Two Paths to a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy

UM-Flint’s Respiratory Therapy program offers two great paths to a bachelor’s degree in this growing field — an online degree completion program and a 1-2-1 route with local community colleges.

If you have an associate degree and a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential, you can build on your knowledge and experience with the region’s only online Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy completion program for working professionals.

Our program provides a natural transition from your associate degree to a bachelor’s degree to expand your career opportunities in the field. Earn your bachelor’s degree online in as few as 12 months.

If you are a high school student or recent graduate and want to become a respiratory therapist to assess, manage, treat, educate and care for patients with a wide range of cardiopulmonary disorders, you can pursue our innovative 1-2-1 path. Begin your journey at UM-Flint in year one, complete a respiratory therapy associate of science degree at the community college of your choice, and then finish your bachelor’s degree with a final year of UM-Flint classes entirely online while working in the field.

Review the detailed Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy curriculum.

Follow PHHS on Social

Completion Programs for RRTs

Our online degree advancement program is a convenient option for working professionals who want to earn a bachelor’s to grow their careers. You can choose to take classes full- or part-time and complete the program in as little as 12 months.

The program reflects a commitment by the respiratory therapy profession to increase entry-level standards to the bachelor’s degree level.

You’ll have opportunities to study advanced respiratory care in specialty areas such as critical care, disease management, and diagnostics. In addition, you’ll learn the skills needed to gain employment as an advanced clinician, administrator, or educator.

The program will prepare you to sit for a variety of credentials: Neonatal Pediatric Specialty (NPS), Adult Critical Care Specialty (ACCS), Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist Specialty (RPFT), and Sleep Disorders Specialty (SDS). All are awarded by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).


You can apply anytime since we accept applications throughout the year. You must meet the following requirements:

  • Associate degree in respiratory therapy from an institution accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
  • Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential, awarded by the National Board for Respiratory Care, or a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential and eligible for RRT. If you’re admitted with a CRT, you must matriculate to RRT before you take practicum and capstone courses.

You can transfer credits to UM-Flint from your associate degree in respiratory therapy. You also can transfer general education credits from a regionally accredited institution.

1-2-1 Program

This innovative partnership with community colleges saves students time and money. 

  • Year one: Begin at UM-Flint and complete your prerequisite course requirements.
  • Years two and three: We will help you apply to the community college of your choice to complete your associate degree in respiratory therapy and earn your RRT credential.
  • Year four: Take your remaining UM-Flint classes entirely online to complete your bachelor’s degree. You can decide to begin working in the field at the same time.

For more information on this selective path, contact academic advisor Jennifer O’Roark at [email protected] or 810-762-3288.

Options for Graduate Study

The Department of Public Health and Health Sciences offers two great options for respiratory therapy students looking to go on to graduate programs.

Career Opportunities in Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory therapists work under the direction of a physician to assess, manage, treat, educate and care for patients with a wide range of cardiopulmonary disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF).

You will work with other health care providers to restore the patient’s cardiopulmonary health in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies.

Visit to learn more about the field.

Demand for respiratory therapists is growing as the aging of the American population leads to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The number of jobs is projected to grow 14% by 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

About 9,400 openings for respiratory therapists will occur every year through 2031 according to the BLS. The median salary for respiratory therapists is $61,830 annually.

More information about careers in respiratory therapy is available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The University of Michigan-Flint Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy (BSRT) Degree Advancement Program, #500006, in Flint, Michigan, 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 (PSSR) and any other documentation required by the CoARC, as well as satisfactory completion of an initial on-site visit), to be allowed to admit students. It is recognized as an accredited program by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), which provides enrolled students who complete the program with eligibility for the Respiratory Care Credentialing Examination(s).

The program will remain on Provisional Accreditation until it achieves Continuing Accreditation. CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an “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.

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
264 Precision Blvd.
Telford, TN 37690
(817) 283-2835

Learn more about the Respiratory Therapy program’s accreditation.

As a wife, mom to two boys and full-time respiratory therapist with an associate degree, I knew I needed to earn a bachelor’s to continue to have opportunities. I finished the program while nine months pregnant with my third son. I chose the program for the flexibility it had thanks to online classes. My instructors were very accommodating and reached out to make sure I was understanding material. I have never had instructors work so diligently to make sure I was on track to graduate. After graduating, I was able to accept a new position. I am so grateful for this opportunity for growth and owe all of my success to the UM-Flint respiratory therapy faculty and staff.

Merissa Tidey, BSRT, RRT
Respiratory Therapy, 2021

Melissa Tidey

Academic Advising for Respiratory Therapy Majors

Throughout your Respiratory Therapy program at UM-Flint, our academic advisors are available to answer your questions and help guide your progress. Jennifer O’Roark is the dedicated academic advisor for this major. You can contact her at [email protected] or 810-762-3288. You also can make an appointment with her online.

Scholarships for Respiratory Therapy Students 

Besides being eligible for financial assistance through UM-Flint’s Office of Financial Aid, you can apply for UM-Flint scholarships that are specifically for College of Health Sciences students.

Numerous scholarships are available to CHS students, each with its own requirements. They’re made possible through generous donations to the College of Health Sciences.

Start Advancing Your Respiratory Therapy Career Today

Want to take your respiratory therapy career to the next level? Then apply to the University of Michigan-Flint’s Respiratory Therapy program today. If you need more information or have questions, contact Jennifer O’Roark, the program’s academic advisor, at [email protected] or 810-762-3288. You also can make an appointment with her online.