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

  • 8 semesters

Degree Awarded

  • Bachelor of Science In Respiratory Care

Facts about the program:

  • The program is 8 semester 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

Admissions Requirements

All applicants must be either a graduate of an accredited high school or have a high school equivalent through GED testing. All applicants are encouraged to take the ACT and submit results to St. Mary’s School of Respiratory Care. Students who have fewer than 12 hours of college credits are required to have taken the ACT examination.

High School Seniors and Applicants Who Have Completed Fewer than 12 College Credit Hours Must Have:

  • A minimum high school GPA of 3.0
  • A minimum of C on all college courses completed

The Following High School Courses are Strongly Recommended:

  • English - 4 units
  • Science - 3 units (chemistry, biology I and biology II)
  • Math - 2 units (one should be algebra)
  • Social Studies - 3 units

Applicants Who Have Completed at Least 12 College Credit Hours Must Have:

  • A minimum of C on each required non-respiratory course completed
  • An overall 2.0 GPA (C average) or better on ALL courses completed
  • An overall 2.0 GPA on all courses completed at Marshall University
  • Taken 12 college semester credit hours at the 100 level or above for a grade

GED Applicants Must:

  • Meet criteria for GED admission as stated in the Marshall University undergraduate catalog
  • Have completed at least 12 college credit hours at the 100 level and earned grades of C or above
  • Meet criteria for applicants who have completed at least 12 college credit hours

Non-Respiratory Courses taken at Marshall University
BSC 227 Human Anatomy
BSC 228 Human Physiology
BSC 250 Microbiology
CHM 203 General Chemistry
COM 103 Fundamentals of Speech Communication
ENG 101 Beginning Composition
ENG 201 Advanced Composition
MTH 121 Concepts & Application
PSY 201 General Psychology
SOC 200 Introductory Sociology
Fine Arts Elective (ART 112, MUS 142, THE 112)
Humanities Elective (see Marshall’s catalog for course listings)
Medical Terminology Course (CLS 105 or HS 200)
Statistics Course (MTH 225, MGT 218, PSY 223)

Respiratory Courses
RSP 100 Respiratory Pharmacology
RSP 101 Intro to Respiratory Care
RSP 102 and 102L Intro to Respiratory Care Proc. And lab
RSP 201 Pulmonary Pathophysiology
RSP 202 Mechanical Vent Tech & Mgt
RSP 203 Respiratory Internship I
RSP 206 Neonatal/Pediatric Resp. Care
RSP 207 Intro to Critical Care Mgt.
RSP 208 Seminar in Resp Care
RSP 209 Respiratory Internship II
RSP 210 Respiratory Internship III
RSP 211 Dynamics of Pulmonary
RSP 212 Acute/Chronic Respiratory Management
RSP 301 Intro to Respiratory Mgt.
RSP 302 Respiratory Internship IV
RSP 303 Respiratory Education
RSP 304 Advanced Neonatal & Peds
RSP 307 Advanced Techniques Adult Critical Care
RSP 308 Respiratory Management and Performance Improvement
RSP 401 Intro to Sleep Disorders
RSP 402 Trends & Issues in Respiratory Care
RSP 403 Respiratory Care Research
RSP 404 Advance Respiratory Care Practicum
RSP 420 Capstone in Respiratory Care

Click here for the School of Respiratory Care admission form.

Program Statement:

The BS Degree Respiratory Therapy program at Marshall University/St. Mary’s Medical Center located in Huntington, WV, program number 200506 is accreditated by the Commission on Accrfeditation 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.