May 18, 2022  
Undergraduate Catalog (ARCHIVED) 2020-2021 
Undergraduate Catalog (ARCHIVED) 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Respiratory Care, B.S.

Respiratory Care

The Dakota State University Respiratory Care Program is located in Madison. It holds continuing accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (, with the main clinical location in Sioux Falls (CoARC program number 200070) and a satellite location in Rapid City (CoARC program number 300015).  The program awards both AS and BS degrees upon completion.  NOTE: The Respiratory Care program (Associate and Bachelors degrees) are being transitioned to SDSU effective AY20-21.

Respiratory Care is the health care discipline that specializes in the promotion of optimum cardiopulmonary function and health. Respiratory Therapists use science and technology to assess, treat, and manage care by use of diagnostic evaluation for patients with respiratory illnesses which would include the cardiac system.  Knowledge of the scientific principles underlying cardiopulmonary physiology and pathophysiology, as well as biomedical engineering and technology, enable respiratory therapists to effectively assess, educate, and treat patients.  Respiratory Therapists use technology in the education of patients about their disease and prevention of disease progression.

As a health care profession, Respiratory Care is practiced under medical direction across the health care continuum. Respiratory Care is specifically focused on the assessment, treatment, management, control, diagnostic evaluation, education, and care of patients with deficiencies and abnormalities of the cardiopulmonary system as well as on the prevention of the development of these deficiencies. Critical thinking, patient/environment assessment skills, and evidence-based clinical practice guidelines enable respiratory therapists to develop and implement effective care plans, patient-driven protocols, disease-based clinical pathways, and disease management programs. A variety of venues serve as the practice site for this health care profession including, but not limited to: acute care hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities, patients' homes, patient transport systems, physician office, convalescent and retirement centers, educational institutions, and wellness centers.

The respiratory care programs at Dakota State University (DSU) are designed as either an associate or bachelor's degree in respiratory care. The first fall and spring semesters of the A.S. program are spent on a university campus completing general education requirements. After the first year's classes are completed, the student has class and clinical experiences at the primary clinical affiliate hospitals (Avera McKennan and Sanford Hospitals in Sioux Falls or Monument Health Rapid City). Following completion of the A.S. portion, students can complete the B.S. degree (third and fourth year). 

Immediately upon graduation from the A.S. program, you are eligible to take the credentialling examination of the National Board of Respiratory Care to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist.  THis credential allows you to obtain a license to work. 

The field of respiratory care provides excellent opportunities for those interested in a dynamic and exciting career in cardiopulmonary sciences. Salaries for respiratory therapists are excellent and compare favorably with other allied health fields. Job opportunities for new graduates are also very good. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the respiratory care profession is expected to add almost 15,000 new jobs between now and 2024, increasing the size of the profession by 12 percent and making RC one of the fastest growing occupations. This increase in demand is expected because of substantial growth of the elderly population, and increases in the numbers of patients with asthma and chronic lung disease.

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care

The Bachelor of Science degree in respiratory care continues the work begun in understanding the medical and scientific applications of today’s health care field while incorporating the technology available to today’s respiratory care practitioner.

Prerequisite: Associate of Science in Respiratory Care degree from Dakota State University or equivalent (68 Credits)

Satisfactory academic progress is defined as:

  • A final grade of at least "C" in each course in the program curriculum and an overall GPA of at least 2.60 on a 4.00 scale.
  • If a student obtains an unsatisfactory final grade (D or F) in any class in the program curriculum and repeats it, the grade in which repeated class must be at least a "B".  Any general education course in the respiratory care curriculum may be repeated more than once, but the final grade must be at least a "B".
  • RESP prefix courses may be repeated only once to remove any unsatisfactory grade.

Individual course syllabi give details on grade determination, content, and requirements for each course.

System-wide General Education Requirement (13 Credits)

Electives (5 Credits)

Two of these credits have been met upon completion of the Science SGE Goal 3.