School of Allied Health Professions


Degree: Bachelor of Science in Cardiopulmonary Science degree 
Program length: 56 hours of pre-requisite courses taken at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university; Followed by 2 years at LSUHS, 64 hours of professional courses
Start term: Summer  |  Application: AHCAS
Residents of AR and TX are eligible for in-state tuition rates.

The CPS Program provides academic and clinical education leading to the Bachelor of Science in Cardiopulmonary Science degree. The standard educational track consists of 56 hours of pre-requisite courses that can be taken at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university with an additional 64 hours (two years) of professional courses that are completed at LSU Health Shreveport. The CPS courses at LSU Health Shreveport are offered in a traditional, on-site, didactic format with integrated labs and clinical rotations, however, certain didactic courses are offered in a hybrid and/or online format. Through the CPS curriculum, students have many educational and clinical opportunities as they gain professional experience in the allied health specialty of respiratory care. 


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"Cardiopulmonary Science allowed a lot of autonomy in my career. We have a lot of graduates who go all over the United States, who become involved in things that were not carved out to just be a respiratory therapy or cardiopulmonary science type profession. They created a niche for themselves." Tim Gilmore, PhD, RRT - Program Director

→ Hear from our Faculty on the benefits of a career in Cardiopulmonary Science.

Benefits of getting your degree at LSU Health Shreveport?

Completion of the CoARC-accredited Cardiopulmonary Science Program at LSU Health Shreveport meets educational requirements to apply for the Therapist Multiple Choice (TMC) exam by the National Board for Respiratory Care in order to qualify for the certification and registry credential as a Respiratory Therapist. Completion of our Program also meets educational requirements to apply for licensure in Respiratory Care in the State of Louisiana. For all other US States, Respiratory Care licensure eligibility will be determined by individual States specifically. 

Choose a Career in Respiratory Therapy

What does a Respiratory Therapist Do?

The respiratory therapist (RT) is an integral part of the healthcare team and a valued member in all patient populations. RTs are responsible for the delivery of oxygen therapy, medicated breathing treatments, bronchial hygiene, and the institution and monitoring of mechanical ventilation. These interventions are provided for a variety of patient populations from premature infants to the geriatric patient.

Quick Facts: Respiratory Therapists
2023 Median Pay
$77,960 per year 
$37.48 per hour
Number of Jobs, 2022
Job Outlook, 2022-32
13% (Much faster than average)

*Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook (latest 2024)

What Career Opportunities are available for a Respiratory Therapist?

The respiratory therapist (RT) is in great demand as a credentialed, licensed healthcare professional. RTs have the opportunity to work in various acute care and outpatient settings to include hospitals, long-term and short-term rehabilitation facilities, physician practices, and the home care setting. RTs most often work in acute care among general ward/floor care areas, emergency departments, and in the intensive care units for adult, pediatric, and infant populations. RTs also have the opportunity to work in administration/management, education/academic, or clinical specialist/sales positions. Various Cardiopulmonary Science (CPS) Program graduates have also pursued employment in echocardiography founded upon the cardiovascular-care focused coursework and their clinical rotation experience as part of our Program. CPS Program graduates are also able to seek out creative, non-traditional healthcare-centered careers and are potential candidates for graduate education courses in masters and doctoral programs.

The links below may be useful in providing more information about a career in Respiratory Care:


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Cardipulmonary Science Alumni

"When I was deciding on a career field, I knew I wanted to go into healthcare. A respiratory therapist has many roles in the healthcare field and they play such an integral part. I know that the training and the clinical skills that I've gained from my time doing respiratory therapy and in the Cardiopulmonary Science Program will definitely serve me being a better physician in the future."
- Cynthia Noguera, MD

Hear more Alumni Testimonials

Have Questions?

For more information about working as a licensed Respiratory Care Practitioner outside of Louisiana, you may contact Dr. Tim Gilmore, Program Director ( or contact the licensure board for the specific state or region for which you intend to pursue licensure.

Cardiopulmonary Science, BS