RT Program
  • The RT Program is a two-year program designed to help students develop the knowledge, skills, and professional attitude necessary for a successful career in RT. Upon completion of the AAS degree in RT, graduates will be prepared to begin a career as a respiratory therapist. Graduates are eligible to take the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) Therapist Multiple Choice Exam (TMCE) which can provide Certification Level (CRT) and Registration Level (RRTeligible) eligibility.
  • The RT program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.
  • The RT program prepares fulfills the educational requirement for Montana Board of Respiratory Care Practitioners Licensure for Employment in the state of Montana. Requirements for working outside of the state of Montana is case by case and is not available to the program at this time. For more information about working as a licensed Respiratory Care Practitioner outside of Montana please contact that state or regions Respiratory Care Licensing board or contact the Program Director here at Great Falls College MSU.
  • After prerequisite coursework, the RT program consists of four consecutive semesters. The coursework for the program is competency-based and has the primary goal of preparing graduates with the knowledge, skills, and values to enter the workforce after passing the NBRC TMC exam.

To be eligible to apply for admission into the Respiratory Therapy program, applicants must have completed the following:

  • Application to Great Falls College MSU (GFC-MSU) with a complete admissions file. If you are not currently a GFC-MSU student, please Apply Now. Students must be in good academic standing at time of application to be eligible for consideration.
  • Completed all prerequisite coursework with a “C” (not “C-“) grade or higher, and a minimum overall prerequisite GPA of 2.5. View Prerequisites.
  • All prerequisite coursework must be completed with a minimum grade of C (not a C-) in each course and a minimum cumulative GPA in prerequisite coursework of 2.5. Grades in prerequisite courses are a major factor in ranking applications for program acceptance.
  • Science courses must be completed within five (5) years of application to the program, and other courses must be completed within 15 years of applying to the program. For additional information on age of credits, contact Advising at 406.771.5100.
  • Prerequisite coursework can be taken at other institutions but it is the applicant’s responsibility to confirm those courses are equivalent to the program’s prerequisites and are transferable to this institution prior to submitting their respiratory therapy program application. For information regarding transferable courses, please review the current listing of approved equivalent courses listed in the Transfer Guide under Student Information at: https://atlas.montana.edu:9001/pls/gfagent/hwzkxfer.p_selstate. All transfer work has to be from a Regionally Accredited Institution. For additional questions about transferability of courses, send official transcripts to GFC-MSU Registrar’s Office with a written request for evaluation. Please include appropriate course descriptions and official transcripts from former colleges with your request for evaluation.

CPR Certification:

  • To be eligible to start the nursing program, a student must maintain PROVIDER CPR certification through the American Heart Association. No other forms of certification will be accepted and may make a student ineligible to start the program. Students may obtain this certification through the ECP-100 course offered at GFC-MSU.

Immunizations: DOWNLOAD FORM

  • Varicella immunity. This can be in the form of (1) 2 chickenpox/varicella vaccines or (2) positive history either documented on an immunization record or a note detailing when you remember having the chickenpox.
  • Tdap vaccination within the last 10 years
  • Hepatitis B immunity. This can be in the form of the 3-dose vaccine Hepatitis B series or positive antibody titer
  • MMR immunity. This can in in the form of positive antibody titers or the 2-dose vaccine MMR series
  • Negative tuberculin skin test (TB PPD) within the past 12 months or documentation of a positive reaction with negative x-ray. This can also be documented with a negative quantiferon gold level. This is required to be kept up to date yearly.
  • Students will be required to receive the influenza vaccine as part of the program for each year in which they are enrolled. Waiver eligible pending clinical site policies.

Active Health Insurance:

  • Respiratory program students entering the clinic setting must provide proof of medical health insurance. Students will be financially responsible for their health care if they become ill or are injured in the clinical setting.
  • For students without coverage, GFC MSU offers a program developed especially for students by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Montana. This plan provides coverage for injuries and illnesses on or off campus. Please contact Student Central for more information. Please see http://students.gfcmsu.edu/insurance.html for more information.

Background Check & Drug Testing:

  • To promote patient safety and decrease institutional liability, clinical agencies require students to have cleared a background check and drug screening before they will permit the students in the clinical setting. To meet these requirements, GFC-MSU requires that the check/screening be done prior to placement in any clinical agency.
  • Background checks/drug screenings are done at the student’s expense. Students with background checks that reveal a finding, or positive drug tests will be evaluated individually to determine whether they will be eligible for clinical placement and state licensure for their respective degree program.
  • Information about how to obtain the appropriate background check and drug testing will be provided in the acceptance letter to the respiratory program.

Students previously enrolled in ANY respiratory program:

  • Students previously enrolled in ANY respiratory program must report that enrollment and provide official transcripts. If a student were previously enrolled in a program, but did not graduate, a written explanation for leaving AND one (1) faculty reference from that program needs to be included in your application.
  • All students must meet admission requirements for Great Falls College MSU and submit an application for the Respiratory Therapy program
  • Acceptance into the RT program is competitive, and application does not guarantee acceptance.
  • No course for transfer will be accepted unless a grade of “C” or better (not “C-“) was earned.
Apply and Deadline

Program Admission Process

  • Great Falls College MSU is committed to the provision of equal opportunity for education, employment, and participation in all College programs and activities without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, gender, age, political ideas, marital or family status, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
  • The RT Program Admissions Committee reviews application packets and uses established admissions criteria to rank applicants for admission. The Application Evaluation form used by the committee is completed by the student as part of the application process. Criteria for selection emphasize academic performance in prerequisite courses, previous education, and healthcare work experience.
  • Please review the Program Technical Standards as they are considered criteria for admission to the program.
  • Current students may apply during the Spring semester before the Fall program intake. Applications become available the second Friday in February and must be delivered or postmarked by the second Friday in May. Students can apply before finishing their prerequisites and may be considered for conditional acceptance if space is available. Final determination will be made after satisfactory completion of the prerequisite courses.
  • To APPLY NOW please download the application and send all application items as a completed packet. Items sent separately and at random are easily lost or misfiled. We are not responsible for any late, lost or misfiled information. Please only send required documentation as other supplemental items will be discarded. Application packets can either be mailed to the Respiratory Therapy Program or hand-delivered to the Health Science Administrative Assistance at GFC-MSU.

Contact Information

Health Science Administrative Assistant
Room R227

Mailing Address

Respiratory Therapy Program Admissions Committee
Attention: Respiratory Therapy Program
Great Falls College MSU
2100 16th Avenue South
Great Falls, MT 59405

The Next Steps

What happens after you apply to the Respiratory Therapy program?

Accepted students will be notified of their acceptance into the program typically by the end of June. The specific date by which notification is mailed is noted in the current program application. Accepted students will receive the intent to enroll form which MUST be completed and returned to the College. If this letter of intent to enroll is not returned by the assigned date, the student’s place will be offered to another applicant.

Accepted students should plan on registering for program courses in August during the mandatory Respiratory Therapy Program orientation (date and time to be announced in the acceptance letter) will be made available to you via the colleges online learning platform, D2L Brightspace, this will also include the mandatory Health Science Orientation.

Students not accepted will be notified typically by mid-July, with specific date by which notification will be mailed noted in the current program application. If students are not accepted into the RT program, we highly encourage students to consider applying the following year after considering retaking prerequisites to improve application scoring. If space allows, applications will be considered after the submission deadline.

What do you do with the acceptance letter?

  • Read the acceptance letter and ALL documents received with it.
  • Mail back your intent to enroll, noting if you are accepting or declining your spot in the program.
  • Start working through the Acceptance Checklist as soon as possible. Some of the documentation that is required to be submitted PRIOR TO ORIENTATION can take several weeks to complete.
  • Complete all required immunizations and verifications.
  • Make note of the required MANDATORY orientation dates.
  • Purchase clinical and lab requirements (listed on the Acceptance Checklist)

New to Great Falls College or D2L Brightspace?

New students to Great Falls College are highly encouraged to register for the non-credit course called “Tech Essentials”. This is not required but we strongly recommend you complete it to help in familiarizing yourself with D2L, as the entire respiratory program utilizes this learning management system extensively. The course is designed to let you do tasks you can expect to do in your regular respiratory program courses. You’ll have the opportunity to complete a practice assignment, submit a practice quiz, post and reply to a discussion message, and take a survey.

All of this information is also available on the e-learning website at: elearning.gfcmsu.edu/gettingstartedinformation.html through video tutorials and an eLearning Guide. However, practice opportunities are only available with registration for “Tech Essentials.” If interested, this will be a course you may register for at respiratory therapy program orientation.

Prepare for Classes

Buy your books

You’ll need to purchase textbooks for most classes. To find out what books you need:

  1. Log into Banner Web/My Info
  2. Click on “Student Services”
  3. Click on “Registration”
  4. Click on “View All Textbooks for your Classes”

The campus bookstore will carry all of your books needed for classes (and they buy books back at a discounted price at the end of each semester). You’re also welcome to shop on-line (Amazon is a great resource) for deals on books.


Get the required technology

While you are a student at GFC MSU, you can download Office 365 Pro Plus for free. You’re also licensed for up to 5 installs on a laptop, desktop, tablet, or smart phone.

Computer requirements for taking an online class:
  Required Recommended
Operating System Windows 8 or 10 Windows 10
Mac OSX 10.10 or newer Mac OSX (newest version)
Memory (RAM) 4 GB 8 GB
Storage 256 GB 500 GB
Processor i3+ i5+
Video SVGA Monitor Resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater
Minimum Resolution of 800 x 600  
Internet Speed High-speed Internet (i.e., cable, DSL, etc.) High-speed Internet (i.e., cable, DSL, etc.)
Java Script Enabled Enabled
Cookies Enabled Enabled
3rd Party Cookies May be required for some courses.
Instructions for your current browser
Allow 3rd party cookies only for individual sites, whenever possible.
Web Browser Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari (Mac only) Google Chrome

Please note: It is not recommended that students plan to use a Chromebook, iPad, or Android tablet as their primary device for completing schoolwork.

Have a disability that may require accommodations?

GFC MSU Academic Success and Accessibility helps accommodate for disabilities you may have. Not all disabilities are visible, and a large number of students registered with Academic Success and Accessibility have disabilities such as ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, health impairments, or psychiatric disabilities.

Important: There are differences between disability in high school and disability in college.

Disability in High School Disability in College
The school is responsible for identifying students with disabilities The student must self-identify or disclose his/her disability
The school must provide the assessment of the disability and classify the disability The student must provide documentation of his/her disability to the designated office
School teachers and staff will discuss academic progress with parents or legal guardians The student is considered an adult with privacy and confidentiality protections. Without a release of information signed by the student, faculty and staff cannot talk with parents or legal guardians about the student’s academic progress
Services include individually designed instruction, modifications, and accommodations based on the IEP (Individual Education Plan) Reasonable accommodations may be made to provide equal access and participation
Modifications that change course outcomes may be offered based on the IEP The college is not required to lower or effect substantial modifications to essential requirements

The first step to determine eligibility for services is to schedule a one-hour intake appointment with the Director of Academic Success and Accessibility to discuss how your disability impacts your learning and together, determine reasonable Accommodations and Services.

For more information, visit Academic Success and Accessibility.

Recognize the expectations for student performance within the RT program

As a respiratory program student, it is important to think about the elevation in expectations and be proactive to address them. See this table below for some of the major expectations.

You manage your own time.
You must balance your responsibilities and set priorities. The program is rigorous and fast-paced.
You often have hours between classes:  class times vary throughout the day and evening. Utilize this time efficiently and organize your schedule.
You spend 12 to 16 hours each week in class and you need to study at least 2 to 3 hours outside of class for each hour of class.
Faculty may not formally take roll, but they are still likely to know whether or not you attend. There is a strict attendance policy and missing more than 15% of classes may cause you to be dismissed from the nursing program.
Faculty are usually open and helpful, but most expect you to initiate contact if you need assistance.
Faculty may lecture nonstop, expecting you to identify the important points in your notes.  When professors write on the board, it may be to amplify the lecture, not to summarize it.  Good notes are a must.
Faculty expect you to read, save, and consult the course syllabus (outline); the syllabus spells out exactly what is expected of you, when it is due, and how you will be graded.
It’s up to you to read and understand the assigned material; lectures and assignments proceed from the assumption that you’ve already done so.
Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material.  You, not the faculty, need to organize the material to prepare for the test.  A particular course may have only 2 or 3 tests in a semester.
Makeup tests are seldom an option; if they are, you need to request them for extenuating circumstances only.
Watch out for the first tests.  These are usually a wake-up call to let you know what is expected – but they also may account for a substantial part of your course grade.

*Table information modified from www.brookhavencollege.edu

Campus Resources

We want you to succeed! We have many great resources for students described below:

The Academic Success Center

Students are eligible for free tutoring and support, including teaching successful study skills like computer use, note taking, reading, test preparation and time management. They even offer a Google+ Hangout for students who are unable to come to campus and you can submit your papers and writing assignments by e-mail to have a tutor proof your assignment and provide feedback.

Visit students.gfcmsu.edu/asc for more information

The Weaver Library

The Weaver Library is open as your major informational resource on campus. You can find books, videos, and course reserves plus the student computer lab.

For more information, including their open hours, visit library.gfcmsu.edu