Curriculum: Master's in Respiratory Therapy

July 23, 2022
August 23, 2022
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

curriculum icon Curriculum at a Glance

The Master’s in Respiratory Therapy degree at University of Cincinnati Online is unique because you can choose one of three concentration options: Health Informatics, Higher Education or Health Administration. This allows you to focus on and excel in the career that is right for you. The program consists of six respiratory core classes, one capstone course and one set of concentration courses.

Respiratory Therapists as Disease Management Specialists

Students will learn how the Affordable Care Act has created opportunities for the field of respiratory care to better manage all facets of pulmonary disease. The course will predominately focus on asthma education and COPD management. Students will be able to classify and develop care plans for all levels of asthmatics. Students will explore how to work with existing and start new community support groups for pulmonary patients. Students will be provided an overview of the importance of pulmonary rehabilitation for pulmonary patients as well as how to champion or expand the development of pulmonary programs at their hospital.

Leadership Theory for Healthcare

This course combines leadership theory and practice by blending discussion of research and theory with practical suggestions for improving leadership effectiveness in the health care environment. Topics include leadership and communication styles, various approaches to leadership, sources of power, and the key to successful influence in leadership. Public, group, organizational, and team leadership will be discussed along with an overview of the four-frame model.

Respiratory Therapists in Higher Education

Students will develop fundamental teaching skills for teaching respiratory care and other healthcare professionals. The class will specifically develop skills in the use of electronic teaching tools (PowerPoint, etc.), course syllabus development, and quality matters applications. Students will be required to develop a mock course using course objectives and use course mapping to correlate all of the assignments. There will be a focus on how best to transition clinicians into educators. The hierarchy of respiratory education, credentialing, and accreditation will also be covered.

Leadership in RT

Students will be exposed to and demonstrate mastery of the content necessary to lead a clinical or academic unit. These skills include basic business skills related to budget and human resource management, organizational leadership, cultural competence and diversity, innovation and development, and educational programming. Using case studies and scenario based learning within the healthcare setting, students will apply leadership theory to identify and enhance their own leadership style.

Quality Improvement in the Delivery of Respiratory Care

An exploration of quality improvement models to effectively improve clinical care and resource utilization. Exploration of The Joint Commission requirements and moving beyond relative value units as a means of determining what should be measured. Course will focus on total quality management approach to delivery of respiratory therapy services. Students will develop a process improvement project in conjunction with management at their place of employment.

Evidenced Based Practice in Respiratory Care Research

The focus is on the application of research and evidence-based practice principles for Respiratory Care. Using these principles, students will critically evaluate existing literature and design an evidence-based project. This course is intended to enhance the respiratory therapists’ skill in the development and interpretation of research, which includes research designs, statistical procedures, sampling techniques, and literature reviews. Scholarly writing skills will be emphasized. Students will complete IRB training in preparation for conducting research.

The Healthcare and Public Health Landscape

This course focuses on U.S. healthcare and public health topics such as healthcare delivery, public health services, performance, organization, financing and technology. Key emerging global health topics are taught. The course introduces key public policy impacting health and healthcare,such as policy advocating for patient-centered care, efficiency, quality and safety. The course introduces the role of health information technology and electronic health information sharing. This course also introduces and compares key healthcare quality initiatives.

Health Informatics, Information Systems and Technology

This course introduces the discipline of health informatics and covers emerging trends. Various information systems, technologies and applications utilized in the context of health and healthcare are introduced. Their characteristics, strengths, challenges, purpose and impact are taught. Impact on patients, populations and healthcare providers is emphasized. Factors influencing adoption and use of various clinical and health information systems and technologies are taught. Key information technologies and systems such as electronic health records, health information exchanges, personal health records, public health information systems and mobile health technologies are introduced in this course. Topics such as telemedicine, interoperability and technical concepts are taught, and evaluation framework is introduced.

Health Systems Management 1: Organization & Delivery

The course is intended to provide the Master of Health Administration (MHA) student and future manager with a systems perspective of US health and health care structure and function. As the introductory course in the MHA program, it is to provide the fundamentals for all courses that follow, including finance and economics, strategy, quality improvement, policy and law, and others. Topics include an overview of the history, organization, and effectiveness of United States health care and public health systems, health system governance structures, roles, responsibilities as well as determinants of health, need, access and utilization.

Health Systems Management 2: Principles of Leadership

This course provides an introduction and overview to health care leadership, management and organizational behavior in health care settings reflecting the uniqueness of this sector as well as the universal concepts and principles utilized in the development of effective health care administrators and leaders. This course integrates theory with practice through readings, written assignments and discussion boards from different organizational perspectives. The development of leadership, managerial and organizational skills will be accomplished largely through individual work, with strong emphasis on self-reflection and self-analysis utilizing the particular tools of the course. This course aims to provide a relevant understanding of organizational dynamics such as performance, organizational culture, teamwork and individual and shared values and cultural competency. It will examine how health care leaders and their organizations relate to each other internally and to their external environments. Topics include values-driven leadership, team effectiveness, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, conflict management and assessment and evaluation of leadership performance. This course emphasizes the integration of the students’ past and current experiences with current reflections based on the current learning of leadership concepts and principles included in this course. The students will be required to submit their feedback from self-evaluation assignments, surveys and inventory tools that are intended to provide insight, awareness, professional and personal development during the course and assist with ongoing growth and development for each student in health care leadership roles into the future.

Health Policy 1: Health Policy & Regulation

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the structure, systems and policies of health care delivery in the United States. The major structural/system issues include the "big three" or "universal issues" i.e., access quality and costs, which includes Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. Other system topics include the uninsured, health care professions, hospitals, long-term care, mental health, integrated health care systems, the Veterans Administration Health Systems, pharmaceuticals and technology. The course prepares learners to confront the underlying values and ethics that drive the politics of the health care system and to understand and apply basic concepts in policy analysis and advocacy in practice settings. Discussions and assignments will focus on the development of public policy concerning medical care and public health and the relationship between public decisions and the marketplace. Topics include health policy formulation, implementation and evaluation.

Designing Online Assessments for Data-Driven Decisions

Data is at the core of educational reform and should be used to inform teaching practice. The purpose of this course is to design assessments that allow instructors to make data-driven decisions to improve their instruction. It will include the evaluation and comparison of currently employed measures of assessment in online environments for their effectiveness in evaluating learner progress and underlying instructional methods. The course will cover the continuous improvement cycle of online assessments. Beginning with backward design, students will learn how to align learning outcomes, learning activities, and online assessments. Based on intended learning outcomes, students will design a variety of formative and summative assessments and learn how to use technology to improve the quality of those assessments. Finally, students will analyze the data generated from these assessments to create an instructional plan to improve student learning, enhance their instructional activities, and make adjustments to the assessments.

Universal Design for Learning in Blended and Online Contexts

This course provides an overview of how the principles of Universal Design for Learning can be used to design online and blended learning experiences that meet the needs of diverse learners including those who are accelerated and those who are struggling for a variety of reasons. Special attention will be given to integrating technologies that support student engagement, authentic learning, and general accessibility supports.

Tools for Online Learning Creation and Assessment

This course addresses the theory behind online learning object design and creation of online assessments, learning object implementation, and the requisite knowledge to create effective online learning objects and assessments. Students will explore various types of learning object and assessment creation tools (for example, e-learning authoring software, open source software, etc.). The course will move students from an understanding of the context and use of online learning objects to the design and delivery of an effective online learning object including assessments.

Applications and Issues of Teaching with Technology

This course provides an overview of the increasingly complex array of digital media and technology-based resources available for use in blended and online environments. Students will apply theory to practice to truly redefine lessons to enhance learning through technology. Students will also learn practical skills, ranging from facilitation skills needed to manage a technology-based class to troubleshooting technology problems. The course also explores burning issues surrounding educational technology such as inequalities and accessibility issues, technology distractions, internet safety, and other ethical issues.

Overview of the American Community College

As an exploration of the community college in the United States, the course will examine topics such as the history, philosophy, and mission of community colleges, students, curriculum, state and local campus governance, teaching, and student personnel work. In a contemporary context, the course will highlight trends, issues, and problems in community colleges as they relate to administration, finance, and policy.

Educational Equity and Diversity in Higher Education

This graduate course is designed with a foundational focus on current issues related to education equity and access, and diversity and inclusion for a global society. Course uses cross-disciplinary pedagogy and theoretical frameworks commonly used in education and social sciences for the sole purpose of gaining comprehensive understanding of “intersectionality” across race, gender, sex, and ethnicity and how diversity issues within higher education impact groups in different ways. The course will provide a dynamic intellectual environment for inclusive discussion and analysis of how race, ethnicity, sex and gendered social categories influence American higher education.

Curriculum Development & Evaluation in Medical Education

This course will provide an overview of evolving concepts and principles of curriculum development and evaluation for medical and other healthcare professionals. The course considers the philosophyand theory of curriculum design and development. Special emphasis will be placed on the analysis and application of principles for resolving problems with curriculum and curriculum improvement. Each participant will develop and share a curriculum document that supports a program within his or her discipline. The development and writing of this document leading to presentations and critiques at the end of the quarter will be our primary focus. All elements ofthe course will relate to this effort. The professor's role will be as facilitator, consultant, discussion leader, and critic with thehope that each participant, at the end of the course, will have produced a substantial document ready for implementation or for further study and development.

Attitude Formation and Change in Medical Education

This course focuses on attitude formation and change theories in terms of the goals and objectives in medical educational settings. Theoretically sound ideas for influencing student attitudes, and the value decisions which medical educators must make when deciding to influence attitudes, will be introduced and studied. Reactive and unobtrusive measures for assessing student attitudes will be examined.

Human and Adult Learning in Medical Education

This course provides an introduction to cognitive theories of human learning and memory with an emphasis on the application of this approach to the understanding and improvement of learning in instructional settings, particularly in medical education settings.

Application of Instructional Design and Technology in Medical Education

In this course, students will develop and implement strategies for creating effective, efficient, and appealing instruction. Students will examine a variety of learning and instructional design theories that impact medical and health-related education as well as online collaboration, communication and productivity tools. Assessments, supported by readings, discussions, and hands-on activities will help students build essential knowledge and skills for creating collaborative learning environments, bothonline and face-to-face. The course will highlightthe creation of media-enhanced presentations, tutorials, or web pages using Web 2.0 tools. To support the integration of technology in the classroom, students will create a class database (Wiki) of web-based tools, resources and best practices. The course includes a discussion of potential legal, security and ethical issues regarding technology-enhanced learning and teaching.


The capstone course will allow students to synthesize original research that is germane to their area of interest in order to influence process improvement within their health care organization or educational institute where employed. This culminating course will enable graduate-level Respiratory Therapy students to develop a project or research proposal and complete a project or research paper based upon one area of interest related to health informatics, healthcare administration, or higher education. At the conclusion of the course the student will present an original research or quality improvement project that enables the collaboration of research and organizational problem solving. Students will complete institutional IRB training in their core coursework in preparation for conducting research.

Ready to get started?

The University of Cincinnati is one of the first institutions to offer online courses. Innovation in education is at the forefront of what we do. We have expanded the convenience and quality of our online learning to online degree programs. Today, we offer nearly 100 degrees from undergraduate to doctoral programs.

Connect with an Advisor

Family Nurse Practitioner