Respiratory Therapy student teaches another student

Ball State’s major in respiratory therapy will prepare you for a career that’s financially, professionally, and personally rewarding.

Respiratory therapists help patients stay healthy—or regain their health—by evaluating, treating, rehabilitating, and educating to prevent and manage cardiopulmonary diseases.

Graduates provide direct patient care and patient education for people with a wide variety of illnesses and health conditions.

What You Will Learn

Among other skills, you will learn to initiate and manage mechanical ventilation, provide pulmonary rehabilitation, and administer advanced cardiac life support. You will also become skilled in airway management, procurement and analysis of arterial blood gas samples, and in the performance of pulmonary function tests and sleep diagnostic studies.

Procedures performed by therapists include:

  • aerosolized medication delivery
  • bronchopulmonary clearance techniques
  • administration of medical gases
  • lung expansion therapy

What It’s Like to Major in Respiratory Therapy at Ball State?

Graduates of our program have a 100 percent domestic employment rate within six months of graduation.

Additionally, our graduates have a 100 percent pass rate on the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credentialing examination.

Graduate success on NBRC examinations consistently exceeds the national average.

As one of our students, you will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in healthcare facilities throughout central Indiana. You will work with patients of all ages, from tiny premature infants to the elderly.

Program faculty present a variety of learning experiences in a laboratory environment that will enable you to learn the skills you need to care for patients. Carefully structured clinical assignments provide you with 1000 patient contact hours of real-world experience under the supervision of skilled preceptors. During their clinical rotations, students interact with multidisciplinary healthcare teams to enhance the recovery of their patients.

Respiratory Therapy students interested in learning advanced patient care skills may apply for one of two internship programs:

  • Advanced Adult Care- six weeks at IU Health Methodist and University Hospitals
  • Pediatric Intensive Care- six weeks at Riley Children’s Hospital in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units

After graduating, you will meet the requirements to take the national board examinations that are used to obtain a license to practice as a respiratory therapist in the 49 states that require licensing.

Credentialing

You will be able to take the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) examinations offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).

Successful completion of the examinations allows you to use credentials recognized throughout the nation.

Licensing

Licensing is required in most states to work as a respiratory therapist. Many states, including Indiana, use the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential offered by the NBRC as part of the licensing process, however some now require the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential.

Several specialty examinations for graduates are available including:

  • Adult Critical Care Specialist
  • Neonatal Pediatrics Specialist
  • Sleep Diagnostics Specialist
  • Pulmonary Function Technologist
  • Certified Asthma Educator

Major Requirements

CoARC logo

Accreditation

This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. Visit website.

You will graduate from this program with a bachelor of science in respiratory therapy. This major is set up in two phases. First, you will take your University Core Curriculum courses on our campus in Muncie, Indiana. You will finish your degree with professional studies courses taught at IU Health in Indianapolis.

Credits

Total: 134-136

  • general studies phase: 64-66
  • professional studies component: 70

Courses

General Studies

Students in classroom

The general studies component consists of 64 to 66 course credits taken at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

This phase of the program, which covers the requirements of the University Core Curriculum, may be started during any semester. However, some courses are offered only during certain semesters each year. All required courses must be taken for credit on a letter-grade basis.

Please see program check sheet (PDF) for appropriate course numbers.

Courses


  • English (two courses)
  • Speech
  • Chemistry with Lab
  • Introductory Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology/Life Span Development
  • Mathematics

  • Human Anatomy with Lab
  • Ethics
  • Physics
  • Human Physiology with Lab
  • Statistics
  • Microbiology

Respiratory therapy students working in hospital setting.

The professional studies phase of the program, which requires 70 credits, begins at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis each August and runs five semesters.

You’ll attend courses taught in classrooms and laboratories at Methodist Hospital. Extensive clinical experience is obtained at hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout central Indiana.

If, due to remedial courses, major change, etc., you’re unable to complete the general studies component by August 1 prior to the semester professional studies courses begin, you will need to reapply the following year.

Courses

A few of the classes you will take include:

  • AHSC 311 Cardiorespiratory Physiology
  • AHSC 315 Cardiorespiratory Assessment and Patient Care
  • AHSC 333 Cardiorespiratory Pharmacology
  • AHSC 405 Neonatal - Pediatric Respiratory Care
  • AHSC 451 Cardiorespiratory Monitoring and Special Techniques

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

What Can You Do with a Degree in Respiratory Therapy?

Graduates of this program have a 99 percent pass rate on the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credentialing examination used for Indiana state licensure, as well as 100 percent domestic employment within six months of graduation.

Respiratory Therapists work primarily in hospitals caring for patients in:

  • neonatal intensive care units
  • medical and surgical units
  • adult and pediatric intensive care units
  • emergency rooms

Employment opportunities are also available in nursing homes and rehabilitation hospitals, in organizations providing home care, physicians' offices and clinics, and in commercial organizations that manufacture and distribute medical supplies.

Paying for Your Education

Department Scholarships

On top of the dozens of funding options offered through Ball State’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, our department awards scholarships to our own students. Find a scholarship.

Ready to Apply?

Apply to Ball State

Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all applications on an individual basis. Applying for admission is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application. 

Get Started

Admission to the university does not guarantee acceptance to the professional studies phase of the program.

We give preference to applicants who are residents of Indiana. The number of non-resident applicants accepted into the program will be limited to a maximum of 10 percent of each class.

Due to the vulnerable nature of the patients treated by respiratory therapists, a criminal background check, drug screen and documentation of vaccinations is required. A social security number is necessary to facilitate the background check and allow students access to hospitals that serve as the program's clinical partners.

You may apply for admission to the professional studies portion of the program when the following requirements are met:

  • 28 credits of required courses are completed
  • 10 of these completed credits are in required math/science courses
  • “C” or better in required math and science courses
  • 2.5 overall GPA

All prerequisites must be completed by August 1 of the year you apply.

Want to Learn More?

The best way to get a true feel for Ball State is to spend some time here, so we encourage you and your family to schedule a campus visit. Take a tour, attend an information session, meet with a professor in our area, and ask plenty of questions. Or if you’d rather speak to someone directly by phone or email, please feel free to contact us.