Jun 24, 2024  
2023-2024 NOVA Catalog 
2023-2024 NOVA Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Respiratory Therapy, A.A.S.

Location(s): MEC

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CIP Code: 51.0908

NOVA Code: 1810

Purpose: The curriculum is designed to prepare students to be effective members of the healthcare team in assisting with diagnosis, treatment, management, and preventive care of patients with cardiopulmonary problems. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the entry-level and advanced practitioner examinations leading to certification as a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and registration as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).

Transfer Information: Transfer is not the primary purpose of an A.A.S. program, but NOVA has articulation agreements that facilitate the transfer of this and other career-oriented programs to selected senior institutions. Students interested in transfer should contact a counselor or their academic advisor early in their program.

Advanced Placement Admission: Students seeking advanced placement, or transfer, including military respiratory technicians, or non-associate degree therapists should contact the program director of the RTH program for individual counseling.

Admission Requirements: Applicants must do the following:

  • Comply with all general admission requirements for Health Sciences Programs.
  • View a Respiratory Therapy information session online.
  • Complete or self-place into MTH 154  or higher: https://www.nvcc.edu/academics/placement/index.html.
  • Have a minimum 2.5 curricular GPA at the last school/college attended at which at least 15 credits were completed.
  • Have completed ENG 111 HLT 141 , and SDV 101  Orientation to Healthcare or an SDV elective with a grade of “C” or higher.
  • Complete BIO 141 and BIO 142 with a “C” or higher and completed within 10 years of application. (Please note: BIO 141 requires the completion of BIO 101, or NAS 2 or a placement test as noted at: https://www.nvcc.edu/academics/divisions/health-sciences/)
  • Have completed RTH 120  with a grade of “B” or higher.

Special Accreditation Status: NOVA’s Respiratory Therapy Program at the Medical Education Campus is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), www.coarc.com. NOVA’s CoARC number is 200206.

The Commission on Accreditation for 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.

Continuation Requirement: All courses (including General Education courses) must be completed with a grade of “C” or better before taking the next course in the sequence and to satisfy graduation requirements (note: some prerequisite requirements may require a higher grade).

Special Program Continuation Requirements: If general education courses are not completed before acceptance into the Respiratory Therapy Program, then they are to be taken in the corresponding semester as indicated in the curriculum plan. Students may not proceed to the next sequential respiratory therapy course without having completed the appropriate general education coursework.


  • Students in good standing may be permitted to reenroll in the RTH curriculum on a space-available basis, with permission of the program director.
  • Students who leave the program for any period up to two years for either personal or academic reasons are required to demonstrate proficiency in all previously enrolled skills courses prior to reentering the program. “Practical exams” are administered and scheduled by the program faculty. A written exam will be required.
  • Students who leave the program for any period of time for medical reasons are required to submit evidence of good physical and mental health, as substantiated by a newly completed Pre-Admission Health History and Physical for Allied Health and Nursing Form (125-007) signed by the primary physician responsible for their care.

Licensure Requirements: The Virginia Board of Medicine reserves the right to deny licensure to any candidate who has been convicted of a crime or any offense relating to the abuse of alcohol and/or use or sale of controlled substances in Virginia or any other state. Any applicant to the Respiratory Therapy Program who has been found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony must consult with the program director of Respiratory Therapy prior to acceptance into the program.

Total 15 credits

Two Years

Total credits for the A.A.S. Degree in Respiratory Therapy: 71 credits (includes 15 prerequisite credits)

BIO 141 and BIO 142 must be completed within 10 years at time of admission

1 See humanities/fine arts courses listed under Humanities/Fine Arts Electives . Electives should be selected with advice of a counselor or academic advisor to meet the requirements of the transfer institution.

2 CST 229  is recommended. Students may select CST 110  or CST 126 .

3 See social/behavioral science courses listed under Social/Behavioral Sciences Electives . Electives should be selected with advice of a counselor or academic advisor to meet the requirements of the transfer institution.

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