Make a difference in the lives of those effected by respiratory illness.

The bachelor's degree in respiratory therapy degree is designed for students interested in working with individuals suffering from impaired lung and heart function. You'll learn to exam, diagnose, and create a treatment plan to improve patients' lives. 

The Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy degree is in partnership with the Cape Girardeau Career & Technology Center. Students will complete all general education and health-focused coursework at Southeast Missouri State University in the first two years of the program and the final two years completing respiratory therapy coursework at the Career & Technology Center. This program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). 

What You’ll Do  

Students gain hands-on experience and knowledge required to take on leadership roles in respiratory care in hospitals, clinics, and home healthcare settings. You’ll:

  • Interact with dedicated faculty mentors in a small class environment. 
  • Gain practical hands-on experience through a multitude of clinical rotations. 
  • Learn to diagnose and create a treatment plan for those struggling with respiratory issues. 
  • Network with professionals in the industry. 

What Can You Do with a Respiratory Therapy Degree?

Respiratory therapy had always been a vital part of healthcare, and after Covid-19 it's more important than ever. Jobs for respiratory therapists are expected to rise by 21% through 2028. Students can go on to become credentialed in a variety of specialties with a broad range of career opportunities. 

Employment Opportunities

  • Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT)
  • Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)
  • Adult Critical Care Specialty (ACCS)
  • Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist (RPFT)
  • Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care Specialist (NPS)
  • Sleep Disorders Testing and Therapeutic Intervention Respiratory Care Specialist (SDS)

Respiratory Therapy Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree

Outcomes & Careers 

  • $71k 

    Respiratory Therapist

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for respiratory therapists is $70,540. 





  • $94k

    Outpatient Care Centers

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a respiratory therapist working in a out patient care center is $93,710. 





  • 13%

    Projected Employment Growth

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 13 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.


What You'll Study

Degree Map

This is a cooperative program with the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center (CTC). The RT program will admit the first cohort of students in the fall 2023 semester. The time it takes to earn a degree will vary based on several factors such as dual enrollment, remediation, and summer enrollment. Students will meet with an academic advisor each semester and use Degree Works to monitor their individual progress.

Application Form to the CGCTC RT Program
  • Application deadline is April 5, 2024
  • Completion of the FOUR prerequisite college courses with a grade of ‘C’ or higher
    • BS113/013 Anatomy & Physiology I - 4 hour course
    • MA155 Statistical Reasoning - 3 hour course
    • CH181 Chemistry 181 - 5 hour course
    • RT100 Introduction to Respiratory Therapy RT 100 - 3 hour course
  • Minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA.
  • 1-2 page handwritten paper describing interest in the field of Respiratory Therapy.
  • ATI TEAS Test- applicants must take the ATI TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills).
  • Completion of 6-12 hours of clinical “Shadowing” (see attached form)
  • Interview with CGCTC respiratory instructor staff (last step) (April 8-10th 2024)

Programmatic acceptance will be determined from the completed applicant pool. Each year’s cohort of accepted students will be determined by the highest scores from the attached scoring rubrics (Interview, Letter, TEAS score, and Prerequisite grades). Alternate placement may occur based upon the number of applicants.

Final acceptance is contingent upon criminal background check. Applicant will be responsible for background check fees. Applicants who have certain felonies (drug and violence) may not be eligible for a respiratory therapy license. 

Please contact the Cape Girardeau Career & Technology Center Respiratory Therapy Program at 573-334-0826 Ext 6709  with any questions. or

Applicants for whom English is a second language must show English proficiency by scoring in the high level for reading and listening and in the good level for speaking and writing on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language.)  Please have your results reported to Southeast Missouri State University.  

ACCESSIBILITY STATEMENT: Southeast Missouri State University and the Office of Accessibility Services are committed to making every reasonable educational accommodation for students who identify as people with disabilities. Many services and accommodations which aid a student’s educational experience are available for students with various disabilities. Students are responsible for contacting The Office of Accessibility Services to register and access accommodations. Accommodations are implemented on a case-by-case basis. For more information, visit the Accessibility Services page or contact Accessibility Services by phone at 573-651-5927. 


Respiratory Therapist (RTs) are expanding their practice beyond respiratory therapeutics and diagnostics to many areas such as sleep laboratories, invasive and noninvasive cardiac diagnostics, bronchoscopy services, hyperbaric services, cardiac rehabilitation, EKG, and EEG.  They are trained to use complex medical equipment such as mechanical ventilators, assist in high-risk deliveries, trauma and code situations.  RTs are employed both locally and throughout the nation by hospitals, home care agencies, skilled nursing facilities, medical sales, and other healthcare facilities.


The nationally accredited CGCTC Respiratory Therapy Program in collaboration with Southeast Missouri State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy. Graduates are eligible to take the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) exams for the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential.

In order to obtain the RRT credential (Registered Respiratory Therapist) graduates must take and pass the Entry Level Certification and the Advanced Level Exams. Completion of this Nationally Accredited Respiratory Therapy Program with a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy from Southeast Missouri State University will satisfy the education requirements needed to apply for the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) Credentialing Exams.

Missouri and most other states require National Certification or Registration along with criminal background checks in order to be licensed with the state as a Respiratory Therapy Provider.


The CGCTC Respiratory Therapy "core" courses begin August 2024 with completion of the 21 month Advanced Level Registry Program scheduled for May of 2026.

Attendance at all scheduled classes and clinicals is expected.

3rd Year

Fall Semester

August to December with classes Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the CGCTC.  

Mondays in November and December will include clinical observations at the clinical sites on day or evening shifts. There is approximately a 2-3 week Christmas break.

Spring Semester

January to May Clinical Rotations Monday - Wednesday (Clinical rotations will vary on day, evening, and night shifts and will rotate between clinical sites)

Class on Thursday and Friday at the CGCTC from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Summer Semester

May to August is similar to the Spring Semester schedule of three days of clinicals and two days of class. There is a 1.5 week break in June and 2 week break in August.

4th Year

Fall Semester

August to December with classes Monday through Wednesday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. with Specialty Area Clinicals Thursday and Friday.

Spring Semester

January-May with classes Monday through Wednesday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. with Specialty Area Clinicals Thursday and Friday.

Clinical Rotations are scheduled at different hospitals utilizing approximate day, evening and night shifts.

Day shift                               6 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Evening shift                        2 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Night shift                            10 p.m. - 6:30 a.m. (Night shift is Sunday-Tuesday)

Current clinical sites include:  Southeast Missouri Hospital, St. Francis Medical Center, Missouri Delta Medical Center (Sikeston), Perry County Memorial Hospital (Perryville), Landmark Hospital and Home Health Providers.  Additional clinical sites and specialty areas may be utilized as needed.

Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)- Sixth Edition

Testing is one part of the application process.

The ATI TEAS test is a pre-entrance exam for the RT Program. Cost of test is $80.00. Testing deadline for the 2024 class is April 5th, 2024.

The TEAS exam consists of four (4) sections:  Reading, Math, Science, English & Language Usage

The test usually lasts about 3 ½ hours with each section timed individually.  It consists of 170 questions.

You may retest one time.  It is recommended to wait at least 30 days after the initial exam so the applicant can study to improve test score.


If you would like assistance reviewing for the ATI TEAS:

  • Contact the Adult Education and Literacy Center in your community.
    • The AEL Center in Cape Girardeau is located at 301 North Clark, Room 113.
    • For review information call the AEL Center 573-334-3669
  • Additional review materials include the following:

ATI TEAS– This review book is from the company that actually developed the TEAS used by the Cape Girardeau Career & Technology Center. You can purchase this book by calling 1-800-499-9092 or visiting their website at An updated version called ATI TEAS will be given. It is similar to TEAS V.  For more info, go to

(The Study Guide is listed under ATI TEAS Study Manual- Sixth Edition for $80 on the ATI Testing website) 

  • You may choose to retest one time at a cost of $80.00.
  • Call the Assessment Center at 573-334-0826x6507 to schedule a retest.

Required Courses- 110 hours:
  • BS113/013 Anatomy and Physiology I (4)*
  • CH181/081/001 Basic Principles of Chemistry (5)*
  • EN100 English Composition (3)
  • EN140 Rhetorical and Critical Thinking (3)
  • FN235 Nutrition for Health (3)
  • HL113 Medical Terminology (3)
  • HL120 Health Perspectives (3)
  • HL303 Research Methods (3)
  • MA155 Statistical Reasoning (3)*
  • PS103 US Political Systems (3)
  • PY220 Psychological Development Across the Lifespan (3)
  • RT100 Introduction to Respiratory Therapy (3)*
  • RT208 Clinical Observation (1)
  • RT210 Pharmacology (5)
  • RT214 Cardiopulmonary A&P (5)
  • RT220 Respiratory Pharmacology (2)
  • RT225 Fundamentals of Respiratory Therapy I (5)
  • RT300 Adult Respiratory Disease I (3)
  • RT302 Adult Respiratory Disease II (2)
  • RT304 Clinical Practice I (5)
  • RT305 Pediatric Respiratory Diseases (2)
  • RT310 Pulmonary Diagnostics-PFT (1)
  • RT314 Clinical Practice II (4)
  • RT325 Fundamentals of Respiratory Therapy II (3)
  • RT330 Laboratory II (1)
  • RT340 Applied Respiratory Microbiology (1)
  • RT350 Mechanical Ventilation Theory (3)
  • RT405 Advanced Neonatal & Pediatric Respiratory Care (4)
  • RT410 Hemodynamics and EKG (4)
  • RT420 Respiratory Care Simulation and Prep (4)
  • RT424 Respiratory Care Advanced Internship (4)
  • RT425 Respiratory Care Advanced Internship (4)
  • RT440 Advanced Mechanical Ventilation (4)
  • SC155 Interpersonal Communication (3)
  • TS105 Exploring Allied Health Careers (1)

*Requires a grade of C or higher

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in major program.

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – 6 hours
  • Constitution Requirement – 3 hours
  • Written Communication – 6 hours
  • Oral Communication – 3 hours
  • Natural Sciences – 7 hours (from two disciplines, one to include a lab)
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Humanities & Fine Arts – 9 hours (from at least two disciplines)
  • Additional requirements – 5 hours (to include UI100 for native students)
  • Civics examination

Freshman Year

Fall Semester (12 Hours) 
  • UI100 (1) 
  • BS113/013 (4)
  • EN100 (3)
  • MA155 (3)
  • TS105 (1)
Spring Semester (15 Hours)
  • EN140 (3)
  • FN235 (3)
  • HL120 (3)
  • PY220 (3)
  • RT100 (3)

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester (14 Hours) 
  • CH181/081/001 (5)
  • PS103 (3)
  • SC155 (3)
  • General Education (3)
Spring Semester (13 Hours) 
  • HL113 (3)
  • HL303 (3)
  • General Education (3)
  • General Education (3)
  • Elective (1)

Junior Year

Fall Semester (18 Hours) 
  • RT208 (1)
  • RT210 (5)
  • RT214 (5)
  • RT220 (2)
  • RT225 (5)
Spring Semester (15 Hours) 
  • RT300 (3)
  • RT304 (5)
  • RT305 (2)
  • RT325 (3)
  • RT330 (1)
  • RT340 (1)

Summer (10)

  • RT302 (2)
  • RT310 (1)
  • RT314 (4)
  • RT350 (3)

Senior Year

Fall Semester (12 Hours) 
  • RT405 (4)
  • RT410 (4)
  • RT424 (4)
Spring Semester (12 Hours) 
  • RT420 (4)
  • RT425 (4)
  • RT440 (4)



Get Funding for Your Education

Missouri’s opened the door to a more educated workforce. We want to help you walk through it. If you’re an adult learner and a Missouri resident returning to college, learn about the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant. It’s a statewide financial aid program that can be used to pursue a certificate, degree or industry-recognized credential in a high need area in Missouri. This major is eligible for the Fast Track grant.

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Accreditation Information

CoARC – Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care

Cape CTC CoARC respiratory program number 200497.

“CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States.

To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.

CoARC Programmatic Outcome Data

Office Location
Parker Hall 216
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 7650
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701