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Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care Online

Finish your bachelor's degree quickly and affordably online while developing the advanced clinical practice attributes necessary for career advancement as a respiratory therapist.

10/07/21 Next Application Due Date
10/20/21 Start Classes
Tuition now $350 per credit hour with Path to Success Scholarship*

Program Overview

$452 Per Credit Hour
As few as 12 months Program Duration
30 Credit Hours

The Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care (BSRC) online program from Northern Kentucky University, one of fewer than 20 bachelor's-level accredited degree advancement programs in the U.S., is designed for the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) professional with an associate degree in respiratory care. This online program enables you to advance your credentials as a respiratory care practitioner, keeping up with evolving industry trends and increasing your earnings potential. The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) has set a goal for 80% of respiratory therapists to have, or be working toward, a bachelor's degree by 2020.

In this unique bachelor's degree online program, you will enhance your foundational skills in healthcare research and management, health informatics, pathophysiology, and advanced critical care. The curriculum features research-based capstone courses tailored to a focus area of your choice and pertinent to your worksite.

In this online program, you will:

  • Demonstrate a high level of maturity and professionalism and serve as an example and a mentor for rising respiratory care professionals
  • Use the most effective forms of communication, including innovative formats, to deliver a message to the intended audience
  • Develop a research question, review the appropriate literature, synthesize the published data and formulate a publishable paper and/or poster presentation utilizing the scientific method of research
  • Utilize information technology and effective, ethical communication to advance and promote the understanding of the respiratory care profession

The Northern Kentucky University Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care Completion program (CoARC #510011) is provisionally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. This program is one of fewer than 20 bachelor's-level accredited degree completion programs in the U.S.

Have questions or need more information about our online programs?


The BSRC online program offers the same affordable, pay-by-the-course tuition to in-state and out-of-state students. All fees are included in the total tuition cost. Financial aid may be available for those who qualify.

Tuition breakdown:

$452 Per Credit Hour
$14,040 Total Tuition

View full tuition breakdown

Program Per Credit Hour University Fee Per Credit Hour** Total Program with Fee
BSRC $452 $16 $14,040
Program with Path to Success Scholarship and Locked-In Tuition* $10,980

The BSRC online program consists of 30 credit hours for a program cost of $14,040, including fees. The program cost does not include other general education courses that may be needed to complete the 120 hours required by the BSRC degree. Tuition is subject to change at any time.

*The Path to Success Scholarship with Tuition Lock is available to first-time NKU online students only and is comprised of a per-credit-hour savings of $102, for a $350 per-credit-hour tuition rate, total cost per credit hour of $366 including fee. The Scholarship cannot be combined with any other offer and is not available for existing students or the RN to BSN online program. Students who step out of the program for more than a year, thus requiring a new application, will no longer receive the $350 tuition lock and will receive, instead, the current price of the program at time of new enrollment.

COARC logo

NKU's Dr. Tom Baxter, director of the Master of Science in Health Science program, received a national award from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) for his work to ensure the high quality of respiratory care at educational institutions across the nation.


The BSRC is delivered in a convenient online format, with 7-week courses that start six times a year. View the calendar to find the best start date for you and be sure to note corresponding deadlines.

Now Enrolling:

10/07/21 Apply By
10/20/21 Start Classes

View full calendar

Session Program Start Date Application Deadline Document Deadline Registration Deadline Tuition Deadline Last Class Day
Summer 1 05/10/2021 04/28/2021 05/03/2021 05/06/2021 05/10/2021 06/25/2021
Summer 2 06/28/2021 06/16/2021 06/21/2021 06/24/2021 06/28/2021 08/13/2021
Fall 1 08/23/2021 08/11/2021 08/16/2021 08/19/2021 08/23/2021 10/08/2021
Fall 2 10/20/2021 10/07/2021 10/12/2021 10/15/2021 10/20/2021 12/10/2021

Ready to take the next step toward earning your degree online from Northern Kentucky University?


The admission process is the first step toward earning your BSRC online from NKU. Requirements for admission include:

Official transcripts of all coursework from accredited institutions
Associate degree from a CoARC-approved respiratory care program
Minimum 2.5 GPA on cumulative undergraduate coursework

View full admission requirements

BSRC Online Admission Requirements

  • Complete online application and pay $40 non-refundable application fee
    • If you are an NKU alumni or active/veteran military member, your application fee will be waived
  • Current Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential from The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC)
  • Associate degree from a CoARC-approved respiratory care program
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA

Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements for admission into NKU (refer to current NKU catalog); in addition to the program curriculum, students must meet the university Foundation of Knowledge requirements. All academic work must be evaluated by the NKU Admissions Office and the Respiratory Care Program Director.

Official documents may be mailed or emailed to:

Northern Kentucky University
Office of Admissions
Lucas Administrative Center
400 Nunn Drive
Highland Heights, KY 41099

[email protected]

Have a question? Call us at 800-985-7215.


For the BSRC online program, you must complete the required core courses (30 credit hours) as well as general education courses for a total of 120 credit hours. The 120 hours may come from a combination of previous transfer credits (from an associate degree) and/or general education courses completed as corequisites with the online core courses. All courses are seven weeks in length.

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Students must take the following courses:

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Graphical descriptive measures; numerical descriptive measures; probability; hypothesis testing, estimation; analysis of variance; chi-square; regression; analysis by means of statistical software.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Basic applied management functions in the healthcare setting; personnel and patient scheduling; purchasing procedures; budget and quality improvement process; organization relationships and authority.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course is an overview of the research process for healthcare professions; historical development of research in healthcare; role of research in scientific advancement of healthcare; development of ability to critique clinical healthcare studies.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course covers advanced respiratory critical care skills including, but not limited to: advanced mechanical ventilation, invasive and noninvasive airway management, waveform analysis and application, critical care procedures and diagnostics, medical critical care issues, and traumatic critical care issues.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

This course is an introduction to concepts and trends in the health informatics field, both locally and nationally. Several areas will be introduced that will provide baseline knowledge for a health informaticist.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Focus on competencies for RRT practicing in the critical care setting; administration of specialty gases, advanced airway management and ventilation techniques; recognition of mechanisms of respiratory failure; end of life care; disaster preparation; anticipation of care based on pharmacologic agents, and other diagnostic procedures.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Concepts and applications related to advanced assessment procedures for patients with respiratory impairment; pulmonary rehabilitation, home healthcare, health assessment, smoking cessation, and health behavior and promotion.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Characteristics and learning styles of diverse populations of healthcare learners are examined. A variety of teaching methods that can be utilized by healthcare providers to promote optimal learning in different education settings including the online environment are presented and analyzed.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 3

Students will review the delivery of healthcare to chronically ill patients with lung and heart disorders with emphasis on respiratory care; patient case reviews will utilize a multidisciplinary approach to case management and responsibilities unique to the respiratory therapist.

Duration: 7 weeks   |   Credit Hours: 1.5 (Repeatable for total of 3)

This course includes experiences in a chosen focus area (clinical, education, administrative, or population-based). This experience will culminate in a capstone project in the form of research or other scholarly activity that articulates the design, organization, statistics, and data analysis used; includes an oral and written presentation of the project.

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