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Distance Learning Degree Completion Programs

Where are the Baccalaureate Programs?

There are about 55 BS programs throughout the US with some offering distance learning programs. In cooperation with NCARE and NCRCB, the NCSRC would like to make this information available to those wishing to advance there career.

Please see the list below regarding those programs that area available. We also respectfully ask that you submit any other programs that you might be aware of to ncsrc@ncsrc.org.

UNC Charlotte

The emphasis of the curriculum is to enhance and advance the student’s professional career in respiratory therapy
with additional education in administration, research and evaluation, and advanced critical care. Students seeking
admission into this program will already be board-certified practicing Respiratory Therapists. The program
culminates in a capstone experience that is developed around the students’ specific professional interest area.
The curriculum offers specific professional course work in advanced critical care, advanced pharmacology, program
administration, evidence-based practice, and clinical outcomes evaluation.

The BSRT program provides working respiratory therapists the opportunity to complete their bachelor’s degree in
respiratory therapy through flexible scheduling that minimizes disruptions to their daily lives. The American
Association for Respiratory Care 2005 Human Resources Study reported that the number of respiratory therapists
with a bachelor’s degree or higher was 45% as compared to 30% in 2000. Earning a bachelor’s degree can open the
door to opportunities in education, management and leadership, clinical specialties, research, pharmaceutical sales,
and more.


Here are the links that will take you to the program information.





Empire State College-New York

The Center for Distance Learning of Empire State College, in partnership with the AARC, provides programs leading to five undergraduate degrees:

  • Associate in Arts
  • Associate in Science
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Professional Studies

Empire State will only offer credits toward a degree for AARC members who hold a CRTT or RRT. Members with a CRTT credential will receive 24 introductory level credits, while RRTs will receive 45 introductory-level credits.

In addition to advanced standing for AARC members with credentials, Empire State College also provides:

  • full-time mentor services.
  • opportunity for year-round enrollment.
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • access to the Center for Distance full curricular offerings of more than 125 courses per term.
  • access to Empire State College’s full array of electronic learning resources, including electronic mail, computer conferencing and online courses, and research services.

To earn an associate degree, students must complete a degree program of 64 academic credits; a bachelor’s degree is 128 credits. All associate degree candidates must earn at least 24 credits through Empire State, while bachelor’s degree candidates must earn 32 credits through Empire.

Each course consists of carefully structured learning materials designed especially for adult independent study. All students work through the course materials under the guidance of a designated course tutor and each student is assigned a faculty member as an advisor.

If you’d like more information about this special program, contact: Assessment Office, Center for Distance Learning, Empire State College, State University of New York, Three Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs, New York, 12866-4391, 800-847-3000 (ext.300).

Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University, a fully accredited university with 16,000 students on its Flagstaff campus, is one of three state supported universities in Arizona. It has been offering distance learning courses and degrees for over 25 years and currently has over 4,000 students taking courses worldwide. The Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Health Promotion is one of several distance learning degrees offered by the College of Health Professions. The BAS in Health Promotion is an entirely on-line degree program designed for working allied health professionals who have already earned their associates degree. The program concentrates on courses in health promotion, management, organization, ethics and policy issues.

The BAS degree program at NAU accepts 64 hours of transfer credit earned from an accredited community college. To complete the BAS degree, students must take an additional 56 hours for a total of 120 hours (required for graduation). At least 36 of the 56 hours must be upper division and at least 30 of those 56 hours must be taken from Northern Arizona University. All courses can be taken online and there is no need to be located in Flagstaff or in Arizona. For AARC members with a RRT or CRTT credential, up to 30 hours of college credit may be granted to those who do not possess an associates degree from an accredited community college.

For additional information and application procedures, please visit the website at www.nau.edu/hp/bas. Or contact The Health Promotion Department, NAU Box 15095, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, 928-523-6159, bas-hp@nau.edu.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

The Department of Respiratory Care in the College of Health Related Professions offers a non-traditional, Web-based program for individuals holding the RRT credential leading to a B.S. degree in Cardio-Respiratory Care. The program is designed to be flexible for the employed practitioner and includes collaborative opportunities to further both the student’s professional interests and employer objectives.

There are 34 SC of pre-requisite coursework, which may be completed at any regionally accredited college or university, and 32 SC of general education coursework that may be completed before, during, or after the professional program. The professional program is 18 SC and typically takes two (2) years to complete. These courses are available on-line and by independent study. Graduates earn 40 SC of ungraded credit upon completion of the program.

Students complete courses in Research Methods, Community Health and Education, and in both Advanced Adult and Pediatric/Perinatology Cardio-Respiratory Care. The courses emphasize analysis of current literature, scholarly discussion of health care trends, and exploration of issues that are likely to affect the future practice of respiratory care.

The Capstone Project is an opportunity for students to complete a project, in partnership with his/her employer if desired, to develop advanced skills and experience in an area of interest to the practitioner. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor, and depending upon the project, a local preceptor, to assist in the development and completion of the project. Prior to graduation, the project is disseminated at an appropriate state, regional, or national professional meeting.

For additional information and an application for admission contact: Department of Respiratory Care; 4301 W. Markham, Slot #704 (14B/NLR); Little Rock, AR 72205 or visit the Web site at www.uams.edu/chrp/resp.htm. To speak directly with a faculty member, phone (501) 257-2348 or e-mail BooneErnaL@uams.edu.

University of Missouri School of Health Professions

The Bachelor of Health Sciences in Respiratory Therapy degree completion program, which combines online course work and community-based clinical experience, is designed for the NBRC credentialed Registered Respiratory Therapist who wishes to advance professionally with the Bachelors degree. Students take core respiratory therapy course work via the Internet, which offers many of the same experiences as traditional classroom learning, including: research projects, service learning opportunities, discussion with other students and prompt faculty feedback. Students may complete the program with advanced clinical experiences in their own geographic areas through partnerships with local hospitals. The program of study will end with a capstone experience developed with each student’s individual interest and needs considered.

Individuals entering the degree completion program in Respiratory Therapy must have completed a CAAHEP accredited associate degree program. Potential students also must hold the National Board for Respiratory Care credential of Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), or be RRT eligible. Students must have completed at least one year of professional work experience in critical care respiratory therapy. Advanced standing credit toward completed course work will be awarded.

The curriculum is designed to provide maximum knowledge and skills in the art and science of respiratory care, which includes:

  • Treatment and management of patients with a variety of pulmonary disorders
  • Skills in collaborating with other health-care providers and health-care agencies in Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Community Education
  • Advanced Cardiopulmonary pharmacology
  • Advanced Neonatal / Pediatric Cardio-Respiratory Care
  • Advanced Pulmonary Pathophysiology

A Bachelor of Health Sciences degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia requires a total of 120 credit hours, of which the 30 of the last 35 credit hours will be MU course credits. Students may transfer credits from previous coursework at any accredited college or university. The length of the program varies, depending on prerequisite courses completed prior to entry and the students choice of part-time or full-time enrollment. Prerequisites can be fulfilled in several ways, including through a local college or university or through the University of Missouri Center for Distance and Independent Study.
For questions about the program, course offerings, or to obtain application materials for the RT degree completion program, contact: Respiratory Therapy Online Degree Completion Program, 605 Lewis Hall, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211. You also may call (573) 882-8422 or email HoganR@health.missouri.edu for immediate attention to your questions.

Thomas Edison State College-New Jersey

Bachelor of Science in Applied Science and Technology
The Bachelor of Science in Applied Science and Technology degree is intended to be a degree completion program to meet the educational and professional needs of mid-career adults in a wide range of applied science and technology fields. You select the area of study that matches your expertise. For most students, this reflects their occupation.

Additional Degree Requirements
Professional Certification: Certain health-related and other areas of study are available only to professionally certified individuals. In order to be eligible for these specializations, students are required to submit evidence of professional registry or licensure.

Many AAS students with an RRT will need to take at least an additional 40-50 semester hours to complete this program:

Area of Study (45 s.h.)

I. Anatomy and Physiology (6 s.h.)
II. Microbiology (3 s.h.)
III. Cardiopulmonary Anatomy/Physiology/Pathophysiology (3 s.h.)
IV. Pharmacology (2 s.h.)
V. Pulmonary Function (3 s.h.)
VI. Pediatric Respiratory Care (2 s.h.)
VII. Pulmonary Rehabilitation (2 s.h.)
VIII. Clinical Practice (6 s.h.)

IX. Respiratory Therapy Techniques (9 s.h.)
I. Mechanical Ventilation
II. Gas, Humidity, Aerosol Therapy
III. RT Equipment
IV. Acute and Subacute Care

X.Respiratory Care Electives (9 s.h.)
I. Biomedical Electronics
II. Electronic Instrumentation
III. CPR & Nursing Skills
IV. Principles of Patient Care
V. Outpatient Care and Rehabilitation
VI. Respiratory Department Management
VII. Health Care Administration
VIII. Health Care Delivery

Note l: This list of courses is offered as a guide. The inclusion of similar courses must be reviewed with the Advisement Center. You should submit your program plan for review to ensure that course selection is appropriate for your degree program.
Note 2: Registration as a Registered Respiratory Therapist by the NBRC is required to enter this degree program.
Note 3: Corollary Requirements:
6 s.h. of Pre-calculus Algebra and above
One full year of General Chemistry
3 s.h. General Physics
3 s.h. Computer Concepts

Weber State University

Weber State University
4005 University Circle
Ogden, UT 84408-4005 Phone & Internet:
1-800-848-7770 or
Fax: 801-626-8035
Email: dist-learn@weber.edu

About The University
Weber State University is a four-year institution of higher education with its main campus in Ogden, Utah. Committed to providing undergraduate programs of the highest quality, WSU offers more than 200 degrees and programs, making it the largest and most comprehensive undergraduate institution in the state. Its seven colleges and fifty departments and programs, offer undergraduate liberal education in the arts, humanities, and natural and social sciences, plus applied technology and professional programs in the allied health professions, business, education, applied sciences and technology. Master’s degrees are available professional accounting, business administration, education and criminal justice.

Founded in 1889 by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as Weber Stake Academy, the half-dozen brick buildings in central Ogden became a state junior college in 1933, when the Utah Legislature acquired it and put it under the governance of the State Board of Education. Following World War II, the main campus moved to its present 400-acre site on the slope of the Wasatch Mountains, overlooking Ogden and the Great Salt Lake.

In 1959 the Legislature authorized th upper-division courses, and Weber State College awarded its first baccalaureate degrees in 1964. In 1990, the Legislature acknowledged the institution’s role as Utah’s premier public undergraduate university by naming it Weber State University.

About Distance Learning
Distance learning offers a number of certificate and degree programs, including several through the Dr. Ezekiel R. Dumke College of Health Professions. These [programs allow students to remain on their jobs in their communities while they complete courses and supervised clinical work experiences equivalent to those taken by on-campus students.

Bachelor of Science (BS) in respiratory therapy (RESTHY)
The respiratory therapy program follows a career-ladder approach from entry level associate of applied science (AAS) through a bachelor of science (BS) in respiratory therapy. Students graduating from these programs will be fully qualified to work as respiratory therapists in any medical facility in the nation. The distance learning programs offer a bachelor’s degree and two associate degrees: associate of science (AS) and associate of applied science (AAS). The distance learning programs cover the same material as the on-campus classes, but allow the student to remain on the job. The bachelor’s degree (BS) program is for students who are already respiratory therapists.re