Respiratory Care (BS)

Respiratory Care image

Like clean water and safe food, breathing is something we miss most in its absence. Yet there are so many things that can reduce our ability to take and process good air. Allergies, pollution, disease, smoking, short-term and chronic illnesses, birth defects, and even stress conspire to make something as simple as breathing—difficult.

DSU's respiratory care program will equip you to help people of every age and walk of life breathe better. You'll learn the scientific principles underlying cardiopulmonary physiology and see them in practice. In the end, you'll be able to find work in many practices from acute care hospitals to pulmonary function laboratories to clinics to home care.

Check out Programmatic Outcomes Data from all CoARC-accredited programs.

You'll start with general education classes on campus. Then, you'll have clinicals at our primary affiliate hospitals: Avera McKennan and Sanford Hospitals in Sioux Falls or Rapid City Regional Hospital in Rapid City.

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.

The respiratory care programs are designed as either an associate or bachelor’s degree. As a student, you'll first complete the associate degree during your first two years. 

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 associate 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.