St. Mary's Medical Center | Huntington, WV | (304) 526-1234

School of Respiratory Care

What is a Respiratory Therapist?

Most people take breathing for granted. It is an involuntary reflex. But, for many Americans who suffer from breathing disorders, each and every breath is a major task.

Those include people with chronic lung problems, such as asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and many other breathing disorders. Respiratory therapists also come in contact daily with patients who have been involved in a traumatic accident, experienced a heart attack, or the birthing of premature infants and patients in a pulmonary rehabilitation program.

The Role of a Respiratory Therapist

There are about 100,000 respiratory therapists in the United States. They work with patients of all ages and in many different healthcare settings.

Respiratory therapists are members of the healthcare team that provide respiratory care for a variety of patients with heart and lung disorders.

Most respiratory therapists work in hospitals where they perform procedures in intensive care, emergency room and neonatal nurseries.

They are a vital part of the hospital's lifesaving response team that handles many patient emergencies. An increasing number of respiratory therapists are now working in skilled nursing centers, physicians offices, home health agencies, specialty care hospitals and medical equipment supply companies.

Career Goal: Registered Respiratory Therapist

The respiratory care program prepares students for the advanced level of practice to function as a licensed respiratory therapist.

As a member of an interdisciplinary healthcare team, respiratory therapists evaluate, treat and manage patients of all ages with respiratory illnesses and diseases.

Length of Program

  • 48 months

Degree Awarded

  • Bachelor of Science In Respiratory Care

Facts about the program:

  • The program is a 48-month sequential program.
  • Classroom, laboratory, and clinical rotations are required.
  • Clinical training includes:
    • Patient evaluation and appropriate treatment selection
    • Assessment of treatment efficacy
    • Reviewing clinical data
    • Performing therapeutic procedures
    • Performing and promoting pulmonary wellness
    • Advanced training in the critical care areas
    • Specialty training in the neonatal intensive care
  • Specialty skill training in:
    • Critical thinking
    • Clinical and ethical decision making
    • Disease management
    • Patient and community education

Admission Process

  1. Be a high school graduate or have G.E.D.
    1. High school applicant's GPA must be a minimum of 3.0.
    2. At least a "C" on any college courses taken.
    3. Have taken the ACT.
  2. Applicants with at least 12 college credits
    1. High school diploma or GED
    2. Minimum of a "C" on any non-respiratory course already completed.
  3. Minimum of a 2.5 GPA on all college work attempted.
  4. Have taken the ACT.
  5. Be admitted to Marshall University.
  6. Complete application for admittance into the respiratory care program.
  7. Complete all required documents for the Respiratory Care Program.
  8. Forward two letters of reference to the program director of Respiratory Care.
  9. Furnish ACT or SAT scores.
  10. Tour a respiratory care department at a local hospital. Upon completion of the shadowing experience submit the completed form to the Program Director of Respiratory Care.
  11. Previous college work will be evaluated and transferable credits may be accepted.
  12. Advanced standing status will be evaluated on an individual basis.
  13. Applicants are selected on a competitive basis.

Cost of Program

Estimated total (tuition at St. Mary's and Marshall University)

  • In State = $13,000
  • Metro = $16,000

Estimate does not allow for travel expenses to other assigned clinical sites and does not account for increases in the cost of books or uniforms.

For more information please call (304) 399-4969 or (304) 399- 4970.

Non-Respiratory Courses Taken at MU - 39 credits

English (ENG 101 and 102) - 6 credits
Chemistry (CHM 203) - 3 credits
Math (MTH 121) - 3 credits
Anatomy (BSC 227) - 4 credits
Physiology (BSC 228) - 4 credits
Psychology (PSY 201) - 3 credits
Sociology (SOC 200) - 3 credits
Microbiology (BSC 250) - 4 credits
Statistics (MTH 225) - 3 credits
INT - (6 credits)

Respiratory Courses

RSP 101 Introduction to Respiratory Care
RSP 102 Introduction to Respiratory Care Procedures
RSP 102L Respiratory Care Procedures Lab
RSP 201 Pulmonary Pathophysiology
RSP 202 Mechanical Ventilation Technology & Management
RSP 202L Mechanical Ventilation Technology & Management Lab
RSP 203 Respiratory Internship 1
RSP 204 Cardiopulmonary Diagnostics
RSP 205 Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care
RSP 206 Introduction to Critical Care Management
RSP 207 Pulmonary Rehabilitation/Home Care
RSP 208 Seminar in Respiratory Care
RSP 209 Respiratory Internship 2
RSP 210 Respiratory Internship 3
RSP 212 Cardiopulmonary/Renal Anatomy & Physiology
RSP 301 Introduction to Management
RSP 302 Directed Reading/Seminar Critical Care
RSP 303 Respiratory Education
RSP 304 Respiratory Cost Management & Solutions
RSP 306 Advanced Neonatal & Pediatrics
RSP 307 Advanced Techniques in Adult Critical Care
RSP 402 Introduction to Sleep Disorders
RSP 403 Respiratory Management
RSP 404 Respiratory Care Research
RSP 405 Advanced Respiratory Care Diagnosis
RSP 420 Capstone in Respiratory Care

Click here for the School of Respiratory Care admission form.

Program Statement:

The St. Mary’s/Marshall University’s Co-Operative School for Respiratory Care offers a Bachelors of Science degree in Respiratory Care and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
1248 Harwood Road
Bedford, Texas 76021-4244
(817) 283-2835

Program Outcome Data and related information may be obtained by accessing the following link below.