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 four concentrations: health management, adult and organizational learning, clinical trial design, and respiratory specialty practice.

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



Please note: Students who started this program prior to Fall 2017 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 4 q.h.
RPT 7205 The Evolving Roles of Respiratory Care Professionals 4 q.h.
RPT 7210 Research Design 4 q.h.
RPT 7215 Applied Research in Respiratory Care 4 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) credential
  • Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language: English language proficiency guidelines
  • Website Transcript Copy: To submit and complete your application you are able to upload your unofficial transcript directly to your online application. It can be uploaded in PDF format directly to the online application. Please ensure that the scanned documents are readable and include all courses, grades, (i.e. marks, scores, etc.) and credits completed to date. The scanned documents should also include information pertaining to the institution's grading scale. If accepted, you will additionally need to provide your official transcript. In order for a transcript to be "official," it must be in a sealed envelope from the transferring college or university.

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 $30,195.00.

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.

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Please note: The estimated total tuition is based on tuition rates for Academic Year 2017-18 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).

Derrick M.

Derrick M. BS, RRT-ACCS
Current Student

Derrick obtained his Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care at Texas State University. Upon graduation he took a job at the University of Virginia because of their highly autonomous atmosphere. He worked for eight years in the Medical ICU before becoming a supervisor. Derrick is now halfway through the MSRCL program and recently obtained his ACCS credential. He has been promoted to the position of respiratory therapy manager at UVA’s Transitional Care Hospital. This will enable him to utilize the skillsets  he has learned in the master’s program to help build a strong and collaborative respiratory department.
Cheryl S.

Cheryl S. BA, RRT, CPFT
Current Student

Cheryl completed her BA in Healthcare Management from Ottawa University in 2012. She was promoted to director of cardiopulmonary services at Community Memorial Healthcare later that year. Cheryl was awarded the Kansas Respiratory Practitioner of the Year in 2013 from the Kansas Respiratory Care Society for her continued work to educate others through multiple activities in Kansas. Cheryl moved to Kansas City in 2015 and currently serves as a clinical assistant professor in the Respiratory Care Education Department at The University of Kansas Medical Center. Cheryl is a member of the AARC, CoBGRTE, and the KRCS, where she has an active role of advocating, educating, and promoting the field of respiratory care.
Kathleen P.

Kathleen P. BS, RRT, RPSGT
Current Student

Kathy obtained her associate degree in Respiratory Care from the College of Health Sciences in Roanoke, VA in 1991. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences with a concentration in Health Services Administration from Old Dominion University in 2014. Currently, Kathy is the sleep services manager for Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, VA. She also teaches the procedures lab at the Jefferson College of Health Sciences Respiratory Therapy Program and does guest lectures on polysomnography. Kathy is a member of the AARC, VSRC (Virginia Society for Respiratory Care), AAST (American Association of Sleep Technologists), and the VASM (Virginia Academy of Sleep Medicine).
Amber A.

Amber A. BS, RRT-NPS
Current Student

Amber completed her Bachelor of Science degree in respiratory therapy from The Ohio State University in 2014. After graduating she accepted a position at Boston Children’s Hospital as a staff therapist. She currently works as a Level II staff therapist while completing her master’s degree. Amber has had two abstracts accepted to the AARC Open Forum, obtained her Neonatal Pediatric Specialty credential and participated in several subject matter expert groups within Boston Children’s Respiratory Care department.
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.
Andrea F.

Current Student

Andrea completed a bachelor’s degree at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., in 2007 with a major in biology and minor in psychology. Upon graduation, she entered the ASRT program at Massasoit Community College in Brockton, Mass. Following graduation in 2009, she assumed a position at Boston Medical Center and was soon promoted to supervisor and later clinical coordinator. While there, she obtained Neonatal Pediatric Specialty and Adult Critical Care Specialty credentials. She was actively involved in multidisciplinary simulations and quality improvement initiatives. Andrea has developed and delivered many CEU lectures and has published work for the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association. She recently relocated to Denver and works at University of Colorado Hospital as clinical educator.

Learning Outcomes

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Specialized Knowledge
    Interpret the major theories, research methods, and approaches to inquiry and schools of practice in the field of study, articulate their sources, and illustrate both their applications and their relationships to allied fields of study.
  2. Broad and Integrative Knowledge
    Articulate the strengths, values, and practices of working with interdisciplinary healthcare professionals and teams in nursing, medicine, and clinical pharmacy; evaluate how to improve the effectiveness of such teams.
  3. Applied and Collaborative Learning
    Design and implement a project in your work setting that requires the application of advanced knowledge gained in the field of study to a practical challenge, articulate the insights gained from this experience, and assess approaches, scholarly debates or standards for professional performance applicable to the challenge.
  4. Civic and Global Learning
    Propose a path to resolution to lower the cost of healthcare delivery in respiratory care at the national and international level.
  5. Experiential Learning
    Synthesize learning across the program to new, complex situations beyond the course work; explain how it helped you build your profile as a healthcare professional leader.

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Next Term Starts
  • Summer Graduate
    Jul 10, 2017 (4-, 6-, and 8-week classes)
    Aug 7, 2017 (4-week classes)
  • Fall Undergraduate
    Sep 4, 2017 (7.5- and 15-week classes)
    Oct 25, 2017 (7.5-week classes)
  • Fall Graduate
    Sep 18, 2017 (6- and 12-week classes)
    Oct 30, 2017 (6-week classes)

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