition, the program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

Upon graduation, you'll be eligible to take the entry-level examination of the National Board for Respiratory Care to become a Certified Respiratory Therapist. You can then take the advanced exams to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist. As a respiratory therapist, you'll find work in many practices from acute care hospitals to diagnostic laboratories and wellness centers.

Outside of the classroom, you can join the on-campus Respiratory Care Club. There are also scholarships available when students start the clinical training portion of the curriculum.

Integrated technology

Tablet PC technology is infused into the classroom and laboratory setting.

Possible job titles

  • Registered Respiratory Therapist
  • Pulmonary Diagnostician
  • Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care Specialist

Next steps

See what classes you’ll be taking with our plan of study.

Learn more about our respiratory care bachelor’s degree.

Schedule a campus visit to meet respiratory care professors and students in the department and see the campus.

You can always contact us with any questions—or just to talk about what is possible.