TRU Science

Respiratory Therapy

Learn what you need to know about our program

Mandatory RESP admission info sessions: » 2024 dates

Work toward an exciting, high-demand career in allied health care with a Respiratory Therapy Diploma.

This program teaches you the latest in respiratory care theory and provides you with the active, hands-on laboratory experience you need to succeed as a respiratory therapist.

What is respiratory therapy?

Respiratory therapy is an allied health profession devoted to the scientific application of technology in order to assist in the diagnosis, treatment, management and care of patients with cardiopulmonary and associated disorders.

It is the only allied health profession with core curriculum and clinical practice in both critical and community care.


Respiratory therapy program options

With four program options to choose from, you can find a path that fulfills your goals and fits your schedule.

Complete your diploma in two to three years or choose to advance your education with dual credentials in respiratory therapy and a Bachelor of Health Science or a Master of Education.

Respiratory Therapy Diploma

Three-year program completion option that provides you with the knowledge and clinical skills you need to practice as an respiratory therapist.

Dual credential—Respiratory Therapy Diploma and Bachelor of Health Science (BHSc)

Four-year program completion option that allows you to complete both a Respiratory Therapy Diploma and a BHSc degree.

Fast-track stream—direct entry into second year

Two-year program completion option that you can access if you have completed some lower level science pre-requisites. Preference is given to those who already have a BSc or associate Science degree.

Respiratory Therapy Diploma/Master of Education

Complete both the Respiratory Therapy Diploma and MEd programs simultaneously. You must qualify and meet the requirements for the fast-track Respiratory Therapy Diploma option to access this program option.

Why pursue a Respiratory Therapy Diploma at TRU?

  • TRU is a national leader in respiratory therapy education and the only university in BC to offer a diploma in respiratory therapy.
  • TRU’s Respiratory Therapy Diploma is accredited by Accreditation Canada, which is the national accrediting body.
  • The fast-track option allows Bachelor of Science graduates to enter the second year of the Respiratory Therapy Diploma, leaving only two years to graduation.
  • The dual credential option means students will complete an Respiratory Therapy Diploma and Bachelor of Health Science degree in just four years.
  • Students in the fast-track stream can complete their Respiratory Therapy Diploma and Master of Education simultaneously. With both a Respiratory Therapy Diploma and Master of Education, you will not only have the professional requirements to become a respiratory therapist but also to become an educational leader or researcher in areas such as education, health care, private industry and government.

What will I learn?

You will prepare for an exciting and rewarding career as a respiratory therapist — a licensed health-care professional specializing in cardiopulmonary care. You will practise the clinical skills necessary to gain the specialized medical expertise and understand the advanced practice required to become a successful respiratory therapist.

  • Learn the latest in respiratory care theory.
  • Take an active, hands-on approach to learning in the laboratory and simulation lab.
  • Engage in an 11-month clinical hospital internship.
  • Learn to apply life-saving skills to people in need.
  • Register to write the National Respiratory Therapist Certification Examination in January or July after graduating from the program.

Careers for graduates

Pursuing a career in respiratory therapy opens a world of possibility in health care. It is a high-demand field, and RTs are urgently needed in Canada and abroad to treat, manage and care for patients with cardiopulmonary and other breathing disorders. Respiratory therapists directly impact the lives of the youngest to the most senior patients in various health care settings.

Respiratory therapists work in various hospital and clinical settings, including:

  • High-risk areas such as emergency departments and adult, pediatric and/or neonatal intensive care units.
  • Operating rooms.
  • Various hospital wards.
  • Diagnostic departments such as pulmonary function labs and bronchoscopy.
  • Out-patient clinics.
  • In the community in areas such as home care, obstructive sleep apnea clinics, asthma/respiratory education, pulmonary rehab clinics and more.
  • Marketing and sales of respiratory equipment.
  • Policy and research.