Respiratory Care Curriculum

Courses listed below fulfill requirements for a Bachelor of Science, major in Respiratory Care, from North Dakota State University.  Upon completion of all educational requirements, including the internship, NDSU bestows the baccalaureate degree and the graduate is eligible to take the national certification exams offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC).

While every effort is made to provide accurate and current information, curriculum requirements tend to be updated annually.  Students are subject to meeting the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a major or program of study. You will work closely with your NDSU RC advisor to plan for a successful program completion.

Respiratory Care Sample Plan of Study

First Year
  • BIOC 260, Elements of Biochemistry - 4 credits
  • CHEM 117/L, Chemical Concepts and Applications- 4 credits
  • CHP 125,  Medical Terminology for Health Professionals, 1 credit
  • CHP 190, Critical Thinking & Academic Success - 2 credits
  • CSCI 114, Microcomputer Packages - 3 credits
  • ENGL 110, College Composition I - 4 credits 
  • ENGL 120, College Composition II - 3 credits
  • MATH 103, College Algebra - 3 credits
  • MICR 202/L, Intro. Microbiology and Lab - 3 credits
  • STAT 330, Introductory Statistics - 3 credits
  • Wellness - 2 credits
Second Year
  • COMM 110, Fundamentals of Public Speaking - 3 credits
  • BIOL 220/L, Human Anatomy/Physiology I and Lab - 4 credits
  • BIOL 221/L, Human Anatomy/Physiology II and Lab - 4 credits
  • PHRM 170, Common Medicines & Diseases - 2 credits
  • PHYS 120, Fundamentals of Physics - 3 credits
  • PSYC 111, Intro to Psychology - 3 credits
  • RC 200, Intro to Respiratory Care - 1 credit
  • Special Elective (department approved) - 6 credits
  • **General Education/Electives - 9 credits
Third Year

RC 496, Field Experience/Internship - 43 credits
Credits earned from Sanford Medical Center Fargo Respiratory Care Program (Fifteen months including summer session; Fall=15 credits; Spring=15 credits; Summer=13 credits)

Fourth Year
  • RC 496, Field Experience/Internship1 - 8 credits
  • 300-400 Engl Writing Course - 3 credits
  • *RC 494, Individual Study - 4 credits

1The internship is 15 months, including one summer session.

**General education requirements include six credits of approved Social/Behavioral Sciences and six credits of approved Humanities and Fine Arts.  Cultural Diversity and Global Perspective requirements may be combined with Social/Behavioral Science and Humanities/Fine Arts courses for no additional credits.

*RC 494-Individual Study includes 160 clinical specialty hours and a research project.

Upon completion of the RC 496 internship at Sanford Medical Center Fargo, student interns choose a specialty area and develop an individualized specialty option proposal, RC 494-Individual Study (4 credits).

Guidelines for the written proposal will be provided by Sanford Medical Center Fargo Respiratory Care program faculty. Proposals are presented to the RC Curriculum Committee for approval. Once approved, any changes must occur by petition to the Committee.

Commonly selected specialty areas are: neonatal/pediatric general or intensive care, adult general or intensive care, cardiopulmonary diagnostics, sleep medicine, pulmonary rehabilitation, home care, education, and management. Other specialty areas may be possible and should be discussed with your academic advisor/Sanford RC program faculty in advance of developing the written proposal. 

The research project will consist of journal or original research. Publication guidelines will be provided by Sanford Medical Center Respiratory Care program faculty.

Special Electives

Minimum of one course (3 credits)
  • CHP 400, Interprofessional Health Care Practice - 3 credits
  • COMM 308, Business and Professional Speaking - 3 credits (Pre-req: COMM 110)
  • COMM 315, Small Group Communication - 3 credits
  • COMM 380, Health Communication I - 3 credits
  • COMM 381, Patient-Provider Communication - 3 credits
  • COMM 383, Organizational Communication - 3 credits (Pre-req: Junior Standing)
Minimum of one course (3 credits)
  • SOC 426, Sociology of Medicine - 3 credits
  • SOC 440, Sociology of Aging - 3 credits
  • SOC 441, Death and Dying - 3 credits

Other 300-400 level courses not listed here may be taken to fulfill the six credits of Special Electives, as long as prior approval has been requested and approved in writing from the RC Consortial Committee.

Please contact your academic advisor for pre-approval.

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