How long is the program?

Two full years including a summer session between the 1st and 2nd year.

Do many students apply to the program?

On an average, there are more than 120 applications each year so admission to the program is very competitive.

What Should I Do to Better Prepare for Program’s Admissions?

You should complete:

  • ALL remediation courses
  • BIO 109 Anatomy & Physiology I
  • BIO 209 Anatomy & Physiology II
  • A college level math course
  • Earn a GPA of at least 2.0 or higher to apply to the program

*In order to be eligible to take MAT 035, all students must take the Accuplacer test. All students enrolled at Bergen Community College must take this test.

How many classes are admitted each year?

There is one class admitted to the program each year. Classes begin in September and continue for two academic years including the summer between first and second year.

What is the deadline for admission?

February 1 is the deadline for consideration of applications for September admission.

How many days a week will I be expected to devote to my education?

You will have classes 5 days a week with assignments in each. This program requires a full-time commitment.

How do I apply to the program?

Once you have met the admissions requirements, you may apply by completing an application online.

How many students are admitted each year?

Class size is limited to approximately 35 students each year; therefore, admission to the Respiratory Care Program is very competitive.

Is there an online component in the respiratory care curriculum?

No, but all respiratory care courses utilize MoodleRooms. Some courses use online testing. Access to a computer is a requirement of the program. The clinical evaluation system is also computer-based.

Where will I go for my clinical experience?

The program utilizes hospitals in the Bergen County area as well surrounding communities.In addition, as part of our service-learning program, students will have external experiences at area hospitals, schools and community outreach programs and settings.

What happens when I finish the program?


After graduation, students are eligible to take the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) credentialing exams. These exams are the CRT, WRRT and Clinical Simulation RRT exams. Exams are scheduled via the NBRC website and are the responsibility of each student once they graduate.

What are the approximate expenses related to the program in addition to tuition and fees?

In addition to tuition and fees, there are other expenses throughout the program. Costs for clinical instruments, uniforms, technology, licensing exams, and professional development total approximately $1000.00. These additional costs may or may not be considered in financial aid packages.

What should I know about respiratory care as a career?

Respiratory therapists have exciting and rewarding careers and they enjoy helping people out in their time of need. They like working with technology and are good in math and science. They would rather work in a profession where there is a lot of variety in the job. They want to be able to choose what type of place to work in, and the type of patients to work with. Respiratory therapists are people who are looking for a career with multiple opportunities for advancement—not just one. They work with other members of the healthcare team such as nurses, doctors, and physical therapists to assist the patient with their breathing disorders.

The following below are just a few examples of what Respiratory therapists do:

  • Diagnosing lung, 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 your 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 cannot breathe normally on their own.
  • Responding to medical emergencies and other urgent calls for care.
  • Educating patients and families about lung disease so they can maximize their recovery.

A Respiratory therapist is a licensed professional, lung educator and clinician, who, is responsible for providing treatment that promotes both lung and total health care. Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT’s) provide a wide range of services and may pursue a variety of career options including clinical, administrative, education, public health and research.

Each state has established licensure requirements for Respiratory therapists. The Respiratory Care curriculum is a challenging one that emphasizes a “hands on” approach and incorporates a variety of educational experiences and environments from the traditional classroom to the lab and state of the art lab.

Do I need to submit letters of recommendation?

No, letters of recommendations are not considered as part of the admissions process.

Is there a personal interview included in the admissions process?

No, there is not a personal interview as part of the admissions process.

Are there any additional requirements related to my clinical experience?

Background checks are required for all Health Professions curriculums. Any positive background checks will result in forfeiting admission to the program. All students must hold a current Healthcare Provider CPR certification. This will be completed within the program.

Is the program accredited?

Yes, the Bergen Community College Respiratory Care Program is an accredited program. The program welcomed its first class is 1972.

What are the graduation requirements?

Completion of all general education and respiratory care coursework and the completion of all clinical requirements, clinical hours and experiences are required for graduation. In addition, students are required to pass all program accreditation exams in the second year. You will be awarded an Associate of Applied Science Degree.

Can general education and science courses be transferred into the program?

Students should complete as many of the general education courses as possible before entering the program. Students should consult with a counselor about the transfer of general education and science courses. Science courses need to be completed within 5 years of application.

Is there a sequence of courses that must be followed?

Yes, all courses are listed in the college catalog and on the college website. All core Respiratory Care courses must be taken in order. If a student does not pass a course, he/she may not progress to the next semester.

Can I take general education courses along with my Respiratory Care courses?

It is strongly recommended that students complete as many general education and science courses before applying to the Respiratory Care program. The core courses require a substantial commitment and additional courses will decrease the amount of time and focus needed to be successful in the core Respiratory Care courses.

What are the requirements for Respiratory Care licensure in the state of NJ?

Candidates for licensure must be graduates of an accredited Respiratory Care program, and have successfully completed the National Board for Respiratory Care exams.

Additional information on licensure can be found on the New Jersey Department of Law, Division of Consumer Affairs website.

Any Recommendations?

  • Attend a Health Professions information session.
  • Research the field.
  • Explore employment opportunities.
  • Ask questions.
  • Make an appointment to meet with a member of the respiratory care faculty for advisement.

What if I do not meet these requirements?


Any student not meeting these requirements will not be eligible for admission to the respiratory care program.

If I live out of county, can I apply to the program?

Yes, you can apply and will be considered for admission to the program.

Am I able to transfer from another Respiratory Care program?

No, all core Respiratory Care courses must be completed within the Bergen Community College Respiratory Care Program.

What should I know about the academic course of study for Respiratory Care?

The Respiratory Care curriculum is a comprehensive curriculum encompassing a wide array of courses. Students must meet a minimum 75 average to pass each course.

The sequence of courses is listed in the college catalog and on the college website.

Does the program provide patients for the clinical learning experience?

The clinical sites provide the patients.

Who is the accrediting agency?

The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care CoARC. The program undergoes a site visit very ten years.

What is the background check? Why is it absolutely required?

A criminal background check is required for all persons who attend clinical education classes at our hospital affiliates. This is a requirement mandated by the hospital accreditation agency.

Students who have a background issue may defer enrollment until the next year. Students are advised that all must be cleared by the enrollment date deadline of February 1.