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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 successful completion of all requirements. Appropriate documentation consists of:

  • Official high school or GED/HiSET transcript
  • Official college transcript (if applicable)

It is the student’s responsibility to:

  1. Monitor their progress towards meeting admissions requirements
  2. Notify the Admissions office when requirements have been met
  3. Provide the Admissions office evidence of meeting the requirements
  4. Keep their contact information up to date and to routinely check their Hawkeye email

Step 1: Apply at Hawkeye

  1. Apply for admission at Hawkeye.
  2. Send official transcripts to Admissions.
  3. Demonstrate college readiness.

You can check the status of your application by logging into your Admissions Account.

Hawkeye's Equal Opportunity Statement

Step 2: 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 3: Program Admittance

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

  • Applicants who successfully meet all admission criteria and prerequisite coursework will be given an Eligible-Start Date to be Determined (ETBD) application status.

    • The Eligible-Start Date to be Determined status date is according to the student’s prerequisite completion date. If students share the same prerequisite completion date, the registration date for the final prerequisite course will be used.
  • The Admissions Office admits Eligible-Start Date to be Determined candidates ongoing for the available term. Once seat capacity has been reached the remaining Eligible-Start Date to be Determined candidates will continue to be considered and contacted accordingly, should a seat become available.

Background Screening

Changes are taking place within healthcare facilities nationally. These changes directly affect all health programs at Hawkeye Community College. The Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO), which accredits healthcare facilities across the country, enforced background screening September 2004 and has set requirements mandating that students in a healthcare field must now complete the same background check as hospital employees. As a Health student of Hawkeye Community College, you will be required to complete a criminal background check which includes fingerprinting that searches the following databases of sex offender, child abuse and dependent adult registry, and Medicare/Medicaid Fraud. The outcome could possibly affect your opportunities to participate in the clinical setting

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 Grundy Hall 204L

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