Respiratory Therapy (B.S.)

The Bachelor of Respiratory Therapy (B.S.R.T.) program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington was created and approved by the North Carolina Board of Governors in 2019. The program will accept its inaugural class in the Fall of 2021. The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care has affirmed the letter of intent and we are pursuing provisional accreditation in advance of the 2021 inaugural class. The University of North Carolina Wilmington is currently in the process of seeking CoARC accreditation for a respiratory care program. However, University of North Carolina Wilmington can provide no assurance that accreditation will be granted by the CoARC.

The B.S.R.T. will be available to students through our entry into practice program, a cohort model, providing entry-level pathways to the respiratory therapy profession. We will also offer a degree advancement program for current respiratory therapists working to advance their academic credentials in an online accelerated program (OAP) format. 

About the Entry Into Practice Program

Twenty students will be admitted annually, starting in the fall term of each academic year. If admitted, students must successfully complete required courses consistent with national accreditation standards outline by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) and University Studies requirements to earn the degree. Graduates of CoARC accredited programs are eligible to obtain professional credentials through the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) to become a registered respiratory therapist (RRT). Professional credentials demonstrate competency within the scope of practice for respiratory therapists and may be used to apply for state licensure and employment.

The respiratory therapy program will prepare students to become highly competent respiratory therapists who display professional excellence and integrity. Respiratory care requires not only technical expertise, but also humane, empathetic, and professional behavior directed towards patient-centered care. The program prepares graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs). The program is established to prepare leaders for the field of respiratory care including curricular content with objective related to the acquisition of skills in one or more of the following: management, education, research and advanced clinical practice.  


About the Degree Advancement Program

The Degree Advancement program provides working professionals the opportunity to promote understanding of advanced clinical concepts, leadership, and evidence-based practice that can be applied to a disease management strategy for patient populations in a student’s local context.

Students will be admitted six (6) times per academic year. Courses will be delivered in the online accelerated program (OAP) and are seven (7) weeks in length. Courses are delivered asynchronously via the University’s learning management system. The core courses are a 36-credit hour competency focused curriculum can be completed in as little as one (1) year by students who meet all admission requirements. Students with the RRT credential may be awarded 34 elective credits at UNCW after completion of the entry course RSP 324 Disease Management for Respiratory Therapists. University Studies, or general education requirements, must be met by transferring up to 64 accepted course credits from previous institutions and/or completion of University Studies at UNCW to satisfy the 120 credit requirement for the bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy.

The respiratory therapy program will prepare students to become highly competent respiratory therapists who display professional excellence and integrity. Respiratory care requires not only technical expertise, but also humane, empathetic, and professional behavior directed towards patient-centered care. The respiratory therapy degree advancement program is designed to provide graduates of entry into practice respiratory therapy degree programs with additional knowledge, skills, and attributes in leadership, management, education, research, and/or advanced clinical practice that will enable them to meet their current professional goals and prepare them for practice as advanced degree respiratory therapists.  

If admitted, students must successfully complete required criteria set forth by the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences, in addition to completing the regular university application process.  

Interested in the Degree Advancement program and want to learn more? Complete this inquiry form.

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