Frequently Asked Questions

I already have medical training. How long will it take me to get through the program?
It will take two years. All courses are taught in sequence and are prerequisites for the subsequent courses.

How are hospital assignments determined?
The director of clinical education assigns the students to hospital rotations. Each semester the students submit requests for clinical placement and the director tries to place the students in a preferred facility. Since all clinical spots must be filled, a student may be assigned to a site not listed among his/her choices.

Will I need a license to practice in Illinois?
Yes, you will. Successful completion of the entry-level credentialing examination (Certified Respiratory Therapist) is required in order for you to apply for the license from the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.

Will I be guaranteed employment when I graduate?
The program does not guarantee employment. However, the job market is open at this point in time. Most of our students, if not all of our students, are employed by one of our clinical affiliates.

Could I take classes this year and clinicals next year?
No. Classes and clinicals must be taken and completed in sequence. Both class course work and clinicals are prerequisites for subsequent courses.

Will I be able to work while I am in the program?
Most students do have some type of employment while they are in the program. Students are encouraged to keep their hours of employment at a level that will allow them to successfully complete the program.

Is financial aid available?
Yes. Please visit the Financial Aid office at the college. Also, there are scholarships available through several professional groups. The students must submit applications for these scholarships and, in some cases, write an essay.

Are there clinical rotations every term?
No. First-year students do not have clinical rotations in the first semester of the program.

Do I need to get my own malpractice insurance?
No. The college provides malpractice insurance for the students. The fee for the insurance is paid with tuition for fall semester each year.

How many students are accepted into the program?
Clinical seating limits the number of students that we can accommodate.

With an A.A.S. degree, will I still be able to transfer to a four-year school and get a bachelor's degree?
Yes. There are a number of schools in the area that accept the A.A.S. degree as part of a 2 plus 2 program. See a program director for information.

What is the difference between a CRT and an RRT?
CRT is the entry-level credential for the field of respiratory care. Everyone entering the field must first become a certified respiratory therapist. The CRT credential is obtained by passing a written examination after the student completes the A.A.S. degree. To become an RRT, Registered Respiratory Therapist, the student must pass two more examinations. One of the examinations basically tests theory and application. The other examination is a clinical simulation. In some hospitals CRTs and RRTs perform the same duties. Other facilities only allow RRTs to work in certain high-tech or critical care areas. RRTs usually earn a larger hourly salary than CRTs. RRTs also have more choices in their career paths. They frequently are promoted to supervisor or instructor.

I live out of the area and my community college doe not offer respiratory care. Will I still be able to attend?
Check with your community college. You may be eligible for a tuition charge-back. This allows you to enroll in the program for in-district tuition. If you work full time in DuPage County, you may also be eligible for a charge-back.

I just graduated from high school. Do I still need college algebra and chemistry?
For recent high school graduates, the program will accept high school chemistry and/or algebra with grades of "C" or better for pre-admission requirements. Students will need to complete a college-level chemistry and math course for the A.A.S. degree.

Must I have a certain GPA to enter the program?
We require a grade point average of 2.75 or better on a scale of 4.0.

I am in my 30s. Am I too old to do this?
We have students in our program whose ages range from the late teens to the mid-50s. It depends on the individual.

Do I need to complete all of my general education requirements before I am admitted to the program?
No, only high school chemistry and/or algebra (or college-level chemistry and math) courses are required for pre-admission. There is time during the course of the program to complete these requirements. However, if you have time before program admission to take some general education course, that would be highly recommended.

If I move out of state, will I need to re-take the credentialing examination?
No. Our credentials are accepted nationwide. You will, however, need to apply for a license in the new state. Most states accept your credentials from the NBRC in lieu of taking a state licensing examination.


Contact Information

If you are interested in learning more about this program, please

    1. Attend an advising session
    2. Visit a Health Career Program Advisor by calling (630) 942-2259 to make an appointment.
    3. For information or general inquiries, please send an email to (Please use above phone number only to schedule an appointment. Do not send an appointment request to this email).

Feedback/compliments/concerns regarding this Health Science Program. For general inquiries, please use contact information listed above.

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137

(630) 942-2800 (Main)

(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)

  2018 College of DuPage