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Program Snapshot
Academic CredentialAssociate in Science (AS)
Total Credit Hours76
Average Time to Complete2 yrs.
Academic PathwayHealth Sciences
AdvisorJennifer Barber
Program Coordinator

Academic Program SpecialistConnie Pimentel

Pathway NavigatorMaggie Whitehead
850.769.1551 ext. 5863

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Respiratory Care Therapy, AS

You Can Play a Key Role in Sustaining One of Life's Basic Necessities

Respiratory therapists specialize in the evaluation, treatment and care of patients with breathing disorders. As a respiratory therapist, you will perform procedures crucial in maintaining the lives of seriously ill patients with breathing problems and assist in the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with heart and lung disease. You will have the option to work in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, sleep disorders clinics, pulmonary function labs, hyperbaric chambers, skilled nursing facilities or home health agencies.

The field of respiratory care is experiencing one of the highest levels of demand for graduates over the last decade and employment opportunities are abundant both locally and nationally. This trend is expected to accelerate as the aging population increases. Gulf Coast State College offers the necessary courses and provides the hand-on training in state-of-the-art facilities to help you develop the skills that employers are looking for today.

This two-year program will prepare you to take the national board exams; with successful completion you will be awarded the credential of Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT). The credential is recognized nationally and required for obtaining a license to practice in the 46 states that require licensure. The Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) board exam is the highest level of credential in the field of Respiratory Care, you will be eligible to take both exams upon completion of the program.

Breathe Easy Flyer

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (COARC)

Gulf Coast State College Respiratory Care Program (CoARC #200449) is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

We offer an Associate of Science in Respiratory Care. 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. This information can be found on the CoARC outcomes webpage

Gulf Coast State College Respiratory Care Program CoARC #200449

CoARC Website

Students with oxygen for baby

Respiratory Care Course Requirements


English I
Visual & Performing Arts or
Philosophy/Religion or
Select one from a list of Math Courses
Anatomy and Physiology I
Anatomy and Physiology Courses
Medical Terminology
Respiratory Care Courses
Cardiopulmonary Courses

A complete list of courses with descriptions can be found in the Catalog

What can you do with a Respiratory Care Degree?

What jobs will you find with a degree in Respiratory Care?

Registered Respiratory Therapist
Adult Critical Care Specialty
Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist
Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care Specialist

Gulf Coast alumni of this program have continued their education at:

Nova Southeastern University
Florida National University
Florida A & M University

Dummy with Respirator
Image of Ana
"The GCSC Respiratory Care program provided me with supportive teachers and a nationally accredited curriculum that ultimately set me up for success. This program gave me the opportunity to practice respiratory therapist skills at several hospitals, and allowed me to get hands-on-learning with respiratory equipment. Despite the challenges of Hurricane Michael, followed by a world-wide covid-19 pandemic, the staff made sure every student’s needs were met. I am now working as a registered respiratory therapist, and I can say that this program was an excellent foundation for my career, and I highly recommend it! "
-Meet Ana
Respiratory Care Student

Respiratory Care Lab

Respiratory Care Lab

You'll acquire the skills you need to be successful in Gulf Coast State College's state-of-the-art respiratory care lab where you will get the hand-on experience you need in a safe environment.

Are you ready to get Started ?

How to apply to the Respiratory Care Program

First, you must complete the general admission application to Gulf Coast State College.  Visit the Gulf Coast admissions page to learn more about the application process.

In addition to the general application, you will need to complete an application packet for the Respiratory Care (Therapy) program. The packet includes a complete list of admission requirements and prerequisite course requirements.

Consult the Gulf Coast State College Catalog for specific program and course information.

The application process is competitive; please contact the program advisor to find out how to increase your chances for admission.

Apply to Gulf Coast

Apply for Financial Aid & Scholarships

There are many options available to help you pay for college. Find out more about  scholarships and financial aid at Gulf Coast State College.


Register for Classes

Check out the class registration dates and plan your schedule today.


Gulf Coast State College does not discriminate against any person in its programs, activities, policies or procedures on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, marital status, religion, age, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. All questions or inquiries regarding compliance with laws relating to non-discrimination and all complaints regarding sexual misconduct or discrimination, may be directed to Lee Wood, Executive Director, Human Resources/Title II/504/Title IX Coordinator and Employment Equity Officer, Gulf Coast State College, 5230 W. US Highway 98, Panama City, FL 32401.