Program director
Abdullah K. Alismail 

Director of clinical education
Paul M. Casillas 

Medical director
N. Lennard Specht

Loma Linda University offers two Bachelor of Science degree curricula in respiratory care therapy. The entry-level curriculum is ideal for students who have met the program prerequisites but have not previously completed a respiratory care program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). The postprofessional B.S. degree curriculum is for students who have an Associate in Science degree in respiratory care from a CoARC-accredited respiratory care program, and who wish to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in respiratory care.

For its commitment to excellence through high-quality education, evidence-based medicine, and patient safety, the B.S. in respiratory care entry-level program has received the American Association for Respiratory Care APEX Educational Award for 2021-2022—the first program to receive this award in the state of California as well as the West Coast of the U.S. Students in the program are eligible and encouraged to join the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). Information about AARC may be found at the website:

Loma Linda University is a chapter of the Lamda Beta Society, the national honor society for the respiratory care profession. Students who rank in the top 25 percent in their program are eligible to be nominated as a member. Information on the nomination process may be found at the website:

Loma Linda University is an institutional member of the Coalition for Baccalaureate and Graduate Respiratory Therapy Education (CoBGRTE). A listing of CoBGRTE institutional members may be found at the website:

The two-year, upper-division curriculum leading to the bachelor of science degree is a sequence of professional coursework intended to prepare competent respiratory therapists with advanced abilities in clinical care. Coursework may be designed toward meeting entrance requirements for the dentistry, medicine, and physician assistant programs.

Those electing to study on a part-time basis must complete their junior and senior years within a four-year period.

Program goals

  1. 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 (RRTs).
  2. To prepare leaders for the field of respiratory care through acquisition of skills in one or more of the following: management, education, research, and/or advanced clinical practice.

Program learning outcomes

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

  1. Apply fundamental and progressive adult, pediatric, and neonatal respiratory care concepts and treatment plans in the areas of pathophysiology, diagnostics, gas exchange therapy, airway care, and application of invasive and non-invasive ventilator support.
  2. Apply critical thinking skills to respiratory care practice.
  3. Apply problem-solving skills in the areas of pulmonary physiology, related diagnostics, and comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation programs.
  4. Perform fundamental and progressive patient assessment and diagnostic skills appropriate for various cardiopulmonary diseases.
  5. Demonstrate essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required to enter the practice of respiratory care, including passing the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) Therapist Multiple-Choice Self-Assessment Examination (TMC-SAE).
  6. Demonstrate clinical competency expected of the respiratory care practitioner, including passing the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) Clinical Simulation Self-Assessment Examination (CSE-SAE). 

Professional licensure and credentialing

Graduates of CoARC-accredited respiratory care programs must apply to the state of California Department of Consumer Affairs Respiratory Care Board (RCB) for licenses to practice in the state. The RCB requires that graduates of respiratory care programs complete general and respiratory care education courses with grades of C or above—resulting in a minimum of an Associate in Science degree in respiratory care. Graduates must successfully complete an examination for licensure, declare any felony convictions, and undergo fingerprinting. License denial may occur due to prior criminal conviction(s). Inquiries regarding the RCB may be directed to 3750 Rosin Court, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95834; telephone: 916/999-2190; fax: 916/263-7311; or website: or via email:  

The NBRC provides nationally recognized credentialing examinations for graduates of accredited respiratory care programs. Those who successfully complete the therapist multiple choice examination and the advanced clinical simulation examination receive the RRT credential. Additional advanced practitioner examinations are required for the adult critical care specialist (ACCS) credential, neonatal-pediatric specialist (NPS) certification, certified (CPFT) and registered (RPFT) pulmonary function technologist, and sleep disorders specialty (SDS) credentials. The RRT credential is required by the state of California for licensure to practice respiratory care. NBRC inquiries may be made to 10801 Mastin Street, Suite 300, Overland Park, KS  66210; telephone:  913/895-4900; fax:  913/712-9283; or website:

Respiratory Care Program accreditation is provided by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). Standards and guidelines published by CoARC must be met, and should be relevant to general and respiratory care education and ongoing program assessment and improvement. The Respiratory Care (entry level) B.S. Program at Loma Linda University is CoARC-accredited. Inquiries regarding CoARC can be directed to 264 Precision Blvd, Telford, TN 37690; telephone, 817/283-2835; or website:

Admission to the entry-level Bachelor of Science degree program in respiratory care is open for Autumn Quarter each year.  In addition to Loma Linda University and School of Allied Health Professions admissions requirements, the applicant must also complete the following requirements:

  • A minimum of 78 degree transferable quarter units (52 semester units) per program director approval or hold an A.S. degree.

  • Complete the subject requirements noted as prerequisites.

  • Arrange for an interview at the University by appointment (an off-campus or telephone interview can be arranged for the distant applicant).

  • Complete a minimum four hour observation/interaction with a respiratory therapist.  This may be scheduled following the interview.


Listed below are the admission and prerequisite requirements listed in general education domain order. A maximum of 105 quarter or 70 semester units (didactic only) from an accredited junior college will be accepted as transfer credit.


Domain 1: Religion (8 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 are required to meet a "content area."

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

  • Human anatomy and physiology with laboratory, complete sequence or general biology with laboratory, complete sequence
  • Microbiology with laboratory
  • Introductory chemistry with laboratory, complete sequence; or general chemistry with laboratory, complete sequence
  • High school-level physics or introductory physics, one quarter/semester in college; or general physics, one quarter/semester in college (high school courses do not count toward the 12 units required to fulfill GE requirements).
  • Two years high school mathematics with grades of C or above; or intermediate algebra in college. (These courses do not count toward the 12 units required to fulfill GE requirements.)

Domain 4: Social sciences (minimum 12 quarter units)

  • Introductory or general psychology course.
  • Select additional units, as needed, from: anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology.
  • Cultural diversity requirement is met within the program.

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.
  • Additional courses may include information systems, critical thinking, and public speaking

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 units.

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


Electives as needed to meet the minimum total degree requirements of 192 quarter units

Technology requirements

Students are required to have an up-to-date laptop that runs Windows or Mac OS to bring to class. All program materials, including quizzes, assignments, and exams, are completed electronically through our learning management system. 

Junior Year
Autumn Quarter
AHCJ 326Fundamentals of Health Care2
AHCJ 328Wholeness Portfolio I0
HLCS 241Medical Terminology2
RSTH 304Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology4
RSTH 331Pharmacology I2
RSTH 334Patient Assessment2
RSTH 341Respiratory Therapy Science I5
Winter Quarter
AHCJ 328Wholeness Portfolio I0
AHCJ 402Pathology I4
RSTH 332Pharmacology II2
RSTH 342Respiratory Therapy Science II5
RSTH 366Diagnostic Techniques3
RSTH 381Cardiopulmonary Diseases I2
RSTH 391Respiratory Care Practicum I2
Spring Quarter
AHCJ 305Infectious Disease and the Health-Care Provider1
AHCJ 3283Wholeness Portfolio I1
AHCJ 403Pathology II3
RELE 4571Christian Ethics and Health Care2
RSTH 323Pulmonary Function Methodology3
RSTH 343Respiratory Therapy Science III4
RSTH 382Cardiopulmonary Diseases II2
RSTH 392Respiratory Care Practicum II2
Senior Year
Summer Quarter
RSTH 31612-Lead ECG Interpretation2
RSTH 393Respiratory Care Practicum III5
RSTH 404Critical Care4
RELT 406Adventist Beliefs and Life3
Autumn Quarter
AHCJ 465Seminars in Leadership2
AHCJ 498Wholeness Portfolio II0
AHRM 471Statistics and Research for Health Professionals I3
RSTH 354Case Studies in Adult Respiratory Care2
RSTH 421Perinatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care2
RSTH 434Advanced Patient Assessment2
RSTH 441Respiratory Therapy Science IV3
RSTH 494Respiratory Care Practicum IV3
Winter Quarter
AHCJ 498Wholeness Portfolio II0
AHRM 472Statistics and Research for Health Professionals II3
RELR 4751Whole Person Care2
RSTH 422Advanced Perinatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care2
RSTH 424Exercise Physiology and Pulmonary Rehabilitation3
RSTH 444Case Studies in Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care2
RSTH 466Advanced Diagnostic Techniques2
RSTH 495Respiratory Care Practicum V2
Spring Quarter
AHCJ 498Wholeness Portfolio II1
RELT 4162God and Human Suffering2
RSTH 318Cardiology3
RSTH 435Professional Development in Respiratory Care1
RSTH 464Case Management and Health Promotion in Respiratory Care2
RSTH 471Instructional Techniques I2
RSTH 496Respiratory Care Practicum VI3
 Total Units: 114

May substitute with another course of the same prefix and level.


May substitute with any REL_ course of the same level


Fulfills service learning requirement

A minimum of 192 quarter units is required for the entry-level Bachelor of Science degree in respiratory care.  

Normal time to complete the program

Four (4) years overall with two (2) years (seven [7] academic quarters) at LLU based on full-time enrollment