Respiratory Care Pre-Professional Term

Respiratory Care

The acute patient care duties of graduates in the Respiratory Care profession require the highest standards of academic   preparation and clinical expertise. For this reason, the student selection process for the Allied Health Programs at Pitt-Johnstown differ from the majority of the other programs the University offers. The admissions process of the program has two goals:

1. To admit those students who will maintain the academic and professional standards of their chosen program

2. To provide access for a diverse population of students, thus allowing entry to and completion of a successful education experience.

The Pitt-Johnstown Allied Health Programs department admits students from four different populations and therefore, must modify the admissions approach for each in order to ensure that those who can succeed in the program have a fair opportunity to enter, regardless of background. Because of the diversity of the student population pool that this program serves, a two-step admissions process with anticipated attrition has been adopted.

The first step is provisional admission into the selected program through the pre-professional term. The second step is formal acceptance into the professional portion of the chosen program following evaluation of the student's academic process during the Pre-Professional term. Of course, any student, regardless of entry route, must meet the admissions requirements of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

The four populations served by the program are:

1. Traditional entering freshmen

2. Internal transfer students

3. External transfer students

4. Adult learners

Traditional entering freshmen - apply through the Pitt-Johnstown Admissions Office (157 Blackington Hall, 814-269-7050). These students are evaluated for acceptance to the University.   All students applying through the Admissions Office are encouraged to meet with an Allied Health faculty advisor, but the program does not make the final determination of pre-professional admission, the Admissions Office does.

Internal transfer students - apply directly to the Allied Health Programs office, where their college transcripts are evaluated. Each candidate is interviewed by one of our Allied Health faculty advisors. Admission is then determined by the following criteria:

  • Overall GPA must be at least 2.25
  • Must have at least six (6) credits in any Natural Science courses (with a minimum overall GPA of 2.25)
  • Must provide evidence of investigation into healthcare careers

External transfer student - admission is determined in the same manner as an internal transfer student EXCEPT that external transfer students must initially apply to the Admissions Office to become a student of Pitt-Johnstown.  ALL STUDENTS MUST COMPLETE A  MINIMUM OF 24 PITT-JOHNSTOWN CREDITS TO RECEIVE AN ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN ALLIED HEALTH SCIENCES.

Adult Learners begin their admission process by making application in the Office of Advanced and Continuing Education, Blackington Hall, 814-269-7074. With the aid of our advisors, they will be considered for admission based on the following factors:

  • Evidence of investigation into the chosen health profession
  • Evidence of grades (if any) from any post-high school training
  • High school transcripts
  • Completion of six (6) credits of college level work (3 credits of which are within the Natural Sciences) with a GPA of 2.50 or greater

An emphasis is placed on ascertaining the candidate's maturity, motivation, and commitment, plus whether they have an understanding of what a career in Respiratory Care entails. If deficiencies are noted and time warrants, the faculty can suggest a plan to identify and rectify academic weaknesses. Anatomy & Physiology, Chemistry and Algebra courses are recommended to enhance the applicant's chance for success. Appointments can be made at our clinical affiliates for further investigation into the field.

Once the adult learner is notified of acceptance into the Pre-Professional term(s), he/she is directed to the Pitt-Johnstown Allied Health Programs Office (111 Biddle Hall, 814-269-2960) to enroll as a student with the University.

Respiratory Care Pre-Professional Term Evaluation

Since the Respiratory Care Program's student population comes from so many different backgrounds, the program needed some means of evaluating them all on a common basis in the areas that directly pertain to Respiratory Care.   Hence, the second step in the admissions process; the Pre-RC Term evaluation. ALL of the students take the first term curriculum of the program -- Anatomy & Physiology 1 , Chemistry for the Health Professions, English Composition 1, and Respiratory Care Techniques 1.   Selection for formal admission into the program is then based on:

  • Attaining a minimum GPA of 2.50 for these subjects
  • No failures in ANY of the above subjects


Due to limited clinical space and mandated faculty/student ratios, the top 20 students with the highest GPA averages of 2.50 or above will officially be accepted into the professional portion of the program. All students who do not gain admittance to the professional portion of the program can be counseled on ways to strengthen their skills; they may then re-apply the following year.

Continuance in the Respiratory Care Program Once Accepted

Once formally accepted into the Respiratory Care Program, all students must maintain a GPA of 2.50 or greater in both their professional or other courses in order to progress through the program. No professional courses may be failed! In addition, all clinical proficiencies must  be passed in order to progress through the program and graduate with an Associate of Science degree in Respiratory Care. Formal acceptance into the program does not guarantee graduation from this program.

Additional Professional Costs

Students are responsible for additional costs that will include but are not limited to the following:

  • Stethoscopes
  • Lab coats
  • Scrubs
  • Medical Malpractice Insurance
  • Child Abuse and Criminal Record Checks  

PLEASE NOTE: All students seeking a Respiratory Care Associate of Science degree MUST SUCCESSFULLY clear a criminal background check, an Act 33/34 clearance, fingerprinting, drug screening and other hospital requirements before entering the clinical phase of the program. Failure to do so will prohibit clinical participation and the ability to graduate with a degree in this major. It is important to note that, to become licensed, many states will inquire as to whether the applicant has been convicted of a misdemeanor, a felony or a felonious or illegal act associated with alcohol and/or substance abuse.