Respiratory Care

Program Pathway

Prerequisite Coursework

Prerequisite Courses Details

Credits 17
Enrollment Full-time, Part-time
Program Start Fall, Spring, Summer
Number of Terms 1
Time to Complete 4 months

Prerequisite Courses

  • Composition I
  • Fundamentals of Oral Communication
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology II
  • Introduction to Psychology

See the Suggested Sequence of Study for cost and additional course details.

Next step: Complete the program admission requirements then continue to Term 1 of the Respiratory Care Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program.

Respiratory Care Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree

Program Details

Award Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
Credits 59
Program Start Spring
Number of Terms 5
Time to Complete 1½ years
Admissions Application Select Academic Program:
Respiratory Care – AAS
See Program Admission

Suggested Sequence of Study and Cost

Program Courses

Term 1 — Spring
  • Medical Terminology
Term 2 — Summer
  • Airway Maintenance Procedures
  • Introduction to Respiratory Care
Term 3 — Fall
  • Cardiopulmonary Therapeutics
  • Clinical Respiratory Care
  • Introduction to Ventilator Support
  • Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Therapy
  • Pulmonary Pathology
Term 4 — Spring
  • Cardio/Pulmonary Diagnostics
  • Clinical Intensive Care
  • Intensive Respiratory Care
  • Respiratory Care Applications
Term 5 — Summer
  • Clinical Preceptor
  • Respiratory Care RRT Review

Respiratory Care students are required to complete background screenings, including a criminal background check, sex offender registry, child abuse registry, and dependent adult registry before participating in clinicals. The outcome could possibly affect your opportunities to participate in the clinical setting.

See the Suggested Sequence of Study for the full list of courses, cost, and additional course details.

You have completed the Respiratory Care Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program. Check out the Health continuing education courses to keep up to date in your profession.



Graduates find employment in a variety of settings including:

  • Acute care hospitals
  • Sub-acute and long-term care facilities
  • Pulmonary function labs
  • Sleep centers
  • Home care
  • Pediatric and neonatal units

Example Careers and Average Wages

Entry Average Experienced
Respiratory Therapists $46,600 $57,500 $63,000

Source: 2022 Iowa Wage Report, Iowa Workforce Development


The following is a partial list of employers who have hired graduates from this program:

Business Location
Grandview Healthcare Center Oelwein, IA
Harmony House Health Care Center Waterloo, IA
Mayo Clinic Rochester and Mankato, MN
Mercy Medical Centers Locations throughout Iowa
MercyOne Locations throughout Iowa
Sleep Services Waterloo, IA
UnityPoint Health Locations throughout Iowa
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Iowa City, IA

Program Admission

In order to be considered for the Respiratory Care program, students must provide the Admissions office with the appropriate documentation showing completion of all requirements. Appropriate documentation consists of:

  • Updated assessment scores and/or
  • A transcript or degree audit showing successful completion of course requirements (i.e. developmental coursework).

It is the student’s responsibility to:

  • Monitor their progress towards meeting admissions requirements,
  • Notify the Admissions office when requirements have been met, and
  • Provide the Admissions office evidence of meeting the requirements.

Step 1: Apply at Hawkeye

  1. Apply for admission at Hawkeye.

  2. Send official transcripts to Admissions.

Step 2: Demonstrate College Readiness

Students must meet minimum score requirements and/or successfully complete the required college success courses in English, reading, and math with a C- grade or higher at Hawkeye Community College or comparable courses at another accredited college. For appropriate college success course placement, work with your program advisor. Success courses do not apply toward graduation or the AAS degree.

Math 30 85 Elementary Algebra 42 Algebra 19 259 Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics 2.80 MAT-063: Elementary Algebra
Reading --- 76 82 19 251 2.80 RDG-040 College Prep Reading III
Writing --- 82 Sentence Skills 65 19 253 2.80 ENG-061: College Prep Writing II

Step 3: Prerequisite Coursework

Students must complete all prerequisite coursework to fulfill program admission requirements. See Respiratory Care Courses for prerequisite coursework and grade and cumulative GPA requirements.

Step 4: Program Admittance

The Respiratory Care program begins each spring and admits 20 students.

Applicants who meet all admission requirements will be admitted based on eligibility date (driven by when prerequisites are successfully completed).

If the number of eligible students exceeds the number of available seats, students will be admitted in the following order:

  1. Date all prerequisite coursework was completed.

  2. Eligibility date — determined by either:

    1. The date the student registered for their final prerequisite course at Hawkeye, or

    2. The date the Admissions office received transcripts showing completion of prerequisite courses at another accredited institution.

  3. Grade Point Average — Determined by grades in prerequisite courses.

Admitted students must have a physical exam with immunization record on Hawkeye Community College form. Criminal background, sex offender, and adult/dependent abuse background checks are required as well. Students will also be required to complete CPR, First Aid, Mandatory Reporting, HIPPA, and OSHA Training prior to clinical coursework.

Hawkeye's Equal Opportunity Statement

Program Contacts

Email Admissions 319-296-4000 Hawkeye Center 114
Academic/College Success Advisor
Vic Palmer Email Vic Palmer 319-296-4014 ext.1481 Hawkeye Center 208H
Faculty Advisor
Jamie Bute Email Jamie Bute 319-296-2329 ext.1919 Tama Hall 112
Administrative Assistant
Vickie Bogart Email Vickie Bogart 319-296-4010 Tama Hall 110
Troy Moran Email Troy Moran 319-296-4457 Tama Hall 110B

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