Master of Science in Respiratory Care Leadership — Online

The Master of Science in Respiratory Care Leadership, designed for practicing respiratory therapists, incorporates an action-learning, leadership-oriented approach to advance your clinical knowledge, leadership skills, education knowledge, and research skills.

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We’re committed to creating an education as unique as your career path. So, whether your goal is a new career or moving up in your field, our innovative programs will get you going your way.


Customize your plan

We work with you to map your path to your goal.


Learn from experience

From real-world case studies to employer-based projects, we prepare you to manage what comes next.


Choose your focus

Whatever you’re passionate about, you’ll find the classes to sharpen your specialty.


Study anywhere, on your time

Part-time or full-time, we move at your speed, to get you where you’re going.


Full-Time, Part-Time

Entry Terms

Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter

Completion Time

12-18 months


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 well-educated department managers, practitioners, case managers, and research coordinators.

In response, Northeastern University College of Professional Studies has developed the online 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, and applied research. 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.

More Details

Unique Features

  • Designed to enhance the clinical knowledge and leadership capacity of respiratory therapists
  • Option to choose a specialty concentration on which to focus
  • Online program provides flexibility and interactive experience for working professionals

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

Experiential / Co-op opportunities

Northeastern's signature experience-powered learning model has been at the heart of the university for more than a century. It combines world-class academics with professional practice, allowing you to acquire relevant, real-world skills you can immediately put into action in your current workplace.

This makes a Northeastern education a dynamic, transformative experience, giving you countless opportunities to grow as a professional and person.

Learn About Getting Real World Experience

Get Set with a Custom Course Plan

General Requirements

Required Respiratory Care Courses


Required Leadership Courses

Complete two of the following:



Concentration in Adult and Organizational Learning

Complete four of the following:


Concentration in Clinical Trial Design

Complete four of the following:


Concentration in Health Management

Complete five of the following:


Concentration in Respiratory Specialty Practice


Now Let's Talk Admissions

You know where you are headed and you've seen how our program will lead you there. So let's get going. Here's what you need to know before you enroll.

Application Requirements

  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose (500–1000 words): Identify your educational goals and expectations of the program. Please be aware that Northeastern University's academic policy on plagiarism applies to your statement of purpose.
  • Professional resumé
  • Unofficial undergraduate transcripts; official transcripts required at the time of admission
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals who have either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities such as a faculty member, colleague, or mentor, preferably one from your current employer
  • English language proficiency proof. Students for whom English is not their primary language must submit one of the following:
    • Official associate or bachelor's degree transcript from an accredited college or university in the U.S., stating degree conferral and date
    • TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, Duolingo, or NU Global Exam scores
  • Copy of Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential


International Requirements

Are You an International Student? Find out what additional documents are required to apply.

Global Engagement Learn how our teaching and research benefit from a worldwide network of students, faculty, and industry partners.

Financing Requirements

Finance Your Education We offer a variety of resources, including scholarships and assistantships.

How to Apply Learn more about the application process and requirements.

Cost and Tuition

Application Deadlines

Our admissions process operates on a rolling basis; however, we do recommend following the application guidelines below to ensure you can begin during your desired start term.

Winter 2021 Deadline
November 2, 2020International out-of-country application complete (start date: January 19, 2021)
December 7, 2020International in-country application complete (start date: January 19, 2021)
January 1, 2021Domestic application complete (first half start: January 19, 2021)
February 12, 2021Domestic application complete (second half start: February 22, 2021)
Spring 2021 Deadline
February 8, 2021International out-of-country application complete (start date: April 12, 2021)
March 8, 2021International in-country application complete (start date: April 12, 2021)
April 2, 2021Domestic application complete (first half start: April 12, 2021)
May 14, 2021Domestic application complete (second half start: May 24, 2021)
Summer 2021 Deadline
May 10, 2021International out-of-country application complete (start date: July 12, 2021)
June 7, 2021International in-country application complete (start date: July 12, 2021)
July 2, 2021Domestic application complete (start date: July 12, 2021)
Fall 2021 Deadline
July 19, 2021International out-of-country application complete (start date: September 20, 2021)
August 23, 2021International in-country application complete (start date: September 20, 2021)
September 7, 2021Domestic application complete (first half start: September 20, 2021)
October 18, 2021Domestic application complete (second half start: November 1, 2021)

Student Body Profile

Below is a look at where our respiratory therapy alumni work, the positions they hold, and the skills they bring to their organization.


  • Where They Work

    • Boston Children’s Hospital
    • Boston Medical Center
    • University of Virginia Health, Charlottesville
    • Texas State University–Round Rock Campus
    • Aerogen Medical–Ireland
  • What They Do

    • RT Supervisor
    • RT Department Director
    • RT Supervisor
    • RT Faculty Members
    • Research Coordinator
  • What They're Skilled At

    • Leadership–neonatal-pediatric respiratory care
    • Leadership–adult critical care
    • Leadership–adult, neonatal, and pediatric critical care
    • Education–adult, neonatal, and pediatric critical care
    • Respiratory Care Research


Learn more about Northeastern Alumni on Linkedin.

Career Opportunities and Services


Did You Know?

The Master of Science in Respiratory Care Leadership has graduated 124 registered respiratory therapists who are employed by universities and colleges, major global medical and pharmaceutical companies, and acute care hospitals across the United States, Canada, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia.

Did You Know?

Graduates and students of the Master of Science in Respiratory Care Leadership are actively involved in respiratory care research that has been recognized with national awards at the AARC Congress, and with research abstracts selected by the science journal Respiratory Care as the “Editor’s Choice.”

From Our Alumni

"After graduating from Northeastern University in 2015 with my Master of Science in Respiratory Care Leadership I was promoted into the role of Clinical Supervisor of Pulmonary Diagnostics & Respiratory Therapy Services at the University of Virginia Medical Center.” — Dan G. MSRCL’15

From Our Alumni

“With guidance from professors Dr. Thomas Barnes, Dr. Dean Hess, and Dr. Aaron Light, I am now assisting the AARC with clinical practice guidelines. The program has assisted me in expanding my research skills with courses taught by Dr. Barnes in Research Design and Applied Research in Respiratory Care.” — Maria M. ‘18

From Our Faculty

Northeastern is a world-class university with an outstanding graduate program for registered respiratory therapists. It's a wonderful institution where nationally known faculty members can make a significant impact on the future of the respiratory care profession.

From Our Alumni

"The knowledge I have gained at Northeastern University is contributing to my interest in research and the field of respiratory care, my continued thirst for knowledge, and my love of my profession.” — Maria M, '18