Respiratory Care »

About This Program

How to Get Started

To get started in the Respiratory Care Program, complete the admissions process at El Centro College.

When you meet with an academic advisor, mention your interest in the Respiratory Care Program so he or she can help you determine which courses you should take. If you are planning to earn an associate degree, please note that you must complete 25 percent of your degree requirements at El Centro College.

The first half of the program, the Respiratory Care Program Core Curriculum, is composed of general education courses which can be completed in two semesters. Students may then apply for admission to the Respiratory Care Program, which begins in June of each year and encompasses 13 months of lecture, lab and clinical coursework.

Admission Requirements for the Respiratory Care Program
  • Application and current admission to a college of the Dallas County Community College District
  • Attendance at a Respiratory Care Program information session
  • Completion of the entire Respiratory Care Program Core Curriculum with a minimum grade of “C” or higher in each course and a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on those specific courses
  • Submission of a complete application packet to the Health Occupations Admissions Office during the designated filing period

Selection Process and Application Filing Period

Acceptance to the Respiratory Care Program is via a competitive selection process based on grade point average of primary prerequisite courses.

The program accepts approximately 20 students during each application filing period, January through mid-May of each year. Please check with the Health Occupations Admissions Office for specific dates each academic year. Applicants are notified of selection status via email by late May. The program begins each June.

Online Information Sessions
Viewing an online information session is required for application to this program and will address program admissions, application, and acceptance policies in detail.

Respiratory Care Program Information Packet

Get complete information on program admission requirements and application instructions in the Respiratory Care Program information packet.

Drug Testing and Criminal Background Check

All students enrolled in El Centro College’s Health Occupation programs are required by Dallas/Ft. Worth Hospital Council member facilities to undergo drug testing and a criminal background check after admission to the program but within 30 days prior to the start of clinical rotations.


Dallas County residents pay $156 per three-hour class — that’s $52 per credit hour, or just $624 for a full semester load of 12 credit hours.

Compare that to what you’d pay elsewhere!

See our tuition rates for tuition according to your place of residency.

Rising Star Program

If you are a Dallas County high school graduating senior, you may qualify for Rising Star funds to help pay for this program. The Rising Star program offers academic support services and up to $4,000 for tuition and books, if you have established financial need.

Courses Offered (Curriculum)

Our catalog provides detailed information about the courses we offer and the courses required for the Respiratory Care Program Associate in Applied Sciences degree. This degree can be completed in five semesters by a full-time student but may take longer if you are also working.

Program graduates may sit for the entry-level certified respiratory therapist credentialing exam and the advanced practitioners’ registered respiratory therapist exam offered by the National Board of Respiratory Care. Find out more about credentialing and licensing for respiratory care.

Accreditation and Affiliations

Each of the Dallas County Community College District’s seven colleges — Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland — is individually accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

El Centro College’s Respiratory Care Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

Related Programs

Not sure exactly what you want to study? Check out all of our health care-related programs, such as Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Nursing and Medical Laboratory Technology.

Other Degree and Certificate Options

The colleges of DCCCD offer nearly 350 career and technical degrees and certificates, plus more than 50 academic degrees. For more information, see a chart of our degree plans by college or visit our credit programs home page.

Developing Skills for Success

The Respiratory Care Program is located in El Centro College’s Center for Allied Health and Nursing, in the Paramount Building at Market and Pacific streets, a block from the main campus. Opened in June 2008 to house the college’s booming allied health programs, the center comprises 55 classrooms and labs that contain some of the most advanced equipment available to educate health care students.

The center’s high-tech equipment includes:

  • teaching labs that simulate surgical and hospital settings for specific program applications
  • microphones and cameras in each classroom to capture audio and video instruction
  • three classrooms with videoconferencing for two-way viewing
  • two simulation labs with computerized patient mannequins

Faculty Profiles

Our Respiratory Care Program faculty members not only have academic degrees, they also have real-world experience in the workplace, which makes them able to relate to the challenges you will face at work. Our instructors work with you one-on-one, helping you to learn new techniques and map career-enhancement strategies. See profiles of our Respiratory Care Program faculty.


The Respiratory Care Program is designed for direct entry into the workforce. However, if you are interested in earning a degree at a four-year institution, please visit the Transfer Services website for guidance on the transfer process.

Links to Additional Information

Note: Links to the following websites are provided for your convenience and information and do not constitute our official endorsement.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the Respiratory Care Program that aren’t answered on our website, please feel free to contact us.

For details about graduation rates, program costs and other important information, view the gainful employment disclosure.