Program director
Alan Alipoon

Loma Linda University offers two bachelor of science (B.S.) degree curricula in respiratory care. The postprofessional curriculum is for students who have an associate in science (A.S.) degree in respiratory care from a Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care-accredited (CoARC) respiratory care program and who wish to earn a B.S. degree in respiratory care.  

The one-year, upper-division program leading to the B.S. degree is a sequence of professional coursework intended to further train individuals who have acquired advanced knowledge in the respiratory care profession—including assessment, therapeutic interventions, and management of patients with cardiopulmonary-related disorders—as well as who uphold the mission and goals of the School of Allied Health Professions. The program is offered in two modalities: face-to-face and online. *See online distance education section.

Program goals

The goals of the curriculum are to:

  1. Provide therapists for the respiratory care and medical communities who have advanced practice training in cardiopulmonary care and fundamental knowledge in the areas of leadership and education.
  2. Provide an undergraduate program for two-year-level respiratory therapists that enhances and broadens their knowledge in cardiopulmonary health-care sciences and general studies as well as allows progression into graduate programs.

Program learning outcomes

In addition to the stated institutional learning outcomes, the graduate should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge in respiratory care.
  2. Apply fundamental and progressive adult, pediatric, and neonatal respiratory care concepts and treatment plans in the areas of pathophysiology, diagnostics, and gas exchange therapy, as well as airway care and ventilator support for both invasive and non-invasive application.
  3. Apply critical-thinking skills to respiratory care practice.
  4. Apply problem-solving skills in the areas of pulmonary physiology, related diagnostics, and comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation programs.
  5. Perform fundamental and progressive patient assessment and diagnostic skills appropriate for various cardiopulmonary diseases.
  6. Develop fundamental skills to conduct and interpret research in the health-care arena.
  7. Develop fundamental skills in leadership.
  8. Develop fundamental skills in topic presentation to the health-care profession and patient-care community, using appropriate lecture and demonstration techniques.

Admission to the Postprofessional Respiratory Care Program is open all year long. Students may apply to autumn, winter, spring, or summer Quarter. In addition to Loma Linda University and School of Allied Health Professions admissions requirements, the applicant must also complete the following requirements:

  • Be a graduate of a Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care-approved (CoARC) or provisionally approved, or CoARC-approved advanced practitioner associate degree (or the equivalent) program in respiratory care.
  • Complete the subject requirements noted as prerequisites. Students who have not completed these requirements may be accepted on a provisional basis.
  • Arrange an interview at the University by appointment. An off-campus interview can usually be arranged for the distant applicant.

For applicants from outside the state of California, please check the list of states that have authorized Loma Linda University online students to ensure that students from your state are eligible before proceeding with the application.


Prerequisites are listed according to the general education domains they fulfill.

Domain 1: Religion (5 quarter units)

(completed during enrollment at LLU

Domain 2: Arts and humanities (minimum 16 quarter units)

Units must be selected from at least three of the following content areas: civilization/history, art, literature, language, philosophy, religion, or general humanities electives. A minimum of 3 quarter units in an area is required to meet a “content area.”

Domain 3: Scientific inquiry and quantitative reasoning (minimum 12 quarters units)

  • Human anatomy and physiology with laboratory, complete sequence; or general biology with laboratory, complete sequence; or general zoology with laboratory, complete sequence.
  • Microbiology with laboratory.
  • Introductory chemistry with laboratory or general chemistry with laboratory.
  • High school-level physics; or introductory physics, one quarter/semester in college; or general physics, one quarter/semester in college.
  • Two years of high school mathematics with grades of C or above or college algebra.

Domain 4: Social sciences (minimum 12 quarter units)

  • General psychology or sociology
  • Selected from two of the following content areas; anthropology, economics, geography, political science
  • One course (or components integrated into several courses) dealing specifically with issues of human diversity.

Domain 5: Written and oral communication (minimum 9 quarter units)

  • English composition, complete sequence that meets the baccalaureate degree requirements of a four-year college or university
  • Speech
  • Other areas of study in communications may include courses in computer information systems and critical thinking.

Domain 6: Health and wellness (minimum 2 quarter units)

  • A didactic course in health or nutrition (e.g., personal health, personal nutrition, population health, global health, and community nutrition) minimum of 2 units
  • Physical education. Must include at least two separate physical activity courses totaling a minimum of one quarter unit.


To meet the minimum requirements of 96 quarter units required for matriculation. Electives may be selected from the previous six domains. For more information regarding GE requirements for graduation, see LLU general education requirements.

Program unit requirements

To meet the Bachelor of Science degree requirement of 180 quarter units, students are required to complete 60 core units in the program. Students may transfer a maximum of 105 units from an associate's degree at a community college (105+60=165 quarter units). The remaining 15 units may be taken as electives (see options below).

For total unit requirements for graduation, LLU General Education Requirements.

Core program courses (online)

Senior Year
Autumn QuarterUnits
AHCJ 328Wholeness Portfolio I0
AHCJ 465Seminars in Leadership2
AHRM 471Statistics and Research for Health Professionals I3
RELE 4__ Upper-division religion 2
RSTH 301Advanced Respiratory Therapy Science I3
RSTH 434Advanced Patient Assessment2
RSTH 4311Senior Project I2
RSPS 210Foundation of Polysomnography and Sleep Medicine2
Winter Quarter
AHCJ 328Wholeness Portfolio I0
AHCJ 402Pathology I4
AHRM 472Statistics and Research for Health Professionals II3
RSTH 401Cardiopulmonary Intensive Care3
RSTH 424Exercise Physiology and Pulmonary Rehabilitation3
RSTH 466Advanced Diagnostic Techniques2
RSTH 485Evidenced-Based Medicine in Respiratory Care I2
Spring Quarter
AHCJ 3282Wholeness Portfolio I1
AHCJ 403Pathology II3
RELT 423, 406, or 436Loma Linda Perspectives2-3
RSTH 31612-Lead ECG Interpretation2
RSTH 318Cardiology3
RSTH 4321Senior Project II2
RSTH 486Evidenced-Based Medicine in Respiratory Care II2
Summer Quarter
RSTH 422Advanced Perinatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care2
RSTH 4331Senior Project III2
RSTH 448Clinical Practice Seminar2
RSTH 471Instructional Techniques I2
RSTH 487Evidenced-Based Medicine in Respiratory Care III2
RELE 4__ Upper-division religion2-3
 Total Units: 60

The senior project is a culminating body of work, developed by the student in consultation with the program director and presented to the department faculty. Work may be a research paper, clinical presentation, management project, or other project approved by the program director. 


Fulfills service learning requirement


Students can take electives from the following options

Polysomnography certificate (sleep studies)

Students can take courses from the polysomnography certificate program to be counted as electives and earn a University certificate in polysomnography along the way. Total units offered/available by the polysomnography program are 27 units. Students can either choose selected courses or take the whole certificate as a subspecialty. To earn the certificate, the student must apply to the polysomnography program and obtain approval from both program directors.

Other option

Students may transfer electives from another four-year accredited university to count toward their electives with program director approval. Check with the program director regarding the the availability of other cardiopulmonary courses within the department. 

Normal time to complete the program

Four (4) years – one (1) year (four [4] academic quarters) at LLU — based on full-time enrollment