Massage therapy programs are often found at 2-year schools or specialty schools, such as institutions that focus on natural healing or on massage itself. Accreditation is one of several aspects that students should check when selecting a school.
10 Schools with Accredited Massage Programs
These schools prepare students for licensure as massage therapists.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition and Fees 2015-2016*|
|Broward College||Fort Lauderdale, FL||2-year, primarily associate's, Public||Certificate||$2,753 in-state, $8,875 out-of-state|
|Community College of Rhode Island||Warwick, RI||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$4,266 in-state, $11,496 out-of-state|
|Central Oregon Community College||Bend, OR||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$3,555 in-district, $4,599 in-state, $9,135 out-of-state|
|Elgin Community College||Elgin, IL||2-year, Public||Certificate||$2,868 in-district, $10,439 in-state, $11,959 out-of-state|
|Gadsden State Community College||Gadsden, AL||2-year, Public||Certificate||$3,216 in-state, $5,976 out-of-state|
|Idaho State University||Pocatello, IA||4-year, Public||Associate's||$6,784 in-state, $20,182 out-of-state|
|Kishwaukee College||Malta, IL||2-year, Public||Certificate||$3,990 in-district, $9,750 in-state, $15,450 out-of-state|
|Lansing Community College||Lansing, MI||2-year, Public||Certificate||$3,020 in-district, $5,660 in-state, $8,300 out-of-state|
|Manatee Technical College||Bradenton, FL||2-year, Public||Certificate||$4,566|
|Moraine Valley Community College||Palos Hills, IL||2-year, Public||Certificate||$3,996 in-district, $8,916 in-state, $10,326 out-of-state|
Source: *National Center for Educational Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for a massage school:
- Students should be sure the school possesses accreditation by The Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) and a state health or physical therapy department or board, along with regional institutional accreditations.
- Consider which of the eight different massage techniques, or modalities, you want to learn and which ones the school teaches.
- Choose a school with a program length that best fits you, whether it is 500 course hours, one year of full-time study, or an associate's degree program that takes two years to complete.
- Students should look for schools that offer clinical experience or internship opportunities.
Massage Therapy Certificate
Massage therapy certificate programs are designed to provide students with the fundamental skills required to work as a massage therapist in private facilities. Typically, programs focus on a limited number of techniques to ensure students are able to practice at least one massage modality. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take their state's licensure exam.
Massage Therapy Associate's Degree
Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs prepare students for careers as independent massage therapists or employees of massage institutions. Students typically complete more hours of practical experience than licensing states require, which often expands employment opportunities. Individuals who hold an AAS in massage therapy often work in medical facilities like chiropractic offices and rehabilitation clinics in addition to private facilities. Program graduates are eligible to sit for the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) exam.
Massage programs are typically available at the certificate and associate's degree levels. Students should consider programs that offer the specialties they are interested in, as well as programs that offer clinical experience and prepare students for licensure.