1 Recently Viewed Full-Time Program(s) Download Your Career and Program Guide

Home Programs & Courses Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory Therapy

Waitlisted for Fall 2022

Length: 3 years Credential: Diploma Delivery: Full Time Classroom

Apply now

Next information session

There are no events scheduled for this program. Please visit the link below to see all upcoming and on-demand information sessions.

Upcoming Information Sessions

This program will be delivered in a blended format (OA, OS, OR and OF/CLAS) for the Winter 2022 semester.
Some courses will be delivered online while others occur on-campus.
Learn more about our course delivery options


Through this comprehensive program that uses theory and hands-on instruction, prepare for a career in hospital emergency rooms and intensive care units assisting in diagnosing and managing cardio-pulmonary disorders. Respiratory therapists do important work performing CPR, managing ventilators and providing oxygen therapy.

Respiratory Therapy is a diverse and specialized profession that assists physicians in diagnosing, treating, and managing patients by providing such services as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, ventilator management, oxygen and aerosol therapy, patient assessment and evaluation, and diagnostic services including pulmonary function testing and blood analysis. Since 1970, SAIT has been providing students with the right combination of leading-edge theory and hands-on practice needed to succeed. 

At SAIT, respiratory therapy students participate in a comprehensive three-year diploma program featuring two years of classroom, lab study, clinical simulation and practica, followed by one year of clinical education in an acute and community care facility. Students complete practicum rotations such as adult, pediatric and neonatal intensive care units, the emergency department, anesthesia, wards, home care, pulmonary function and blood gas labs.

The first and second year each consist of eight months of study at SAIT and include some clinical practica. The third year starts in May and involves 11 months of clinical practicum at affiliated health care facilities and will include weekday, weekend, and night shifts. Students may be required to relocate for practicum. Students return to SAIT for 1 to 2 weeks per semester during third year for on-campus learning activities. The program will strive to give students their site rotation preference for practica, however, as each health care facility has limited seats available, placement at preferred sites is not guaranteed. Students may have to relocate to complete their clinical year at their own expense..

SAIT instructors, as respiratory therapy professionals, are equipped to offer the latest insights into new technology and best practices in the field including SAIT’s Centre for Advanced Patient Care Simulation - a simulation education facility that uses high fidelity human patient simulators which physiologically respond to medical treatment.

Interprovincial Health Training Agreements

SAIT offers reserved seats in respiratory therapy for Saskatchewan students. Limited space available, applications prior to May 1.

Is this the right fit for me?

The program delivery is very intensive. To be successful students must be prepared to attend 30 hours per week of the classroom, lab and practicum activities and spend approximately 30 hours per week outside of class studying.

During the Respiratory Therapy program, you will participate in learning a number of skills that are usually practiced on other students. All skills are performed in a safe setting and supervised. Typically, students take turns acting as a patient and Respiratory Therapist when practicing these exercises. The students have the option to opt-out of role-playing as the patient, however, the student may still be required to perform the skill on a classmate.

Students who experience success in this program have the following characteristics:

  • strong command of the English language
  • strong communication and interpersonal skills as these are paramount given the vast amount of patient interaction required on the job
  • compassion and an interest in caring for others
  • good organizational and problem-solving skills with an ability to think and act in crisis situations
  • the ability to work effectively, independently and as a member of a team
  • professional, flexible, and enjoy working in diverse settings
  • value helping others and working in a high-energy, challenging environment
  • the ability to spend the majority of their working hours on their feet and may be required to help lift immobile patients.
  • standing for extended periods of time
  • working in difficult physical positions
  • ability to climb several flights of stairs quickly
  • good hand and finger dexterity and stamina
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • the ability to handle unpleasant or stressful situations
  • Students are strongly encouraged to refer to ALIS website for career, learning and employment information for Respiratory Therapy, and the National Competency Framework for the Profession of Respiratory Therapy to ensure that they are able to successfully demonstrate the skills required to achieve all the competency-based objectives for the program and profession.

Students with higher secondary or post-secondary marks usually experience greater success in SAIT programs.


Graduates from the SAIT program must successfully challenge the Canadian Board of Respiratory Care (CBRC) examination to earn the right to practice Respiratory Therapy in Canada. Any graduate wishing to work in Alberta must be a member of CARTA and pay the $425 membership fee and, if English is an additional language, provide proof of ELTPA of nine in all categories.

Graduates wishing to work outside of Alberta need to be registered with that province's provincial regulatory body for respiratory therapy. All graduates may become members of the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT) by paying the $185 membership fee, and this is a requirement in an unregulated province.

After graduates become members of a professional organization, they may register with the CBRC by paying the $900 national examination fee that will then allow them to challenge the national exam.

The Respiratory Therapy program delivered by SAIT is accredited by Accreditation Canada. The program also works closely with our Advisory Committee to ensure that our curriculum continues to exceed provincial and national accreditation standards.


After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT Respiratory Therapy diploma.

Read more


Get important updates about our health and medical programs

Sign up

Career opportunities

Graduates can pursue respiratory therapy job opportunities in: 

  • acute care hospitals 
  • community and home care programs 
  • diagnostic laboratories 
  • educational institutions 
  • research facilities 
  • pharmaceutical companies 
  • medical sales and services  
  • private companies 

Related careers include: 

  • occupational health nurse 
  • diagnostic medical sonographer 
  • primary function technician 

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $5,100
Year 2: $5,100
Year 3: $5,854

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change

Full costs
Tuition and financial aid


You will be offered admission to this program through direct entry if you meet the admission requirements and achieve at least 50% on the scoring rubric for the School of Health and Public Safety’s Entrance Testing Process. Admission is offered on a first-qualified, first offered basis, until the program is full.

Admission Requirements

When can you apply?

  • Applications for fall 2022 are accepted from Oct. 6, 2021, to March 1, 2022.
Classes begin Year start date Year end date
Fall 2021 Sept. 7, 2021  April 29, 2022*
Fall 2022 Sept. 6, 2022 April 28, 2023

*Students completing their third year if study will finish classes on Aug. 19, 2022.

How to apply

SAIT student juggles multiple jobs on the COVID-19 front line

To say Annalise Woertman’s life has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic is an understatement.

Admission Requirements

Admission and Selection

  • Fall 2022 start: application for fall 2022 are accepted Oct 6, 2021, to March 1, 2022

*This program does not accept international students

Admission Requirements

Completion of the following courses or equivalents:

        Entrance testing process

NOTE: Anticipated final grades will not be accepted for the School of Health and Public Safety Entrance Testing Process.

Admission is offered on a first-qualifed, first-offered basis, until the program is full.

SAIT accepts  high school course equivalents for admission. If you don't meet the requirements, consider  Academic Upgrading.

SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our  international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada. 

English Language Requirement

All applicants who have English as an additional language must achieve the following passing scores in the Enhanced Language Training Placement Assessment (ELTPA) before a seat can be offered in the program:

  • Speaking Benchmark level 9
  • Listening Benchmark level 9
  • Reading Benchmark level 9
  • Writing Benchmark level 9

The language assessment can be completed through the Immigrant Language Vocational Assessment Referral Centre. The waitlist is approximately three weeks to access the ELTPA and assessment duration is approximately three hours.

In order to request and book your (ELTPA) appointment, please send the below information to  clarc@immigrantservicescalgary.ca. The date and time of exam (current) section can be blank until you have been provided with an appointment booking.  

Required Information

  • Legal last name
  • Legal first name
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number
  • Immigration status
  • Previous assessment at ILVARC (yes or no)
  • Date and time of exam (current)

You cannot take the ELTPA exam without a referral form from the Respiratory Therapy program. Once you are given an appointment (day and time), please send it with the above information to Kathy Moore at kathy.moore@sait.ca and you will be provided with a referral form for your appointment. Please include your SAIT student ID number in this email.

Please note that the program does not accept International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) or Michener English Language Assessment (MELA) as equivalent to ELTPA.

Direct entry: five-step process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Review the information related to the necessary components of the School of Health and Public Safety Entrance Testing Process

Step 3:  Complete the School of Health and Public Safety Entrance Testing Process non-academic admission requirement. Ensure that you meet all of the academic admission requirements listed above.

Step 4: Apply to the Respiratory Therapy program and submit your transcripts and/or anticipated final grades.

  • Admission is offered on a first-qualified, first offered basis, until the program is full. 

Step 5: Log in to mySAIT.ca to check your admission status. Find out how to monitor your application status.

Failure to meet anticipated final grades will result in offers being rescinded.

Communication during admission

Email is the primary source of communication during the admission process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add hps.info@sait.ca and the sait.ca domain to your safe sender's list or you risk missing critical email messages. 

Practicum Requirements

The School of Health and Public Safety has many practica partners located within Alberta and across Canada. Practicum placements in Calgary are limited and students may be required to relocate outside of Calgary for practicum.

All students are required to return to SAIT campus for one week in each semester of the third year of the program, regardless of where they are placed for practicum.

Successful candidates will be informed of the allocation of their practicum placement by the program. There is no guarantee that students will be placed at their desired practicum location. Special considerations of personal circumstances will not be given in regards to assigning practicum placements. Students will be responsible for fees associated with practicum such as entrance requirements, relocation and travel costs. 

In compliance with the practica agreements with our clinical partners, successful candidates will be requested to provide proof of the following requirements:

  • Current Heart and Stroke Foundation Health Care Provider Level (C) CPR
  • Updated immunization records
  • Security clearance - Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check
  • N95 respiratory mask fitting
  • Health and wellness status
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program offered by the Canadian Pediatric Society must be successfully completed and proof submitted to the program administration assistant before progressing to semester 5. The certification must be valid for the entire practicum year.

Learn more


      Program Outline

      Looking for course descriptions and requisites? Visit the course catalogue

      First Year

      Semester 1 - Fall

      Course Code Course Name Credit
      HLTH-201 Respiratory Therapy Healthcare Core 3.0
      RESP-212 Respiratory Therapy Anatomy and Physiology 3.0
      RESP-214 Patient Assessment I 3.0
      RESP-216 Respiratory Therapy Clinical Practice I 3.0
      RESP-218 Respiratory Therapy Fundamentals 3.0
      Semester 1 Total 15.0

      Semester 2 - Winter

      Course Code Course Name Credit
      PATH-254 Pathophysiology I 3.0
      RESP-262 Patient Assessment II 3.0
      RESP-264 Respiratory Therapy Clinical Practice II 3.0
      RESP-266 Interventions I 6.0
      Semester 2 Total 15.0
      First Year Total 30.0

      Second Year

      Semester 3 - Fall

      Course Code Course Name Credit
      PATH-311 Pathophysiology II 3.0
      RESP-315 Patient Assessment III 3.0
      RESP-317 Respiratory Therapy Clinical Practice III 3.0
      RESP-319 Interventions II 6.0
      Semester 3 Total 15.0

      Semester 4 - Winter

      Course Code Course Name Credit
      PATH-312 Pathophysiology III 1.5
      RESP-314 Anesthesia 1.5
      RESP-327 PFT & Outpatient Care 3.0
      RESP-329 Respiratory Therapy Clinical Practice IV 3.0
      RESP-330 Interventions III 6.0
      Semester 4 Total 15.0
      Second Year Total 30.0

      Third Year

      Semester 5 - Spring/Summer (15 weeks)

      Course Code Course Name Credit
      PRCT-312 Respiratory Therapy Practicum I 6.0
      RESP-340 Respiratory Therapy Clinical Theory II 3.0
      RESP-342 Practicum Foundations II 3.0
      Semester 5 Total 12.0

      Semester 6 - Fall

      Course Code Course Name Credit
      PRCT-314 Respiratory Therapy Practicum II 6.0
      RESP-350 Respiratory Therapy Clinical Theory II 3.0
      RESP-352 Practicum Foundations II 3.0
      Semester 6 Total 12.0

      Semester 7 - Winter

      Course Code Course Name Credit
      PRCT-316 Respiratory Therapy Practicum III 6.0
      RESP-370 Respiratory Therapy Clinical Theory III 3.0
      RESP-372 Entry to Professional Practice 3.0
      Semester 7 Total 12.0
      Third Year Total 36.0
      Program Total

      * The courses must be completed within the time frame shown in the program outline.


      Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

      Transfer Options

      The opportunity to advance your education through transfer in, within or on from SAIT is available. Visit transfer options to learn more.


      2021/22 Domestic Tuition and Fees*

      Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2021/22 total
      1 $3,767 $793.20 $287.77 $252 $5,100
      2 $3,767 $793.20 $287.77 $252 $5,100
      3 $4,521 $793.20 $287.77 $252 $5,854

      SAIT Fees

      Campus athletic and recreation Fee: $183.20
      Universal transit pass (UPass): $310 - Check eligibility here.
      Student support fee: $150
      Student technology fee: $150

      Health and Dental Fees

      Domestic Students 

      • Health Plan: $122
      • Dental Plan: $130
      • For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the Saitsa website for information on opting out.

      Books and supplies*

      • Books, supplies and uniform are approximately $2,500.
      • For an estimate of the costs associated with purchasing a device that meets the standard hardware and software requirements, see our  computers and laptops page.
      • Students pay $75 Comp Tracker fee for the first two years of the program and $75 per semester in the third year.
      • S tudents are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practica (i.e. relocation costs if placed outside of Calgary, food, housing, transportation, etc.)
      • College and Association of Respiratory Therapists of Alberta (CARTA) annual dues are approximately $425.
      • Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT) annual dues are approximately $100 for students and $180 for regular members.
      • Canadian Board of Respiratory Care (CBRC) exam fee is approximately $900.
      • There is a fee associated with obtaining a police information check including Vulnerable Sector Check and is payable to the Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP.)
      • Students must have their immunizations reviewed by the SAIT Health Clinic. There is a $75 charge to review vaccine history. Any vaccines to be administered will result in additional charges.
      • There is a fee, approximately $50-$100, associated with an Electronic Student Permit Checking submission which is required for clinical practicum placements, payable to Synergy Gateway through the Verified software platform.

      Find out about tuition and financial aid.

      * Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

      Next steps for incoming students

      Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.

      ✅ Plan ahead ❗️

      You are required to complete several health, confidentiality and consent forms before starting your program. All completed and signed paperwork is needed on orientation day. 

      Ensure you complete all three steps below ahead of orientation.

      Get started on pre-orientation requirements

      Fall 2021


      Your program orientation will take place on Sept. 2 on campus. Check your schedule in mySAIT for the time and location details.

      Learn more about your orientation.

      We are expecting to meet you at new student orientation. Important program information is discussed to ensure you are prepared to begin classes which start on day one. Orientation is a mandatory part of your learning experience to ensure student success.

      How to register for classes

      You'll follow an open registration process to enrol in your classes. Learn how to register on our registration and schedules page.

      Computers and laptops

      This is a bring your own device program with a standard hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page

      Required equipment/tools

      The clinical practicum experience includes rotations through adult intensive care, neonatal intensive care, pediatric intensive care, home care, surgical suite, and wards. You will be evaluated on your competency performance during practicum using a tracking system called CompTracker.

      You will require a wi-fi enabled Apple tablet with the ability to run the most up to date operating system to support the CompTracker system. Keyboards are advisable but not mandatory. Smartphones are not acceptable devices for CompTracker. There is a required user license fee billed on a per semester basis. Each program will have a different student fee depending on how the system is used within the program. More information will be shared at orientation.

      Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

      You will need your uniform for orientation day, the first day of classes, so order your uniform early. You are expected to wear scrubs for your simulated labs, including the Centre for Advanced Patient Care Simulation and clinical experience.

      Respiratory Therapy Uniforms

      These scrubs can be purchased at:

      Universal Workwear
      Bay 11, 2135-32nd Ave NE
      Calgary, AB T2E 6Z3
      Tel: 403.717.3780
      Toll-free: 1.866.442.7303

      Students outside of Calgary
      If students live outside of the Calgary area, they two options to consider regarding the purchase of their uniform in order to have it for orientation and the first day of classes.
      • Wait until you move to Calgary to order your uniform in person so that you have an opportunity to try the tops on before your name is embroidered and SAIT crest is added. If you choose this option, please be sure to allow yourself a minimum of 2-3 days for Universal Workwear to have it ready for pick-up as you are required to wear your uniform to Orientation.
      • Find a local scrub provider who carries the MOBB brand of scrubs, and try them on for fit. Then call-in your order to Universal Workwear at 1.866.442.7303 (toll-free) so that they may have your uniform ready for you once you arrive in Calgary. If you use this option, then please take some time to review the photo of your uniform to know what to look for. The following styles for tops are the only accepted styles:
        • Ladies: T3030 or 308T
        • Mens: T4010 or 301T

      Part of your uniform is a stethoscope, which is also available at Universal Workwear.  Stethoscopes need to be brought to all patient assessment labs and simulation labs.

      Students are also required to purchase Lab Supply Kits in semester one prior to attending their labs. Purchase these at the bookstore (who processes the payment) and then bring your receipt to room NR105 in the Senator Burns building where you will be given the lab kit once proof of purchase is confirmed.

      Other requirements 

      • CPRS 001 BLS Provider (Level C) CPR course (no later than Sept. 30)
      • N95 Mask-fit testing
      • Police Information Clearance with Vulnerable Sector Check
      • Immunization record (no later than Sept. 30) 
      • Health and wellness status

      Preparation courses

      To support your success, you’ll be automatically registered in two short courses to prepare you for the academic year: 

      PERS 050: Student Rights and Responsibilities

      This course is designed to introduce you to student rights and responsibilities at SAIT. You will learn about SAIT's rich and diverse community, become familiar with guidelines and procedures that create a safe, respectful learning experience for you, and gain practical tips for how you can engage in the SAIT community in a positive and responsible way. PRES-050 must be completed within 30 days from the start of the semester.

      PREP 100: The SAIT Experience

      Get tips and insider information on time management, exam preparation, effective notetaking and more through this free, online short course for new students. Plus, learn about discussion boards, online communication and submitting assignments online. Course completion is recommended by the end of your first semester.

      Both courses can be accessed through  Brightspace (D2L) before the first day of classes.

      Required textbooks

      Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date.

      Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck, no textbook purchase required this term.


      Phone: 403.284.8481
      Email: hps.info@sait.ca

      Next steps for all students

      Here's what else you'll need to do to get ready!

      Next steps for accepted students

      Important dates and deadlines

      Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

      Important Dates

      Have questions about this program?

      Contact us at

      School of Health and Public Safety

      Meet some of the instructors

      Academic Chair, Life Sciences

      More programs you may like

      • Full Time
      • Blended
      • Diploma
      • Open for Fall 2022
      • Full Time
      • Classroom
      • Certificate
      • Open for Fall 2022
      • Full Time
      • Classroom
      • Diploma
      • Closed for Fall 2022
      • Full Time
      • Classroom
      • Diploma
      • Open for Fall 2022
      Browse all our health and medical programs
      mail envelope

      Your journey starts here

      Sign up to get important updates on:

      • Health and medical programs
      • Application information
      • Relevant news and events

      Get important updates about our health and medical programs

      Enter Your Search Term Here
      Start typing to search SAIT.ca
      Refine Results

      Search results

      Sait.ca Website Feedback

      Hello, we'd love to hear your feedback about our website...

      Would you like a response?*

      Please answer the math question below.