TRU Science

Respiratory Therapy

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

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 RT 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 RT.

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

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

Fast-track stream—direct entry into second year

Two-year program completion option that you can access if you already have a Bachelor of Science (preferred).

Respiratory Therapy Diploma/Master of Education

Complete both the RT Diploma and MEd programs simultaneously. You must qualify and meet the requirements for the fast-track RT 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 RT 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 RT Diploma, leaving only two years to graduation.
  • The dual credential option means students will complete an RT Diploma and Bachelor of Health Science degree in just four years.
  • Students in the fast-track stream can complete their RT diploma and Master of Education (MEd) simultaneously. With both an RT Diploma and MEd, you will not only have the professional requirements to become an RT 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 RT—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 RT.

  • 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 RT Certification Examination in respiratory therapy 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. RTs directly impact the lives of the youngest to the most senior patients in various health care settings.

RTs 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.