Skip to Search Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content

Respiratory Care

For a printable PDF version of this information - Click Here


There are a couple of pathways available toward entering a career in respiratory care.  This handout will focus on the pathway for students who, with no prior respiratory experience or education, intend to earn a baccalaureate degree through an undergraduate program of respiratory care.  At The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio’s (UTHSCSA) School of Health Professions, this requires two phases.  The first is the completion of prescribed pre-respiratory care coursework at an undergraduate institution.  After being accepted into the School of Health Professions at UTHSCSA, a student can then complete the second phase of upper-division respiratory care courses leading to a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care (B.S.).  The following courses represent what courses should be taken at UTSA to fulfill the core and program prerequisites for entry into the UTHSCSA School of Health Professions Respiratory Care Program.  There is some variation in requirements from other respiratory care programs. Thus, students are advised to consult individual programs for their specific and most current information. 

Application Process

There is not a centralized application service for respiratory care programs; each school has its own application process.  Please consult individual programs for specific information.  For your convenience, the American Association for Respiratory Care has a list of accredited respiratory therapist programs available at:     

The UTHSCSA Respiratory Care program permits prospective students to apply online once they have reached at least sophomore standing.  In some instances, it may be possible for students to be conditionally admitted before the prerequisites are completed.  Official transcript(s) from each institution attended must be sent in advance of the May 15th deadline for fall semester admission.

Applicants must have an overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 with all program prerequisites completed with a grade of a “C” or better in order to be considered for admission.  However, the average GPA for accepted students is significantly higher.  The UTHSCSA School of Health Professions calculates two GPAs for admission.  The prerequisite GPA is calculated using all “Program Prerequisite” coursework grades.  If a course is repeated, the highest grade is used.  The second GPA for admission is the overall GPA.  Grades from all courses completed are used in calculating this GPA, except for those from remedial or developmental, physical education, or technical courses.  If a course is repeated, both the original and the repeated grades will be calculated into the overall GPA.  Qualified applicants will be required to interview with department faculty. 

Additional program facts, application information and admissions requirements can be found at the UTHSCSA School of Health Professions Welcome Center website at:


Click here for a printable PDF

Required Areas of Study

UTSA Course

Grade/ Sem

Prerequisites/ Corequisites

UTHSCSA Core Curriculum

(6 hrs lecture)

WRC 1013



WRC 1023


WRC 1013

College Algebra
(3 hrs lecture)
NOTE:  MAT 1023 can fulfill UTHSCSA math requirement, but MAT 1073 should be taken in preparation for other RC prerequisite courses at UTSA.

MAT 1073 or Higher


Satisfactory performance on placement exam

US History
(6 hrs lecture)

HIS 1043, HIS 1053 or HIS 2053



HIS 1043, HIS 1053 or HIS 2053



US Government
(6 hrs lecture)

POL 1013



POL 1133 or POL 1213



Visual/Performing Arts (3 hrs lecture)

Any ART, AHC, MUS or THR course



(3 hrs lecture)

Any HUM,  PHI, or literature course



Program Prerequisites-Must receive C or better

(3 hrs lecture; 1 hr lab)

NOTES:  Most institutions offer combined Anatomy and Physiology courses while UTSA offers them as separate courses. Therefore the courses should be completed at the same institution.

BIO 3123 was formerly BIO 2123; BIO 2083 was formerly AHS 2083; BIO 3132 was formerly BIO 2132; BIO 2091 was formerly AHS 2091.

¹BIO 3123; or ²BIO 2083


¹BIO 1413; ²BIO 1404 or BIO1233*

¹BIO 3132 Lab; or ²BIO 2091 Lab     


¹BIO 1413; ²BIO 1404 or BIO 1233*

(3 hrs lecture; 1 hr lab)

NOTES:  Please see above.

BIO 2103 was formerly AHS 2103; BIO 2111 was formerly AHS 2111.

¹BIO 3413; or ²BIO 2103


¹BIO 2313, MAT 1193, and  STA 1403; ²BIO 1404 or 1233*

¹BIO 3422 Lab; or ²BIO 2111 Lab


¹Completion of or concurrent enrollment in BIO 3413; ²BIO 1404 or 1233*

(3 hrs lecture; 1 hr lab)

BIO 1053 was formerly AHS 1053; BIO 1061 was formerly AHS 1061.

¹BIO 3713; or ²BIO 1053


¹BIO 1122 and BIO 1413; ²BIO 1404 or 1233

¹BIO 3722 Lab; or ²BIO 1061 Lab


¹BIO 1122 and BIO 1413; ²BIO 1404 or 1233

(3 hrs lecture; 1 hr lab)

¹CHE 1103; or ²CHE 1143


¹CHE 1073 or satisfactory score on placement exam and completion of or concurrent enrollment in MAT 1073; ²Grade of “B” or higher on chemistry placement exam

CHE 1121 Lab and
CHE 1120 Lab Lecture


Completion of or concurrent enrollment in CHE 1103 or CHE 1143

(3 hrs lecture; 1 hr lab)

PHY 1603


MAT 1023 (not recommended for pre-Respiratory Care students) or MAT 1073; MAT 1193 or MAT 1214 and completion of or concurrent enrollment in MAT 1224 or STA 1403

PHY 1611 Lab


Completion of or concurrent enrollment in PHY 1603; Completion of or concurrent enrollment in PHY 1943

Medical Terminology
(1 hr lecture)

Not offered at UTSA
Can be taken at community college, online, or in continuing education department with certificate of completion.



(3 hrs lecture)

¹STA 1043, STA 1053, ²PSY 2073, or higher


¹Satisfactory score on placement exam (for STA 1053 and STA 1043); ²MAT 1023, MAT 1033, or MAT 1073 and one PSY course

(3 hrs lecture)

PSY 1013




An integral part of preparation for respiratory care school entails involvement in community service projects and volunteer work in a hospital or clinical setting.  These activities serve to familiarize prospective respiratory therapists with the realities of everyday clinical practice as well as to underscore the role of respiratory therapists and healthcare in relation to broader community level concerns and issues.  A list of opportunities is available on the UHPO website (  We do not, however, have a list available for shadowing experiences.  Students must exercise personal initiative and develop relationships that would allow them to have this direct contact with a respiratory therapist in everyday clinical practice.