The Field

Skyline College currently offers a well-established Associate’s degree program in Respiratory Care which provides entry into practice as a Respiratory Care Practitioner. The Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care program allows current students and recent graduates a pathway to complete a four year degree without having to transfer and licensed Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCP) to return for degree completion.  The program provides needed skills to enhance RCPs performance and professional advancement in today's healthcare environment.

The Respiratory Care Bachelor's Degree at Skyline College

This bachelor’s degree offers students a greater ability to advance to management and leadership roles within the profession, to become advanced caregivers, to conduct health related research, and to become educators in the field. Increasingly, Respiratory Care Practitioners are taking on responsibilities, formerly conducted by physicians, requiring a greater level of critical thinking and analytical skills.

A minimum of 28 units of upper division major course work builds upon the lower division major course work. The degree also includes a minimum of 12 units of upper division general education courses in alignment with California State University guidelines.

Students will complete coursework through a capstone project developed in collaboration with faculty and community members and are aligned with student area of interest.

Students can apply through the Respiratory Care Online Application.

Career Outlook

Most Respiratory Care Practitioners participate in three phases of patient care: diagnosis, treatment and patient management. While many RCPs work in hospitals, some work in nursing care facilities or travel to patients’ homes.  With the higher expectation in degree attainment, practitioners will seek more opportunities in leadership roles as well as outside the acute care environment.

Demand for respiratory therapists is high, and employment is expected to grow 19% over the next decade according to the U.S. Department of Labor thanks in part to a growing aging population. In California, respiratory therapists make an average of $82,030 per year and in the San Francisco Bay Area specifically, therapists can make an average of $95,675 per year according to the salary.comBachelor’s degree preparation provides opportunities for advancement in Respiratory Care areas and increases in salary compensation.

Student Entrance Eligibility

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Students currently enrolled in AS Respiratory Care program at Skyline College and intend to continue to BS Respiratory Care program
  • New graduates from other programs who have completed an accredited Respiratory Care program equivalent to an AS in Respiratory Care and are California licensure eligible
  • Respiratory Care Practitioners who have completed an accredited Respiratory Care program equivalent to an AS in Respiratory Care and are California licensure eligible
  • Completed minimum 30 units of the CSU General Education pattern


Fall 2021 Cohort Start Date: August 2021

Approximately 40 students will be admitted to the fully online program. Approximately 2 upper division classes per term. Instruction facilitated online with regular synchronous web-conference meetings throughout the program. Expected completion May 2023.



The Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care Program at Skyline College (Program Number: 510016) holds Provisional Accreditation  of a Degree Advancement (DA) Additional Track through the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

This status signifies that a program with an Approval of Intent has demonstrated sufficient compliance with the Standards (through submission of an acceptable Provisional Accreditation Self Study Report (PSSR) and any other documentation required by the CoARC, as well as satisfactory completion of an initial on-site visit. 

CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.

Program outcomes data can be found at

Program Goal

To provide graduates of entry into respiratory care professional practice degree programs with additional knowledge, skills, and attributes in leadership, management, education, research, and/or advanced clinical practice that will enable them to meet their current professional goals and prepare them for practice as advance degree respiratory therapists.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of degree requirements, students will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge of advanced Respiratory Care concepts and functions in an integrated approach.
  • Draw on multiple sources of analysis, research, and critical thinking to address a problem and construct an applicable project focused on Respiratory Care.