Respiratory Care at Grand Rapids

Respiratory Care

Respiratory Care
Associate of Applied Science
Transfer Plan · Catalog Listing · Program Website · Completion Program Website

Please Note: We are not currently accepting new applications to the Respiratory Care (AAS) program at Ferris - Grand Rapids. Please consider completing your Respiratory Care program at our Big Rapids campus or a related Grand Rapids or online program. Currently enrolled Respiratory Care (AAS) students will be given the opportunity to complete their program.

Sue Waters
(231) 591-3186
[email protected]

Tell Me More About Respiratory Care

The Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care (AAS) degree at Ferris State University produces graduates who are prepare for the challenges of the health care industry today.

The Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy (BSRT) degree is a completion program meant for the working RRT with an associate degree that wishes to further their education.

What you should know.

Respiratory care practitioners are licensed professionals who evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders. Practicing under the direction of a physician, respiratory therapists assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care therapeutic treatments and diagnostic procedures. They consult with physicians and other healthcare staff to help develop and modify patient care plans. Therapists also provide complex therapy requiring considerable independent judgment, such as caring for patients on life support in intensive-care units of hospitals.

The job outlook for the respiratory therapist is growing much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations.

Job opportunities are expected to be very good, especially for those with a bachelor’s degree and national registration.

What respiratory therapists do?

  • Diagnosing lung and breathing disorders and recommending treatment methods.
  • Interviewing patients and doing chest physical exams to determine what kind of therapy is best for their condition.
  • Consulting with physicians to recommend a change in therapy, based on the evaluation of the patient.
  • Analyzing breath, tissue, and blood specimens to determine levels of oxygen and other gases.
  • Managing ventilators and artificial airway devices for patients who can’t breathe normally on their own.
  • Responding to cardiac arrests or other urgent calls for care.
  • Educating patients and families about lung disease so they can maximize their recovery.
  • The bachelor prepared respiratory therapist may hold roles in management, education, or research. 


Each year, 24 students are admitted to the associate degree program in Big Rapids that starts the following summer semester. Ten students are admitted to the associate degree program in Grand Rapids every two years (odd years) to start the following fall semester.

Students apply to the professional sequence between January 15 and January 30 prior to admission.  The professional sequence of the associate degree program in Big Rapids is scheduled year around for 5 consecutive semesters including summers, and 6 consecutive semesters of afternoon/evening courses for Grand Rapids.

The Bachelor of Science completion program accepts 20 students each year for a self-paced, on-line program that is scheduled for four consecutive semesters when attending full-time. There is a part-time option available. Applications are taken all year.

Students are admitted based upon their semester of qualification for the program, with the original date of application to the respiratory major (also known as the priority date) used as a tie breaker when there are more qualified candidates than there are spaces available. Therefore, it is essential to apply for admission at the earliest possible date. Those that graduate from the associate degree program are eligible to sit for the National Board for Respiratory Care credentialing exams to obtain the RRT credential.

Strengths of the Ferris Respiratory Therapy degrees.

  • Ferris offers an opportunity for everyone to become a registered respiratory therapist.
  • Offers a student-centered curriculum.
  • Delivered in a cohort model with the largest class size being 24 students.
  • The BSRT leads to career opportunities in advanced practice, management, education, and research.

 Support Information for Off-Campus Health Professions Students

The Respiratory Care Program at Ferris State University is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). CoARC can be contacted as follows: CoARC. 1248 Harwood Road. Bedford, TX 76021-4244. Office: (817) 283-2835. Fax: (817) 354-8519. Website: