Master of Science in Respiratory Care Leadership

Campus Locations Boston, Online
Also available 100% Online Yes
Other Format(s)
Credits Required for Graduation 45
Entry Terms Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter, Spring Quarter, Summer Quarter
Meets International Visa Requirements No


Affordable Care Act, recent technological advances, and a growing elderly population are escalating the need for skilled respiratory therapists. To be successful, today’s respiratory care leaders must be skilled educators, department managers, practitioners, case managers and research coordinators. In response, Northeastern University College of Professional Studies has developed the Master of Science in Respiratory Care Leadership.

Created for practicing respiratory therapists, this master’s degree in respiratory care incorporates an action-learning approach that builds leadership competencies and advances your clinical knowledge. Core respiratory care courses cover areas such as advanced cardiopulmonary physiology, development of clinical practice guidelines and protocols, respiratory therapist education and applied research design.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to focus your studies in one of three concentrations: health management, adult and organizational learning, and clinical trial design.

Program Objectives

  • Develop and evaluate strategies for appointment to leadership positions
  • Prepare and evaluate plans for career advancement
  • Evaluate the leadership challenges facing the respiratory therapy profession
  • Describe and interpret statistical tests applied to medical research data
  • Apply evidence-based medicine and advanced cardiopulmonary physiology concepts to clinical practice
  • Review and evaluate published research
  • Analyze and apply research-based evidence
  • Evaluate respiratory therapists’ evolving roles and responsibilities
  • Compare and contrast the political and economic factors that affect the profession of respiratory therapy
  • Understand how to complete systematic state-of-the-art reviews to summarize evidence based on a thorough literature search and critical appraisal of individual studies
  • Understand how to be effective as a program director or director of clinical education for baccalaureate or graduate respiratory therapist programs

Career Outlook

While the overall respiratory care profession is expected to grow at a much-faster-than-average pace, those with advanced degrees will enjoy the best job prospects. The vast majority of respiratory therapy jobs will continue to be in hospitals, but the American Association of Respiratory Care indicates that opportunities to move from a clinical to an academic setting should be plentiful over the next several years, particularly for those with graduate degrees.

How Recent Graduates Have Fared:

  • Past students have served as president of their state’s Society for Respiratory Care and on the American Association of Respiratory Care Board of Directors
  • Former students have presented and published research abstracts and technical papers, served in the American Association of Respiratory Care House of Delegates, and written examination questions for the National Board for Respiratory Care
  • Mathew Trojanowski, MS'13, RRT, promoted to Manager of Adult Respiratory Care Services at Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Karsten Roberts, MS'14, RRT-ACCS, promoted to Clinical Education Coordinator at Stanford Hospital & Clinics
  • Samantha Robichaud, MS'14, RRT-NPS, AE-C, appointed Respiratory Care Coordinator at Loyola Medical Center
  • Lanny Inabnit, MS'14, RRT-ACCS, NPS, appointed a Respiratory Therapy faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Jhaymie Cappiello, MS'14, RRT-ACCS, Clinical Education Coordinator at Duke University Hospital was selected as 2008 Adult Acute Care Section Practitioner of the Year; and has a clinical case report manuscript accepted for publication in September 2014 issue of Respiratory Care

Interested in Learning More?

Watch the Respiratory Care Leadership Webinar.


Please note: Students who started this program prior to Fall 2015 should follow the curriculum reflected on their DegreeWorks audits via the self-service tab of their myNEU portal.  Please consult your advisor with any questions.

Required Respiratory Care Courses (24 q.h.)

RPT 7200 Advanced Cardiopulmonary Physiology 3 q.h.
RPT 7205 The Evolving Roles of Respiratory Care Professionals 3 q.h.
RPT 7210 Research Design 4 q.h.
RPT 7215 Applied Research in Respiratory Care 3 q.h.
RPT 6970 Seminar 3 q.h.
RPT 7300 Development of Clinical Practice Guidelines and Respiratory Care Protocols   4 q.h. 
RPT 7302  Respiratory Therapist Education   4 q.h. 

Required Leadership Courses (6 q.h.)

Choose two of the following courses:

LDR 6100 Developing Your Leadership Capability 3 q.h.
LDR 6110 Leading Teams 3 q.h.
LDR 6135 Ethical Leadership 3 q.h.
LDR 6140 Strategic Leadership (should be taken as the last course) 3 q.h.

Concentrations (15-16 q.h.)

Adult and Organizational Learning Concentration (16 q.h.)

Choose four of the following courses:

EDU 6051 Culture, Power, Equity, and Influence 4 q.h.
EDU 6201 Landscape for Higher Education   4 q.h. 
EDU 6202 Faculty, Curriculum, Academic Community  4 q.h.  
EDU 6221 Enrollment, Retention, Graduation, Success   4 q.h. 
EDU 6319 How People Learn  4 q.h. 
EDU 6323  Technology as a Medium of Learning   4 q.h. 
EDU 6447  Demographics of Higher Education   4 q.h. 

Clinical Trial Design Concentration (16 q.h.)

Choose four of the following courses:

BTC 6210 Human Experimentation: Methodological Issues Fundamentals 4 q.h.
BTC 6211 Validation and Auditing of Clinical Trial Information 4 q.h.
BTC 6213 Clinical Trial Design Optimization and Problem Solving 4 q.h.
BTC 6260 The Business of Medicine and Biotechnology  4 q.h. 
RGA 6100  Introduction to Drug and Medical Device Regulation  4 q.h. 
RGA 6202  Medical Device Development: A Regulatory Overview  4 q.h. 
RGA 6205  Emerging Trends and Issues in the Medical Device Industry  4 q.h. 

Health Management Concentration (15 q.h.)

Choose five of the following courses:

HMG 6110 The Organization, Administration, Financing, and History of Health Care 3 q.h.
HMG 6120 Human Resource Management in Health Care 3 q.h.
HMG 6130 Healthcare Strategic Management 3 q.h.
HMG 6140 Principles of Population-Based Management 3 q.h.
HMG 6160 Healthcare Information Systems Management 3 q.h.
HMG 6170 Health Law, Politics, and Policy 3 q.h.
NPM 6120 Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations  3 q.h. 
NPM 6125 Promoting Nonprofit Organizations 3 q.h. 
NPM 6130  Fund-Raising/Development for Nonprofit Organizations 3 q.h. 


Respiratory Specialty Practice Concentration (16 q.h.)

Required Courses
RPT 7400 Pulmonary Diseases and Disorders 4 q.h.
RPT 7401 Cardiopulmonary Assessment and Diagnostics 4 q.h. 
Elective Courses

Choose two of the following courses:

RPT 7402 Adult Critical Care 4 q.h.
RPT 7403 Neonatal and Pediatric Care 4 q.h. 
RPT 7404 Pulmonary Wellness Education and Coordination  4 q.h.
RPT 7405  Development of Patient Management Plans 4 q.h.

Required minimum credit hours: between 45-46 q.h. depending on the selected concentration

Admissions Requirements

Below are the official Admissions Requirements for this program.

  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose (500-1000 words): identifying your educational goals and expectations from the program; please be aware that the University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to applicant's statement of purpose
  • Professional resume: Current resume that displays job responsibilities, relevant experience, and education history
  • Two letters of recommendation: from individual(s) with either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, such as a faculty member, current employer, mentor, or colleague
  • Official undergraduate degree documentation
  • Copy of Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) license
  • Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language: English language proficiency guidelines

For general admissions information and recommended admissions deadlines, Graduate Admissions.

All requirements must be received prior to review.


Estimated total tuition for this program is $29,070.00.

Tuition for individual courses is based on the number of quarter hours. Most courses are 3-6 quarter hours. See Graduate Tuition Rates for details.

Use our Tuition Calculator below to see if transfer credit or tuition reimbursement from your employer could reduce your total tuition.

Tuition Calculator

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Please note: The estimated total tuition is based on tuition rates for Academic Year 2016-17 and does not include any fees or other expenses. Some courses and labs have tuition rates that may increase or decrease total tuition. Tuition and fees are subject to revision by the president and Board of Trustees at any time.

*A maximum of 9 quarter hours of graduate- or doctoral-level credit obtained at another institution may be awarded as Advanced Graduate Credit to the Doctor of Education program.

Student Profile

Who Will Your Classmates Be?

This program is well suited for individuals who wish to assume a managerial position within a healthcare organization or teach respiratory therapy in an academic setting.

Students must be registered respiratory therapists (RRTs) and have earned an undergraduate degree—typically a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy or an associate degree in respiratory therapy combined with a bachelor’s degree in health sciences (or its equivalent).

Dawn D.

Dawn D. BA, RRT
Current Student

Dawn obtained her BA in exercise science from Adrian College. She was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and awarded the Marlon B. Siegel Award upon graduation from the respiratory care program at Erie Community College in New York. Dawn moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, and was promoted to supervisor at Desert Springs Hospital. She currently teaches at Carrington College. She received the Faculty of the Quarter Award, the TEACH Award, and the Ron Taylor Award. Dawn remains a clinician at Summerlin Hospital, and volunteers with Red Rock Search and Rescue. She has been offered a research grant from Aerogen Inc. Dawn is a member of the AARC, NSRC, and CoBGRTE where she serves on the New Programs Committee.
Daniel G.

Daniel G. BS, RRT-ACCS, AE-C
Current Student

Daniel entered the MSRCL program within a year of completing his respiratory therapy degree. He currently works at the University of Virginia Health System in the medical intensive care unit while completing his master’s degree. During that time Daniel has obtained the Adult Critical Care Specialty credential along with the Certified Asthma Educator credential. He has recently taken on an outpatient position as the respiratory therapist in the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Clinic. 
Kimberlee H.

Kimberlee H. BA, RRT-NPS
Current Student

Kim has recently become a tenured faculty professor at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, as the director of clinical education for respiratory care. She is also very active in her professional organizations and has served as the Chapter 4 Director for the Florida Society for Respiratory Care. In that role Kim has served in many capacities including taking the lead in organizing and hosting the 2013 Sunshine Seminar in Daytona, Florida. She has also collaborated with other Central Florida educators to develop yearly conferences for students to obtain their mandatory CEU requirements for state licensure.
Aaron R.

Aaron R. BSRT, RRT
Current Student

Aaron completed his Bachelor of Science degree in respiratory therapy from Salisbury University in 1996. He was promoted from supervisor to clinical manager of respiratory care services at Children’s National Medical Center in 2013, and is focused on expanding the research arm of the department. Aaron is the Capitol/Southern Chapter representative of the MD/DC Society for Respiratory Care. He has advocated for the profession on Capitol Hill and has delivered lectures on current respiratory care topics both locally and nationally.
Craig W.

Craig W. BS, RRT-NPS
Current Student

Craig has recently completed his first year as a clinical supervisor at Boston Children’s Hospital. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in respiratory therapy at Northeastern University. Prior to being promoted to supervisor, Craig worked as both a staff therapist/ECMO specialist, and previously worked in adult critical care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Craig has delivered CEU lectures on various topics to his colleagues at Boston Children’s Hospital and at both local and national conferences.
Gary W.

Current Student

Gary has been director of respiratory care services at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington, for 20 years. Under his leadership, the respiratory department has implemented protocols and a unit-based council to address clinical and work life issues. He has served on the Respiratory Care Society of Washington (RCSW) board for many years including president and two terms in the House of Delegates. He has been the legislative chair for the RCSW for 15 years and has attended PACT meetings in Washington, DC, every year since 2002. He is currently a director at large for the AARC and is leading the current AARC membership campaign. Gary was inducted as an AARC Fellow in December 2010.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Prepare respiratory specialists, department directors and educators for leadership roles.

  2. Analyze and apply evidence found in research care research.

  3. Evaluate, conduct and publish respiratory research studies.

  4. Compare, contrast and identify ways to lower the cost of healthcare delivery.

  5. Evaluate and improve the effectiveness of interdisciplinary healthcare teams.

Talk to an Enrollment Coach

We can walk you through your program options and the application process.


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    Jul 5, 2016 (4-, 6-, and 8-week classes)
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