School and Ranking Information
In Colorado, students must be registered to legally practice massage therapy. To obtain registration, individuals must complete an approved massage therapy program and pass either the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) or the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards' Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx).
Students in Westminster, CO, looking to pursue massage therapy training can find eight schools with relevant programs within a 25-mile radius of the downtown area. Based on factors such as graduation rate, job placement rate, and student-faculty ratios, the top three choices are:
- Winner: Colorado School of Healing Arts (CSHA) is the only one to receive an award, and it also boasts the highest graduation rate, which puts it in first place.
- Runner-Up #1: Boulder College of Massage Therapy (BCMT) has the lowest student-faculty ratio of the three schools, at 12:1, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Additionally, CSHA and BCMT both have high (above 88%) job placement rates.
- Runner-Up #2: Aveda Institute Denver has an 86% graduation rate and a network of over 7,000 job placement opportunities.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Colorado School of Healing Arts||Boulder College of Massage Therapy||Aveda Institute Denver|
|Location||Lakewood, CO (9 miles from Westminster)||Boulder, CO (18 miles from Westminster)||Denver, CO (6 miles from Westminster)|
|School Type||2-year, private for-profit||2-year, private not-for-profit||2-year, private for-profit|
|Tuition and Fees (2012-2013)||$13,200*||$16,643*||$8,500 (entire program cost)*|
|Massage Therapy Degree Levels Offered||<1 year and 1 to <2 year certificates; associate's degrees||1 to <2 year certificates; associate's degrees||<1 year certificate|
|Massage Therapy Degrees Awarded (all levels) in (2011-2012)||186*||110*||3*|
|Most Popular Massage Therapy Degree Level in (2011-2012)||<1 year certificate (151 awarded)*||1 to <2 year certificate (88 awarded)*||<1 year certificate (3 awarded)*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal time) for 2008 Entering Class||95%*||79%*||86%*|
|Noteworthy||One of five schools to receive the School of Excellence Award in 2007-2008 by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)**||Features a 31,000 sq. ft. massage clinic***||Extensive job placement network****|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator; **Colorado School of Healing Arts; ***Boulder College of Massage Therapy; ****Aveda Institute Denver.
Winner: Colorado School of Healing Arts
- Graduates have access to career services which help prepare them for interviews, research employers, and plan career goals
- The job placement rate for the 1,000-hour certificate and Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) programs in 2011 was 100% and 97%, respectively
- Student-faculty ratio of 16:1, according to NCES
Students interested in pursuing a degree in massage therapy from CSHA have the option of completing a 93-credit hour Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) program or a Certified Massage Therapist (CMT) program at either the 700-hour or 1,000-clock hour level. The AOS program allows students to choose two specialties from areas such as cranial sacral, neuromuscular, reflexology, sports, or oncology. Upon completion of the 700-hour program, students typically have a foundation in massage therapy and may choose to either pursue entry-level employment or continue their education in the 1,000-hour or AOS programs. The 700-hour program can be completed in as little as nine months, whereas the 1,000-hour and AOS programs may take up to 18 and 27 months, respectively.
Runner-Up #1: Boulder College of Massage Therapy
- Features 12 fully equipped massage therapy rooms
- Graduates of the AOS program have a 100% employment rate, while the CMT program has a rate of 88%
- Student-faculty ratio of 12:1, according to NCES
BCMT offers an Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) degree program that can be completed in either 18 or 24 months. Students also have the option of choosing either the 800 or 1,000-hour Certificate in Massage Therapy (CMT) program, which include courses in anatomy and physiology, pathology, and communication skills. All graduates qualify to sit for the massage therapy licensing exam. For those who are already licensed massage therapists, there are continuing education courses in areas like reflexology, herbology, and polarity theory.
Runner-Up #2: Aveda Institute Denver
- Students participate in hands-on training with a variety of clients
- Graduates have access to job placement services within the Aveda network of over 7,000 salons and spas
- Student-faculty ratio of 15:1, per NCES
The Aveda Institute Denver is a small school with just 390 students. The 600-hour massage therapy program is split into two phases, 'fire' and 'infinity'. The 300-hour fire phase provides students with a foundation in anatomy and physiology, Swedish massage, reflexology, and hydrotherapy. The infinity track continues to expand students' knowledge of anatomy and physiology, massage techniques, and pathology, and individuals work under the supervision of a licensed massage therapist. Graduates of the program can take the MBLEx exam.