Save Lives...Become a Respiratory Therapist!

Respiratory Therapy (RT) was established in 1971 in the School with the mission to prepare advanced-level therapists who have the abilities to provide leadership for the ongoing development of the profession. The program has been successful, awarding baccalaureate degrees in respiratory therapy for over 45 years. RT Alumni are leaders in administration, education, professional practice and RT associations.

With all of the advantages and opportunities of one of America's best universities, a comprehensive academic medical center, and a statewide clinical education network which includes some of the nation's best hospitals, there is no better place to become a respiratory therapist than RT at OSU.

Mission & Goals

Missions & Goals of the Respiratory Therapy Undergraduate Major

The MISSION of the Respiratory Therapy Division is to impact the advancement of the profession through leadership in teaching, research, and service. Specifically, our mission is to:

  • Provide a model undergraduate respiratory care educational program and develop graduate studies for respiratory therapists.

  • Engage all faculty and students in research and scholarly activity.

  • Provide state and national leadership for the respiratory care profession and professionally-related community outreach activities.

The GOALS of the undergraduate major in Respiratory Therapy are:

  1. To prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs) and as professional members of the health care team as defined by the “Essential Functions and Professional Expectations":

    • Assess patients’ need for respiratory therapy by reviewing existing clinical data and recommending the collection of additional pertinent data;

    • Perform cardiopulmonary diagnostic procedures, calculate test results, determine reliability, perform quality control, and evaluate implications of test results;

    • Evaluate all clinical data to determine the appropriateness of the prescribed respiratory care, to participate in the development of the respiratory care plan, and to provide care using clinical patient care protocols;

    • Select, assemble, and check for proper function, operation, and cleanliness of all equipment used in providing respiratory care;

    • Be responsible for the set-up, calibration, maintenance, and quality assurance of pulmonary function testing equipment;

    • Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures, evaluate treatment efficacy, and modify prescribed therapeutic procedures to achieve one or more specific objectives in acute care, intensive care & life support, continuing care, and rehabilitation settings;

    • Act as an assistant to the physician with special procedures such as bronchoscopy, invasive cardiovascular monitoring, insertion of chest tubes, etc.

    • Demonstrate professional attributes of a member of the health care team including appropriate levels of confidence, cooperation, empathy, independence, initiative, judgment, maturity, organizational skills, ethics, and dependability;

    • Respect and obey all pertinent laws and regulations and abide by the Code of Ethics;

    • Maintain confidentiality and accuracy of patient records and communicate relevant information to other members of the health care team;

    • Project a professional and healthful image, including: appearance, courtesy, respect, self- control, honesty, punctuality, and responsibility.

  2. To prepare leaders for the field of respiratory care by including curricular content that includes objectives related to acquisition of skills in the following:

    • Contribute to the health care team's knowledge and understanding of the science of respiratory care by promoting evidence based medicine, research, and clinical practice guidelines.

    • Assume expanded or specialty roles in respiratory therapy or cardiopulmonary care, or assume titled positions related to education or administration.

    • Enroll in and be successful in graduate studies related to respiratory care or health sciences, administration, or education.

The expected OUTCOMES of the undergraduate major in Respiratory Therapy include at least 90% of graduates:

  • Earn the credentials Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) or equivalent specialty credentials in pulmonary function technology, polysomnography, or neonatal-pediatrics.

  • Provide positive responses on New Graduate Satisfaction Surveys,

  • Obtain a post-graduate respiratory therapy related position,

  • Receive positive responses on Employer Satisfaction Surveys,

  • Declare leadership activities on alumni surveys, including job titles, professional service activities, continuing education, research, and community service.

RT Major Highlights

Respiratory Therapy Major Highlights

RT at OSU - Distinguished Outcomes

Our outcomes are excellent. For the fifth year in a row, the OSU RT Program has been recognized by our accreditation agency, CoARC, as one of the select group of programs in the nation recognized for the Distinguished RRT Credentialing Success Award! This was based on having three or more years of outcome data documenting RRT credentialing success of 90 percent or above.

Accredited through 2027

RT at OSU is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) with 100% compliance with CoARC Standards and exceeding all their thresholds!

Advanced RT Curriculum

RT at OSU is a baccalaureate program. The RT curriculum prepares Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT) who are advanced-level respiratory care professionals with the ability to provide leadership for the profession. Ohio licensure and earning RRT from the National Board for Respiratory Care are available during and shortly after program completion.

Multiple Admission Options

Our Admission Policies are flexible; even high school seniors can apply! We admit students at the freshman, sophomore or junior levels if vacancies are in a class. The freshman and sophomore years are considered pre-professional. Courses in the Respiratory Therapy major start Autumn semester at the junior level.

Small, Personal Classes

Our enrollment E X P A N D E D, but still limited to 22 students per class, 11 in laboratories & 2-5 in clinical groups. Overall, we have an 11:1 student - faculty ratio. To see what some RT students are saying, go to the RT Senior Bank.

Clinical Experiences

Most clinical experiences are on campus at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, one of the nation's best! And at Nationwide Children's Hospital, also one of the nation's best! Additional clinical sites include Grant Medical Center, Doctors Hospital, and Central Ohio Specialty Care. The OSU RT Clinical Education Network provides more clinical experiences throughout Ohio and beyond.

Emphasis on CPR & Life Support

Our students become Life Savers! The curriculum includes certification as a Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider and Basic Life Support Instructor as well as certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP) through the American Heart Association.

A Senior Research Experience

The Senior curriculum emphasizes leadership via administration, education and research. Senior students form teams, develop, and conduct research projects and also broaden their clinical experiences in specialty areas. Participating in the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum is expected. See the “Research” tab for more information.

Experienced Faculty

The Faculty is comprised of experienced, licensed, RRTs with graduate degrees including 2 with doctoral degrees, and our pulmonary board-certified medical director. Some faculty have specialty credentials in neonatal/pediatrics and pulmonary function technology, and some are nationally known for their research and service to the profession. Students consistently rate our faculty among the best teachers at the university.

Faculty have received many awards including, the AARC Education Practitioner of the Year, the OSRC Education Practitioner of the Year, the OSRC Researcher of the Year, ARCF Fellowship in Mechanical Ventilation, AARC Fellowship, INO Therapeutics Literary Award, OSRC Outstanding Lifetime Contributor Award, and the HRS Teaching Award.

Graduates in Demand

Opportunities! 4-5+ job offers for each graduate + hiring bonuses! In our 45+ year history: 100% job placement for job-seekers; 80%+ obtain leadership / titled positions; 30% enroll in graduate school; 15% enroll in post-BS professions (i.e. Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry, Law, PT).  

Very Successful Alumni

For over 45 years, RT at OSU alumni have obtained leadership positions in clinical practice, education, administration, business, and research. Approximately 30% have graduate degrees in allied health, education, business, or administrative sciences, and 15% have entered post-BS professions (i.e. Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry, Law, PT). Many have created new career opportunities, using their RT education as their foundation.

What do RTs do?

Who is a Respiratory Therapist?

RTs are licensed to provide direct patient care services

For example, therapists...

  • Assess patient needs, measure cardiopulmonary volumes, flow rates, pressures, electrocardiograms and arterial blood gases.

  • Develop respiratory care plans, educate patients and manage patient care.

  • Provide ventilatory life support, monitor cardiopulmonary systems, administer medical gases and aerosol medications, assure airway patency and lung inflation, and perform bronchopulmonary hygiene and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

RTs provide and apply medical equipment

For example, therapists use...

  • Adult and pediatric ventilators, nebulizers, medications, blood and gas analyzers, masks, medical gases, spirometers, heart and lung monitors, electrocardiographs, laryngoscopes, endotracheal and tracheostomy tubes, manual resuscitators, suction systems, stethoscopes, treadmills, oximeters, percussors, defibrillators, transducers, needles and syringes...etc...etc...etc.

RTs serve diverse patients and treat diverse problems

For example, RTs treat patients with...

  • Asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, chest and head trauma, infant prematurity, congenital heart disease, open-heart patients, cystic fibrosis, pneumonia, sleep apnea, respiratory distress syndromes, cardiopulmonary arrest, neuromuscular paralysis, spinal cord injuries, heart failure, smoke inhalation, etc...etc...etc.

RTs work in a variety of places

For example...

  • Clinical RTs work in adult, infant, and pediatric critical care units, sub-acute care facilities, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation centers, emergency departments, medical offices and clinics, cardiopulmonary diagnostic labs, sleep disorder centers, community hospitals, etc...etc...etc.

  • Non-clinical RTs work for medical equipment manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies in sales, research, development, and as clinical applications specialists; some work in education, insurance, and business.


Research in the Division of Respiratory Therapy

Research has long been an integral part of the curriculum within the Division of Respiratory Therapy at The Ohio State University. Participation in the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum or Current Concepts in Respiratory Care is expected. To prepare, all undergraduate students learn fundamentals in statistics, research methods, critical analysis and presentation skills through their courses and senior projects.

Students participating in the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Honors Research Program work independently with a faculty advisor while most students form research teams with faculty and work on projects collaboratively.

Future RT Students

For Future Respiratory Therapy Students

There's no better place to become a registered respiratory therapist (RRT) than OSU!

Respiratory Therapy at OSU is an undergraduate major with two years of general studies emphasizing math and science followed by two years of Respiratory Therapy coursework including lots of clinical experience and the opportunity to develop specialized and leadership skills.


For more information, email

"A Life & Breath Career for You"


The respiratory therapy faculty is comprised of experienced registered respiratory therapists and our pulmonary board-certified medical director. Faculty are professional educators with graduate degrees, advanced credentials, and known for their research and service to the profession.


Faculty have received many awards including, the AARC Education Practitioner of the Year, the OSRC Education Practitioner of the Year, the OSRC Researcher of the Year, ARCF Fellowship in Mechanical Ventilation, AARC Fellowship, INO Therapeutics Literary Award, OSRC Outstanding Lifetime Contributor Award, and the HRS Teaching Award.


Students also learn from many additional clinical instructors and therapists who specialize in intensive care, pediatrics, diagnostics, rehabilitation, emergency and home care. Physicians who specialize in anesthesiology, pediatrics, pulmonary and critical care medicine, and other medical specialties also teach in the program.


Faculty List

  • Georgianna Sergakis, PhD, RRT, Associate Professor & Program Director
  • Sarah L.Varekojis, PhD, RRT, Associate Professor & Director of Clinical Education
  • Jeffrey Weiland, MD, Associate Professor, Internal Medicine & Medical Director
  • Crystal L. Dunlevy, EdD, RRT, Associate Professor
  • Rebecca E. Oppermann, BS, RRT, Lecturer
  • Jessica Liddil, BS, RRT, Clinical Instructor OSUWMC
  • Kay Beattie, MS, RRT, Clinical Instructor OSUWMC
  • Matthew Curtis, BS, RRT, Clinical Instructor OSUWMC
  • Laura Evans, MBA, RRT, Clinical Instructor NCH
  • Jason Galloway, BS, RRT, Clinical Instructor OSUWMC
  • Marc Mays, MS, RRT, Clinical Instructor OSUWMC
  • Mia Penn, BS, RRT, Clinical Instructor OSUWMC
  • Rachel Weade, BS, RRT, Clinical Instructor OSUWMC
  • Andrea Yagodich, BS, RRT, Clinical Instructor OSUWMC

How To Give Back

Alumni and friends who wish to donate to RT Scholarship Fund or the RT Support Fund can donate online at Give to OSU. To designate a gift, choose "Other: Please specify in special instructions" and specify "The Respiratory Therapy Scholarship Fund # 646030 or "Respiratory Therapy Development Fund # 308046 in the special instructions. Questions? Contact RT @ OSU.