Respiratory Care

The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Respiratory Care degree provides education in patient services to assess, provide treatment, perform diagnostic procedures, and teach patients that have cardiovascular and pulmonary problems. Curriculum includes experiences in the hospital critical care, trauma, emergency departments, and operating rooms, patient's home, physicians' offices, and out-patient clinics in preparation for employment. The program focuses on principles for respiratory therapists to utilize advanced technology in life support systems, administer medications, and perform many techniques to assist patients in the healing process.

Successful completion of the AAS degree in Respiratory Care enables the program graduates to take the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) Therapist Multiple-Choice (TMC) Examination and Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE). Passing both of these exams is required to earn the RRT credential and make the graduate eligible to obtain their license to practice professionally.

The AAS degree may be transferred to a university or college applied science program or other degree program in health science or a related field.


Academic Plan Code: 
Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
Total credits required: 
Effective term: 
2020 Spring
Award notes

Students must earn a grade of C or better for all courses required within the program.

Students interested in transferring to Arizona public state universities can satisfy the relevant Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC-A) and transfer requirements by completing the following courses:

1. A single course with the Humanities, Arts and Design [HU] general studies designation meeting the Awareness Area [C], [G], and/or [H]. See the AGEC Matrix for course designations.
2. MAT150 College Algebra/Functions or higher.
3. If student tests out of CRE101, a single course with the [L] general studies designation. See the AGEC Matrix for course designations.
4. A single course with the Computer/Statistics/Quantitative Applications [CS]. See the AGEC Matrix for course designations.

Program prerequisites
Course #Course TitleCredits
Students are eligible to apply to the Respiratory Care program once they have completed all prerequisite courses or are in the last semester of prerequisite course work.
Program Prerequisite courses must be completed prior to the start of the program of study.
BIO160Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology (4) OR
BIO201Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4) AND
BIO202Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4)4-8
CHM130Fundamental Chemistry3
CHM130LLFundamental Chemistry Laboratory1
CRE101College Critical Reading and Critical Thinking (3) OR
Equivalent as indicated by assessment0-3
ENG101First-Year Composition (3) OR
ENG107First-Year Composition for ESL (3)3
MAT120Intermediate Algebra (5) OR
MAT121Intermediate Algebra (4) OR
MAT122Intermediate Algebra (3) OR
Equivalent course OR Satisfactory completion of higher-level algebra course3-5
Note: Students considering university transfer should take:
MAT150College Algebra/Functions5
HCC/RES109CPR for Health Care Provider (0.5) OR
American Heart Association Health Care Provider CPR certification 0-0.5
Admission criteria

1. Formal admission to the program is required.
2. Background check requirements: Admission to an Allied Health program requires that students be in compliance with the Maricopa County Community College District Background Check Standards. Upon conditional program enrollment, the student must comply with all requirements of the MCCCD Background Check Policy.
3. Clinical health and safety requirements must be met. Upon conditional program enrollment, the student must comply with all requirements of the MCCCD Clinical Health and Safety Policy.
4. Inability to comply with background check requirements and/or clinical health and safety requirements at the start of classes may result in cancellation of enrollment.

Required courses
Course #Course TitleCredits
RES118Vascular Access in Respiratory Care Practice0.5
RES130Respiratory Care Fundamentals I5
RES131Infection Control for Respiratory Care1
RES133Respiratory Care Clinical Seminar3
RES134Respiratory Care Pharmacology I2
RES136Applied Biophysics for Respiratory Care3
RES140Respiratory Care Fundamentals II5
RES142Respiratory Care Clinical I4
RES144Introduction to Mechanical Ventilation1
RES220Respiratory Care Fundamentals III5
RES224Pathophysiology for Respiratory Care2
RES226Respiratory Care Clinical II4
RES230Respiratory Care Fundamentals IV4
RES232Respiratory Care Clinical III4
RES235Respiratory Care Pharmacology II2
RES240Respiratory Physiology3
RES270Neonatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care2
RES280Respiratory Care Review2
RES291Respiratory Care Advanced Life Support1
RES292Respiratory Care Pediatric Advanced Life Support1
RES297Respiratory Care Seminar2
Restricted Electives
Course #Course TitleCredits
Optional: Students seeking university transfer may select zero (0) to six (6) credits from the courses below:
HES100Healthful Living3
MAT150College Algebra/Functions5
General education requirements
General Education RequirementCredits: 12
General Education CoreCredits: 6
First-Year CompositionCredits: 3
Three (3) credits of First Year Composition are met by ENG101 or ENG107 in the Program Prerequisites area.
ENG102First-Year Composition (3) OR
ENG108First-Year Composition for ESL (3)
Oral CommunicationCredits: 3
Any approved general education course from the Oral Communication area except COM225 Public Speaking.3
Critical ReadingCredits: 0
Met by CRE101 or equivalent as indicated by assessment in the Program Prerequisites area.
MathematicsCredits: 0
Met by MAT120 or MAT121 or MAT122 or equivalent course or higher-level algebra course in the Program Prerequisites area.
Students considering university transfer should take:
MAT150College Algebra/Functions5
General Education DistributionCredits: 6
Humanities and Fine ArtsCredits: 3
Any approved general education course in the Humanities, Arts and Design area.3
Recommend a 3-credit Humanities, Arts and Design [HU] general studies designation meeting the Awareness Area [C], [G], and/or [H]. See the AGEC Matrix for course designations.
Social and Behavioral SciencesCredits: 3
PSY101Introduction to Psychology3
In addition to PSY101, students considering university transfer should take:
HES100Healthful Living3
Natural SciencesCredits: 0
Met by CHM130 and CHM130LL in the Program Prerequisites area.
  • 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). (RES130, RES140, RES220, RES230, RES280, RES297, BIO160, BIO201, BIO202, CHM130, CHM130LL, HCC/RES109, PSY101, (CRE), [FYC], (COM), [MA])
  • Demonstrate assessment and evaluation of the patient in keeping with the application of appropriate care that aligns with established hospital regulations and standards. (RES142, RES226, RES232, RES240, CHM130, CHM130LL)
  • Utilize technology in the management of patients. (RES118, RES133, RES142, RES144, RES220, RES226, RES230, RES232, [MA])
  • Demonstrate the ethical and professional standards expected of respiratory care professionals. (RES118, RES130, RES131, RES133, RES134, RES136, RES140, RES142, RES144, RES220, RES224, RES226, RES235, RES230, RES232, RES235, RES240, RES270, RES280, RES291, RES292, RES297, [HU])
  • Communicate information regarding clinical status to appropriate members of the health care team. (RES130, RES140, RES142, RES220, RES226, RES230, RES232, RES297, (COM), [FYC])

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate and current information about our degree and certificate offerings. Due to the dynamic nature of the curriculum process, course and program information is subject to change. As a result, the course list associated with this degree or certificate on this site does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If you are interested in pursuing this degree or certificate, we encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss the requirements at your college for the appropriate catalog year.