Respiratory Care - BA, BS

St. Catherine University is one of the few institutions in the upper Midwest to offer a bachelor's degree in the field of Respiratory Care. The Respiratory Care Major is offered in six consecutive semesters and one summer session for students in the College for Women. The Respiratory Care Major is also available to students matriculating in other Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (ACTC). Respiratory Care Majors receive individualized advising to facilitate timely completion of their professional and liberal arts and science courses.

The Respiratory Care Program curriculum integrates the respiratory care courses with a liberal arts and science background to provide students with a well-balanced depth of knowledge. This diverse foundation will prepare students to function as a competent professional in their daily interactions with clients in various healthcare settings. Students will learn the essential knowledge and skills required of the Respiratory Therapist in courses such as the following:

  • Respiratory Care theory and laboratory courses (series of courses)
  • Pathophysiology in Respiratory Care I & II
  • Respiratory Care Clinical Applications (series of courses)
  • Respiratory Care Clinical Specialties

With approximately 900 hours of clinical experiences in critical care, newborn and pediatric intensive care, home care, pulmonary diagnostics and rehabilitation, students will actively collaborate with faculty and clinicians to develop respiratory care skills, critical thinking and professional communication. The program utilizes a preceptor model for teaching and many of the clinical experiences feature one-to-one student-to-preceptor ratios. Clinical practicums are scheduled at several nationally renowned metropolitan healthcare facilities affiliated with HealthEast, Fairview/M Health, Park Nicollet, HealthPartners, Allina, North Memorial Medical Center, Hennepin Health, and Children's Hospitals of Minnesota.

St. Kate's Respiratory Care graduates are prepared to provide excellent patient care, influence the quality of healthcare services, promote cardiopulmonary health, and assume leadership positions in the profession. Upon graduation, most respiratory therapists are employed in acute care hospitals. Graduates are eligible to take the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) credentialing exams. 

Upon receiving low threshold score on the NBRC Therapist Multiple Choice Exam, graduates are awarded the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential. This allows graduates to apply to the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice to work as a licensed respiratory therapist in the state of Minnesota. Upon receiving high threshold score, graduates are awarded the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential, signifying advanced professional achievement. 

The St. Catherine University Respiratory Care Baccalaureate Degree Major (St Paul, Minnesota) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (

The Respiratory Care Department requires that students apply to enter the Respiratory Care Major. Applications are accepted between September 15th and July 1st (or until the program is full) in the year proceeding the year a student wishes to begin the program of study.  

Respiratory Care Major Admissions Process:

  • Students are required to apply to the respiratory care major and must have completed 30 credit hours with a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, including prerequisite courses.
  • All prerequisite and supporting courses must be completed with a C (2.0) or better grade (and cannot be taken for S/U grading)
  • Prerequisite transfer coursework will not be accepted if it is greater than 10 years old

Students who have been St. Kate's students since the beginning of their college experience are given first access to available seats in the program. 

This major is offered in the College for Women only.


A minimum grade of C is required for all courses: respiratory care courses, prerequisites, and required supporting courses.

Required Courses
RESP 1160Respiratory Patient Care and Assessment2
RESP 2100Introduction to Respiratory Care with Lab4
RESP 2200Principles of Patient Management with Lab4
RESP 3100Principles of Ventilation with Lab4
RESP 3110Clinical Applications I2
RESP 3120Pathophysiology in Critical Care I2
RESP 3200WAdvanced Therapeutics with Lab4
RESP 3210Clinical Applications II4
RESP 3220Pathophysiology in Critical Care II2
RESP 3310Clinical Applications III6
RESP 4100Advanced Critical Care with Lab4
RESP 4115Clinical Specialty I 14
or RESP 4225 Clinical Specialty II
RESP 4800WSenior Seminar4
Total Credits46
Prerequisite Courses
PSYC 1001General Psychology with Lab4
Select one of the following:4-8
General Chemistry for Health Sciences with Lab
General Chemistry I with Lab
and General Chemistry II with Lab (recommended)
Select one of the following:4
Statistical Analysis for Decision Making
Statistical Methods in Psychology
Statistical Analysis with Corequisite
Statistical Analysis
Select one of the following:4
Principles and Concepts of Sociology
Sociology of Health and Medicine
Cultural Anthropology
Economics of Social Issues
Total Credits16-20
Required Supporting Courses
BIOL 2200Introduction to Microbiology with Lab4
BIOL 2610Human Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab4
BIOL 2620Human Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab4
COMM 1030Speaking to Lead and Influence4
INDI 1150Basic Patient Care2
INDI 3150Pharmacology for the Healthcare Professional4
IPE 2800Healthcare Teams: Opportunities and Challenges in Aging4
PHIL 3400Biomedical Ethics4
Total Credits30

The required supporting courses may be completed prior to beginning the respiratory care major or during the completion of course work in the major. The timely completion of these supporting courses is required for progression in the respiratory care major.

Respiratory care majors satisfy the Writing Requirement for Majors by completing RESP 3200W Advanced Therapeutics with Lab and RESP 4800W Senior Seminar.They complete the Liberal Arts and Sciences Core Writing Requirement with two other writing-intensive courses ( CORE 1000W The Reflective Woman or CORE 2000W The Reflective Woman, and CORE 3990W Global Search for Justice).