Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory therapists are health care professionals who evaluate and treat persons of all ages having lung and heart disorders. The responsibilities of the therapist include: pulmonary function assessment, administering oxygen and aerosolized drugs, breathing retraining and pulmonary rehabilitation, acute care management of patients requiring ventilatory support, and emergency care.

Respiratory Therapy Program Accreditation

The Respiratory Therapy Program, program # 200281, (offering the Bachelor of Health Science degree in Louisville, KY) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) (

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
1248 Harwood Road
Bedford, Texas 76021-4244

Respiratory Therapy Program Department Goals

  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).
  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: management, education, research, advanced clinical practice (which may include an area of clinical specialization).

Program Goals, Objectives and Evaluations in Relation to Bellarmine's Mission

The mission of Bellarmine University is to educate its students to “…develop the intellectual, moral, ethical and professional competencies for successful living, work, leadership, and service to others.” Thus directed, the larger university would, “…benefit the public interest, to help create the future, and to improve the human condition.” The goal of the respiratory therapy program is subsumed within the university mission, in that the program graduates students who serve as, “…competent advanced level respiratory therapists.” Intellectual, moral, ethical, and professional competencies are explicitly stated in terms of three program objectives. Progress toward each objective is evaluated annually, using two or more evaluation systems, under guidelines promulgated by the Committee on the Accreditation of Respiratory Care (COARC). Program objectives and evaluation systems are as follows

  1. Intellectual competencies: To comprehend, evaluate, and apply clinical information relevant to advanced-level respiratory therapy practice (Cognitive Domain).
    1. National board examination system performance (Therapist Multiple Choice Examination and Clinical Simulation Examination)
    2. Survey following program completion looking at the graduate’s self-assessment of his or her professional knowledge base in reference to clinical expectations.
    3. Employer survey during first year after program completion assessing each graduate’s professional knowledge base in relation to clinical practice.
  2. Moral, ethical competencies: To demonstrate professional behavior (Affective Domain).
    1. Ongoing in-program clinical assessment of peer and patient interactions.
    2. Survey following program completion directed at graduate’s self-described attitudes and behavior toward patients and peers.
    3. Employer survey during first year after program completion assessing the graduate’s attitudes and behavior toward patients and peers.
  3. Professional competencies: To demonstrate technical proficiency in all skills necessary to fulfill the role of an advanced-level respiratory therapy practitioner (Psychomotor Domain).
    1. Survey following program completion looking at the graduate’s appraisal of his or her confidence and competence in performing clinical procedures.
    2. Employer survey during first year after program completion assessing the graduate’s clinical competency.
  4. Leadership competencies: To describe and apply leadership skills related to management and education.
    1. Survey following program completion looking at the graduate’s appraisal of his or her leadership skills.
    2. Employer survey during first year after program completion assessing the graduate’s leadership skills.

Working toward its goals and objectives, the respiratory therapy program addresses Bellarmine’s larger mission to benefit the public interest and improve the human condition.

Admission Criteria

  • Acceptance to Bellarmine University
  • Cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5
  • Completion of required prerequisite courses for the specific program
  • Language Proficiency: The Admission, Progression and Graduation Committee requires an official TOEFL iBT or IELTS score for verification of language proficiency for applicants: a) who were born outside the US, b) for whom English is a second language, or c) who have a degree or transcripts from a non-US institution. Applicants must earn a total score of 83 or higher and a speaking score of 26 or higher on the TOEFL iBT or earn a total band score of 7 or higher AND a speaking band score of 8 or higher on the IELTS to meet the language proficiency requirement. Only official score reports will be accepted.
  • A personal interview, if requested by the program admission committee.

Additional requirements for students enrolling in the AS to BHS degree program:

  • Completion of an accredited advanced-level respiratory care program.
  • Successful completion of the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) Exam.
  • Proof of RCP licensure.

Careers in Respiratory Therapy

Learn more about the careers possible with a degree in Respiratory Therapy below.


Christy Kane, Ph.D. Chair (email
Harvy Snider, MD (email)
Diane Kemper, Program Assistant (email)
Janet Vogt, MHS (email)
Jerome Walker, EdD, (email) (website)

Study Abroad

Bellarmine offers a wide variety of study abroad options on 6 continents in over 50 countries and at over 150 partner campuses around the globe.


For more information about the Respiratory Therapy Department, call 502.272.8419.

All applications and correspondence relevant to admission should be directed to:
Bellarmine University
Office of Graduate Admission
2001 Newburg Road
Louisville, KY 40205