Areas of Interest

Respiratory Therapy



About the Respiratory Therapy Program

Respiratory Therapists use cutting-edge technology equipment and scientific principles to help diagnose and treat cardiopulmonary disorders, including asthma, pneumonia, COPD, and immature infant lungs. Santa Monica College’s Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). Our Respiratory Therapy Associate Degree program incorporates the latest respiratory equipment, preparing you to meet the National Board for Respiratory Care’s (NBRC) Advanced Practice standards.

Respiratory therapy is an exciting and rewarding career field with diverse job opportunities. Gain hands-on clinical experience at top-rated sites like the Ronald Reagan-UCLA Medical Center, LAC-USC Medical Center, Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center, Keck-USC University Hospital and more. As a Santa Monica College graduate of the Respiratory Therapy program, you become eligible to take the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination (TMC). With a high TMC score, you may also become eligible for the Clinical Simulation Exam. Passing both exams results in the Registered Respiratory Therapist credential required for licensure in California. Santa Monica College’s high board certification pass rates exceed the national average.

Degrees and Certificates

Associate in Science Degree - Respiratory Therapy

77-79 units

The program is a partnership between Santa Monica College (SMC) and East Los Angeles College (ELAC). Graduates earn an Associate degree in Respiratory Therapy. The program allows the graduate to take the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination (TMC) and, by achieving a high cut score on the TMC, become eligible for the Clinical Simulation Exam (CSE); passing both exams awards the graduate the Registered Respiration Therapy (RRT) credential. The RRT credential is required for licensure in the state of California.

View Requirements

You May Also Be Interested In

SMC Resources

Potential Career Options

Click on any job title to learn more.

Job Title Typical Education Median Wage
Respiratory Therapists Associate Degree $75,670