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California Respiratory Therapy Schools.

Individuals who are planning on attending respiratory therapy school in California have several options. Many community colleges, universities, and private technical schools in California offer a respiratory therapy program which includes classroom work as well as supervised clinical work at various hospitals. However, it is essential that the program you take is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Respiratory Care, otherwise you will not be eligible to take state board or national certification exams.

Training Options

Admission requirements, course style and tuition vary from school to school, but in general community college programs are less expensive than private institutions. Similarly, most community college respiratory therapy programs will award an associate degree, and require applicants to have taken classes in algebra and chemistry. Students who want to complete a respiratory program quicker may want to consider a private technical school or college.

Private Schools

  • Concord Career College is a private technical school in four locations across Los Angeles and San Diego. Their associate degree program takes 60 weeks to complete, requiring over 800 hours of clinical experience to be completed at various hospitals in the region.
  • Loma Linda University near Los Angeles is a great option for those wanting to earn a bachelor's degree in respiratory therapy. In the first 2 years general education classes are taken, while in the last 2 students specialize, taking classes such as pharmacology, respiratory care and critical care. The program aso includes mandatory clinical rotations. The university has a large medical center with state of the art equipment. Applicants to the course are interviewed by program faculty.
  • California College San Diego offers a BS in Respiratory Therapy.
  • Western Career College offers both a certificate and an associate's degree in respiratory training.

Community Colleges

  • Napa Valley College admits 30 students each fall to the RT program, and requires college level algebra, chemistry and anatomy as a prerequisite. The program lasts 5 semesters, plus a 6-week summer semester. Students who need more flexibility can take in across 3 years.
  • American River College in Sacramento admits students each fall to their two-year RT program, which also requires college level algebra and biology as a prerequisite. Student rotations take place in a mixture of small community hospitals and large teaching hospitals such as the UC Davis Medical Center.
  • East Los Angeles College in southern California has an RT program which takes two years to complete
  • San Joaquin Valley College has locations all across California, including in Bakersfield, Rancho Cucamonga, Visalia and Sacramento. Most campuses admit students three times a year to the 18 month program. Applicants must sit an admission test and have a personal interview with the program director. The course consists of 900 hours of clinical rotations in areas such as pediatrics, adult critical care, neonatal intensive care and pulmonary rehabilitation, after which students graduate with an associate degree in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Neonatal Resuscitation.

List of Respiratory Therapist Schools in California



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            Platt College , Alhambra
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            Respiratory Care - Associates

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            Respiratory Therapy (AS)

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