Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory Therapy Program

About the Program

Respiratory Therapy, also known as Respiratory Care, is a health profession specialty that deals with care of patients with respiratory diseases. Respiratory therapists work with people with cardiopulmonary (heart and lung) problems and are primarily involved in prevention, diagnosis, treatment, management, and rehabilitation.

The Respiratory Therapy Program at Oakland Community College offers a 20-month completion option, for students who have completed all prerequisite classes. The program begins each year in the fall semester.  The program accepts 30 students each year.  The program no longer offers a wait list.  Students must apply each year.

Employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 23 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. These respiratory disorders can permanently damage the lungs or restrict lung function.
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2024 Information Sessions

Information sessions are mandatory for any student who applies to the Respiratory Therapy Program.  Sessions begin promptly and last approximately 1 ½ hours.  This session will include a thorough review of the program requirements, didactic and clinical phases as well as requirements for success. 

No one will be admitted once the session has begun.

All sessions held via zoom require cameras to be on. 

Job Market Outlook

Credentials Received

The Respiratory Therapy Program at Oakland Community College requires 82 completed credits for graduation, which is a combination of 37 prerequisite credits and 45 program credits. The Respiratory Therapy Program is distinguished nationally for credentialing success by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). Graduates of the program take two board exams administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) to earn the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential. Once credentialed, graduates are eligible to apply for a state license. 

Degree Program

Program Plan

93% Clinical simulation exam pass rate      100% Therapist Multile Choice Exam Pass Rate     

Male Respiratory Student











"OCC helped me reach one of my goals in life by giving me a path to pursue my career in Respiratory Therapy." - Khashea B, Dearborn

Eligibility Information

Eligible applicants to the Respiratory Therapy Program are subject to an admission testing requirement, the HESI A2. Study materials for the exam are available in the Academic Support Center (ASC) at the Southfield Campus. Any questions regarding registering for the HESI A2 exam please email: and the Continuing Education staff will be more than happy to answer any HESI questions.

Selection Criteria

Eligible applicants must have fulfilled the admission procedures and have completed all of the following courses with a "C" or better grade:

Students will be scored on three criteria: GPA of the required supportive English, Math, Biology and Chemistry courses, the number of required supportive English, Math, Biology and Chemistry courses repeated, and the number of required supportive English, Math, Biology and Chemistry courses transferred to OCC. In the case of a tie, the earliest completion date will be used to break the tie. In case of another tie, the total number of courses completed at OCC will be used to break the tie. Students wishing to be considered for admission must submit a completed application to the Respiratory Therapy Department no later than May 1.

We recommend that you meet with Counseling at the Southfield campus before you get started. A counselor can help to guide you, explain program requirements, and how admission to the Respiratory Therapy program works.

If you are not currently an OCC student, visit How to Apply.

Information Sessions are held periodically throughout the year on the Southfield Campus and are required before entering the Respiratory Therapy program.

HESI Practice Test Info

Programmatic Outcomes

"CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an 'outcomes based' process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented." Outcome data can be viewed by visiting COARC Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care site.