Undergraduate Health Sciences - Respiratory Care Concentration

As a respiratory therapist, you will join a high-demand field devoted to the study, care, and treatment of disorders related to the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems. Respiratory therapists have advanced knowledge of some of the most innovative and high-tech equipment in medicine.

Our graduates are trained to deliver advanced care in many settings, such as ICUs, emergency rooms, labor and delivery, rehabilitation centers, and homecare. This is a great field if you are interested in health, biology, math, chemistry, and physics.

Edgewood College is currently the only program of its kind in the state of Wisconsin  (Commission on Accreditation in Respiratory Care Education CoARC) to offer an entry-into-practice bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Care.

Through this program, you will become a baccalaureate-prepared respiratory therapist, qualified to treat patients with heart and lung diseases, by completing our traditional 4-year residential program.  You will apply to the program your sophomore year and spend your last year focusing exclusively on respiratory care. 

We also offer a second track, a Post-Professional (completion) program, for practicing Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs). 


Program Highlights

  • Wisconsin’s only entry-into-practice Bachelor’s Degree of Respiratory Care
  • Access to on-campus simulation labs, as well as those at the Center for Healthcare Education and Simulation
  • Small classes of no more than 15 students, which ensure one-on-one instructor interaction.
  • Liberal arts education, founded in the Dominican tradition, that adds a strong foundation to the Respiratory Care program by strengthening your qualities of compassion, problem-solving, and interpersonal communication

Career Outcomes

The respiratory care profession offers an exciting future with plenty opportunities for growth. Respiratory care is one of the most in-demand health care fields at present, and you have options for practice ranging from children to geriatrics, hospitals to community centers, and research to education.

Admission Requirements

Students are required to shadow a respiratory therapist 4-8 hours prior to application to the respiratory therapy program. 

  • Students are required to have an overall GPA of 2.5 on a 4 point scale for all pre-professional coursework. A GPA higher than the minimum is preferred and increases your chances of acceptance to your clinical training. In addition, a minimum of “C” grade must be earned in each prerequisite course, which includes all courses except for courses listed as “COR or Gen Ed”.
  • CPR for Healthcare Providers certification through the American Heart Association (AHA) training center is required prior to application in the respiratory care program and must be active during the clinical training.
  • Completion of Edgewood College Core Curriculum requirements.
  • Ability to complete all core general education curriculum and program prerequisite courses by fall enrollment in the program. 
  • A personal interview with departmental faculty.
  • Completed application to the program and submission of official transcripts for all college course work completed.
  • Ability to perform the essential functions of the job 

* This is the entry-level Respiratory Care Program. Students with an earned associate's degree from an accredited respiratory therapy program should see the Health Science, Respiratory Care Degree Advancement Concentration, RRT to BS.” 

Program Outcomes

The outcomes of the undergraduate major in Respiratory Care are:

  1. To prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs) and as professional members of the health care team as defined by the “Essential Functions and Professional Expectations.”
  2. To prepare leaders for the field of respiratory care by including curricular content that includes objectives related to acquisition of skills in one or more of the following:
    • Contribute to the health care team's knowledge and understanding of the science of respiratory care by promoting evidence-based medicine, research, and clinical practice guidelines.
    • Assume expanded or specialty roles in respiratory therapy or cardiopulmonary care, or assume titled positions related to education or management.
    • Enroll in and be successful in graduate studies related to respiratory care or health sciences, administration, or education.

    Get outcomes data from the CoARC Annual Report of Current Status.

    CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes on 'outcomes based' process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.

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