Associate Degree in Respiratory Therapy

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About This Program

Respiratory Therapy is an allied health specialty involved with the evaluation, treatment, management, diagnosis and preventative care of patients with cardiopulmonary problems. Respiratory therapists are the healthcare professionals who care for people with breathing problems. Respiratory therapists treat and work with people of all age groups, including premature infants, children, adults and the elderly. Currently there are numerous opportunities within the state of Maine and beyond to work as a respiratory therapist.

As a valued member of the healthcare team, you can choose to specialize in areas such as general patient care, critical care, home care, pulmonary diagnostics, sleep medicine, neonatal intensive care, patient education and more. Respiratory therapists are employed in hospitals, long-term care centers, home care companies, doctors’ offices, sleep clinics and pulmonary function labs.

The SMCC Respiratory Therapy Program is run in close cooperation with clinical affiliates, including Maine Medical Center and Mercy Hospital in Portland; St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center and Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston; Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford; Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick; Maine General Medical Center in Augusta; and Wentworth-Douglas Hospital in Dover, New Hampshire. The program maintains accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

SMCC has a transfer agreement with the University of Southern Maine in Health Sciences, providing respiratory therapy graduates the opportunity to complete their baccalaureate degree.

To explore the Respiratory Therapy profession, visit the American Association for Respiratory Care website.

To learn about credentialing visit the National Board for Respiratory Care website.

For program accreditation information, visit the CoArc website.

Additional Admissions Requirements

Please note that our Health Sciences programs have additional requirements. For more information, visit our Health Science Applicants webpage.

Your Degree Courses

Respiratory Therapy offers an Associate of Science degree requiring a mix of general education and hands-on courses. The following courses are a sampling of what you might take as a student in this program and are subject to change.

Program Course Sampling

  • Anatomy & Physiology I & II with Lab
  • Pathophysiology
  • Introduction to Respiratory Therapy/Patient Care
  • Gas, Humidity, and Aerosol Therapy with Lab
  • Pulmonary Assessment Technology with Lab
  • Airway Management with Lab
  • Cardiopulmonary-Renal Anatomy & Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Mechanical Ventilation with Lab
  • Neonatology and Pediatrics
  • Cardiovascular Assessment
  • Respiratory Care Senior Seminar
  • Clinical Practicum I – IV
  • English Composition
  • Introduction to Literature
  • College Algebra (or higher)
  • Chemistry I with Lab
  • Fine Arts/Humanities and Social Science electives

Current Major-Specific Courses Available

Interested in seeing some of the current major-specific courses being offered as a part of this degree program?

Graduation Requirements

Prospective Students

If you are thinking about attending SMCC and are curious what the current program course requirements are to earn your degree, download the current SMCC Course Catalog.

Current Students

If you are a current student, your program requirements may be different than those listed for the current catalog year. To view your specific program requirements or to search and register for courses, log in to MySMCC and visit the MyDegree webpage.

Program Goals

To prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRT’s).

Estimated Degree Completion Time

83 credit hours are required to complete this program

Please note, these estimates are based on a student taking an average of 15 credits per semester and do not include college preparatory or developmental courses.

Program Costs

View an estimate of costs to complete this program:

SMCC Graduates

92% of SMCC graduates gain employment or continue their education within 9 months of graduation

Transfer Agreements for Respiratory Therapy

Health Science, BS

University of Southern Maine

SMCC Degree Program: Respiratory Therapy

View this Agreement »