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Breathe Life into the Patients You Care For

You can be the one who literally helps breathe new life into a patient. Respiratory therapists are critical health care workers who possess the skills to assess, diagnose and treat patients who have difficulty breathing. This includes everything from helping patients with respiratory conditions, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, to attending to emergency situations that require the use of a life support machine. Respiratory care is a growing health care field that is rewarding professionally and personally.

Nova Southeastern University’s entry-level Respiratory Therapy program covers the fundamentals of respiratory therapy, cardiopulmonary physiology and other specialized areas. As a student in this program, you’ll learn in high-tech simulation suites equipped with the same mechanical ventilators and equipment you’ll find at hospitals and other health care facilities around the country. A 10-bed intensive care unit with video conferencing features helps to prepare you to handle the most critical situations—you’ll experience real-life hospital emergencies in these simulation suites without the pressure of having a professor over your shoulder. You’ll be prepared for an emergency situation before you ever touch a real patient.   

Why Should You Major in Respiratory Therapy at NSU?

An In-Demand Health Care Field with Multiple Options

 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in respiratory care are expected to grow at a much faster rate than the average for all occupations, due to an aging population. With your respiratory therapist degree, you can care for patients of different ages and clinical conditions. Your options for practice range from neonates to geriatrics, hospitals to community centers and research to education.

Learn more about Career Preparation

Average Starting Salary

The average annual salary for respiratory therapists in May 2019 was $61,330. *

 Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Shark Destinations

You’ll find alumni of NSU’s respiratory therapy program at health care facilities like Holtz Children's Hospital and Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital. *

 *Data provided by NSU’s Office of Career Development.

The World Needs More RTs

Aging populations, greater access to health insurance, advancements in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, and respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19 — all of these factors are creating an enormous demand for respiratory therapists.

Lori Tinkler, National Board for Respiratory Care CEO

Respiratory Therapy First-Professional Program Details:

Admission Contacts:

Admissions Counselor - Gabriela Corso,, 954-262-1114

Department Chair - Lisa Farach,, 844-495-2880


Admission Requirements & Prerequisite Courses

Admission into the program will require the following:

  1. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale from all undergraduate work.
  2. Minimum cumulative Science GPA of 2.5.
  3. Interview with Respiratory Therapy Admissions Committee
  4. Completion of all prerequisite coursework with a minimum grade of C, from a regionally accredited college or university. Are you wondering how a course you took at another institution will transfer to your undergraduate degree at NSU? Visit our NSU Transfer Credit System. Institutions are listed alphabetically.  Choose the letter of the alphabet for the institution that the classes were taken then choose the institution. You are able to search by specific course or generate a list of all courses transferred into NSU.

    PRE-REQUISITES (subject to change without notice)
    Title Credits
    Humanities 6
    Social/Behavioral Sciences 6
    College Algebra and higher 6
    Written communication @ 1500 level or higher 6
    *Human Anatomy & Physiology I w/ Lab 4
    *Human Anatomy & Physiology II w/ Lab 4
    *Microbiology w/lab 4
    *General Chemistry w/lab 4


    * These courses will meet the Natural and Physical Science General Education requirement of 6 credits


    Title Credits
    Genetics 3
    Organic / Inorganic Chemistry w/ lab 4
    Physics 3

The BSRT First-Professional program offers one start date per year:

  • Fall

Steps to Apply

To ensure that your application receives prompt consideration, you should apply early.  Applications are accepted year-round.

Applicants for admission must submit or be responsible for submission of

  1. A completed online application along with a $50, non-refundable application fee.
  2. Official college transcripts, certificates, and/or diploma-based transcripts from all universities/institutions attended. Transcripts will receive a formal transcript evaluation and NSU transfer course equivalencies. Transcripts and foreign evaluations, and additional documentation may be sent to the following address (Please see further below for information regarding foreign evaluations and electronic transcripts) :

    Nova Southeastern University
    Enrollment Processing Services
    3301 College Avenue
    P.O. Box 299000
    Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33329-9905
  3. Upon recommendation by the Respiratory Therapy Admissions Committee and after review of applicant's admission portfolio, applicant will be contacted to schedule an interview before the Respiratory Therapy Admissions Committee.
  4. Applicant will be interviewed by Respiratory Therapy Admissions Committee.
  5. An offer of admission will only be made upon recommendation of the Respiratory Therapy Admissions Committee.

If applicant accepts offer,

  1. Applicant must pay $200 seat deposit, within 14 days of acceptance, and will be formally categorized as “Provisionally Admitted” until
  2. All transcripts must be resubmitted with final (no in-progress) grades documented
  3. Applicant/Student will then be formally categorized as “Fully Admitted”

Foreign Evaluations

Evaluation of coursework taken at a foreign institution for US institutional equivalence (if applicable).Foreign coursework must be evaluated by one of the following services:

Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
International Education Consultants
7101 SW 102nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33173
Phone: (305) 273-1616
Fax: (305) 273-1338

World Education Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 745
Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10113-0745
(212) 966-6311

Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
P.O. Box 415070
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 289-3400

Electronic Transcripts:  For NSU to consider an electronic transcript official, it must be received from a reputable third-party delivery agent. NSU accepts electronic transcripts from the following providers:

  • Parchment
  • National Student Clearinghouse

Transcripts emailed by individuals will not be accepted as official.

Third-party delivery agents may email official electronic transcripts to:

Program Goals

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).

To prepare leaders for the field of respiratory care by including curricular content with objectives related to the acquisition of skills in one or more of the following: management, education, research and advanced clinical practice (which may include an area of clinical specialization).

Professional Courses

The following professional courses will be required for completion. Course descriptions can be found in NSU's Undergraduate Student Catalog.

First-Professional Curriculum

Course Number Course Title Credits
RCP 3001 Medical Terminology for Respiratory Therapy 1
RCP 3002 Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiology 3
RCP 3003 Fundamentals of Respiratory Care w/Lab 4
RCP 3004 Respiratory Basics & Patient Assessment w/Lab 4
RCP 4040 Statistics & Principles of Scientific Literature Evaluation 3
RCP 3501 Clinical I (One 8 hour day/wk. for 16 weeks) 2
RCP 3007 Pulmonary Disease 3
RCP 3008 Pharmacology for Respiratory Therapy 3
RCP 3011 Mechanical Ventilation w/Lab 4
RCP 4009 Legal and Ethical Considerations in Respiratory Care 3
RCP 3502 Clinical II (Two 8 hour days/wk. for 12 weeks) 3
RCP 3009 Patient Monitoring w/lab 4
RCP 3012 Cardiopulmonary Diagnostics and PFT w/Lab 4
RCP 3013 Human and Infectious Disease (non-pulmonary) 3
RCP 4501 Clinical III (Two 8 hour days/wk. for 16 weeks) 4
RCP 4001 Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care w/Lab 4
RCP 4002 Cardiopulmonary Technology and Specialties 3
RCP 4003 Alternate Respiratory Disciplines 3
RCP 4502 Clinical IV (Two 12 hour days/wk. for 16 weeks) 6
RCP 4006 Leadership and Management in Respiratory Care 3
RCP 4100 Clinical Seminar I
RCP 4005 Healthcare Research and Evidence-Based Practice 3
RCP 4503 Specialization Clinical V (Three 12 hour days/wk for 10 weeks) 6
RCP 4101 Clinical Seminar II

TOTAL CREDITS: 120 (Includes Prerequisite Courses required for admission)


Tuition and Fees

Visit the Tuition and Fees page for more information.

  • $50 nonrefundable application fee
  • NSU Student Service fee annually.
  • $200 acceptance fee (seat deposit) —This fee is required to reserve the accepted applicant’s place in the entering first year class, but is nonrefundable in the event of a withdrawal. It is payable within two weeks of an applicant’s acceptance.
  • Students are responsible for purchasing any required textbooks, uniforms, white coats and/or classroom materials.

Financial Aid

The primary financial responsibility for a student’s education rests with the student and his or her family.  Economic circumstances for some families may make it necessary for the student to obtain assistance from other sources.

The Office of Student Financial Assistance at Nova Southeastern University is here to help as many qualified students as possible to complete their health professions education.  Various loans, scholarships, and grants are available to qualified students to help ease the high cost of a health professions education.  These financial assistance programs are described on our Financial Aid website here.

For information on financial assistance, contact:

Financial Aid Counselor - Palm Beach Regional Campus
Enrollment and Student Services
Nova Southeastern University
11501 N. Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
855- 769-1675 (Direct Phone)
866-396-0738 (Fax)

Enhanced Pathway for Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy and Master of Science in Anesthesia at NSU

  • A unique pathway for NSU BS in Respiratory Therapy (RT) first-professional students to join the NSU Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) program after completion of their BSRT, respiratory therapy training and successful obtention of their RRT credential.
  • GRE or MCAT scores are waived under this partnership for the NSU RT applicants.
  • This option will initiate with the August 2021 entering RT cohort.


  • Graduation from the NSU RT program with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Obtention of RRT credential
  • Shadowing of an AA during the RT clinical year
  • Clinical experience as a RRT strongly recommended
  • A letter of recommendation from the RT program
  • RT students need to complete the following courses* prior to admission, with a minimum GPA of 3.0



Chemistry with Lab


Organic Chemistry with Lab






Physics with lab




*In the second year of training, RT students can complete some of the prerequisite courses. Students will complete the outstanding requirements between graduation from the RT program and the start of the AA program. Personalized advising will be provided by the RT and AA program leadership.

Interview Process

RT students who meet the requirements outlined in this proposal will be granted an interview. Providing that the interview does not reveal any areas of concern, the student will be offered a seat in one of the four NSU AA programs. Students’ preference for one of the locations will be noted but a seat at the preferred location cannot be guaranteed. The AA programs are located in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Tampa Bay, FL, Jacksonville, FL and (as of January 2022) Denver, CO. 

The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (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. 

The BSRT First-Professional program #200615 has been granted continued accreditation by The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC):

For accreditation information, please contact or visit: 

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)
264 Precision Boulevard
Telford, TN 37690
877-370-2872 (Office)
888-368-2257 (Fax)

CoARC main webpage can be located at

CoARC Programmatic outcomes can be located at 



Degree Title (Concentration)


Bachelor in Respiratory Therapy



This Disclosure is strictly limited to NSU’s determination of whether the Respiratory Therapy program, if successfully completed, would be sufficient to meet the educational requirements for licensure or certification in a State, as defined as 34 C.F.R. § 600.2.


NOTE: This Disclosure does not provide any guarantee that any particular State licensure entity will approve or deny your application for certification or professional licensure. Furthermore, this Disclosure does not account for changes in state law or regulations that may affect your application for certification or licensure or occur after this disclosure has been made. If your career plans include pursuing professional licensure or certification in your chosen field, it is important to become educated on the credentialing requirements of the state in which you hope to practice by contacting the state’s licensure entity.


In accordance with 34 C.F.R. § 668.43, NSU has determined whether the Program satisfies State educational requirements for licensure as follows:




The Respiratory Therapy Program at Nova Southeastern University meets the educational degree completion requirements for licensure in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. protectorates.



State licensure or certification requirements can vary from state to state, depending on each State’s laws and regulations. The State licensure entities are responsible for overseeing the educational and non-educational requirements for licensure or certification for their State.


We encourage all enrolled students and prospective students to contact their applicable State licensure entities to familiarize themselves with the specific professional licensure or certification requirements. For information on how to contact State licensure entities, please visit the U.S. Department of Education State Contacts webpage at:


If you have trouble obtaining the information you need, or if you have any other questions regarding certification, please contact Lisa Farach at or 561-225-8013 for assistance.