Respiratory care applies a combination of academic and clinical training to teach students mastery of specialized respiratory skills so that they may assist patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. Respiratory therapists will treat a large variety of patients including those with asthma, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, respiratory failure, black lung, sleep apnea, cardiac arrest, premature neonates, and more. 


Carlow University is pleased to offer two tracks for the completion of a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care (BSRC):

Carlow’s programs in respiratory care provide a unique and specialized education that will prepare students to be an integral member of an exclusive health care team responsible for performing essential respiratory care functions. 

Carlow’s location in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh offers easy access to clinical sites and future employers. Students are able to take advantage of the University’s longstanding relationships with world-renowned health systems, while still working and learning with Carlow faculty. 

Carlow’s program is one of just 60 BSRC programs in the country!


The BSRC is a flexible degree that prepares you to work in a variety of settings, including neonatal/pediatric units, sleep laboratories, outpatient care centers, pulmonary function laboratories, or critical care units. You could also pursue a career as a hyperbaric oxygenation technician, asthma educator, flight therapist, home care specialist, medical sales associate, or acute care clinician.


According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and pneumonia. These respiratory disorders can permanently damage the lungs or restrict lung function.

These factors will lead to an increased demand for respiratory therapy services and treatments, mostly in hospitals and nursing homes. In addition, advances in preventing and detecting disease, improved medications, and more sophisticated treatments will increase the demand for respiratory therapists. Other conditions affecting the general population, such as smoking, air pollution, and respiratory emergencies will continue to create demand for respiratory therapists. Approximately 80% of those currently employed in respiratory care positions only have a two-year degree, making those who have a bachelor’s degree better primed for fast advancement into management positions. 


The Carlow University Respiratory Care Program (CoARC program # 200617) offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Respiratory Care at its Pittsburgh PA campus and holds Provisional Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. This status signifies that a program that has been granted an Approval of Intent has demonstrated sufficient compliance to initiate a program in accordance with the Standards through the completion and submission of an acceptable Provisional Accreditation Self Study Report (PSSR), completion of an initial on-site visit, and other documentation required by the CoARC. The conferral of Provisional Accreditation denotes a new program that has made significant progress towards meeting the Standards of Accreditation. The program will remain on Provisional Accreditation until achieving Continuing Accreditation. It is recognized by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) toward eligibility to the Respiratory Care Credentialing Examination(s). Enrolled students completing the program under Provisional Accreditation are considered graduates of a CoARC accredited program. 

Respiratory Care Degree Advancement programs are “educational programs designed specifically to meet the needs of practicing respiratory therapists with an RRT who, have already completed an accredited respiratory care program with an entry into respiratory care professional practice degree and wish to obtain advanced training in respiratory care” (AARC-Degree Advancement Programs in Respiratory Care). In 2015, The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, which oversees respiratory care education, developed a set of Standards for Degree Advancement programs, however, this is a voluntary process and not required by Respiratory Care Degree Advancement Programs. Thus, Accreditation of Respiratory Care Degree Advancement Programs is not required at this time.

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

If you'd like to learn more about our Respiratory care program, let us know!

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Anatomage Table


Respiratory Care Program Chair, Michael Mehall, demonstrates the program's new life-size Anatomage Table for advanced virtual dissection in the Respiratory Care Lab. Carlow is one of the first universities in the nation to have this technology.



Zachary chose a respiratory care major and joined the men's basketball team, where he was able to play as a freshman.



Alicia found the right major for her and saved big by transferring credits. 



Carlow students in respiratory care form a club to grow together professionally and socially.