School and Ranking Information
Students seeking a massage therapy program in Miami, FL, can find more than 20 schools within a 25-mile radius of the downtown area. Based on school rankings and program options, the top three not-for-profit schools in the area with massage therapy programs are:
- Winner: Broward College earns the top spot on this list due to its state-of-the art facilities and the ability to work with current professionals in the field.
- Runner-Up #1: Miami Dade College is located right in Miami and offers three different program options in massage therapy. It also awarded the most credentials in this field in 2012.
- Runner-Up #2: Sheridan Technical Center has the highest graduation rate of the three schools and offers a 750-hour certificate program in massage therapy.
In the state of Florida, massage therapy is a state-regulated occupation, and students must be licensed to legally practice. To obtain licensure, individuals must complete an approved massage therapy program and pass either the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) examination, the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM), the National Exam for State Licensure (NESL), or the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEX). All three schools profiled below have state-approved massage therapy programs.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Broward College||Miami Dade College||Sheridan Technical Center|
|Ranking||Ranked in the top 10% of United States community colleges by the Aspen Institute in 2013*||N/A||N/A|
|Location||Fort Lauderdale, FL (27.8 miles from downtown Miami)||Miami, FL||Hollywood, FL (21.8 miles from downtown Miami)|
|School Type||4-year, public (primarily associate's)||4-year, public (primarily associate's)||2-year, public|
|Tuition (2012-2013)||$2,469 (in-state); $8,675 (out-of-state)*||$3,366 (in-state); $11,895 (out-of-state)**||$2,810 (entire program cost)***|
|Massage Therapy Program Levels Offered||Certificate||Certificate||Certificate|
|Massage Therapy Certificates Awarded in (2011-2012)||22**||24**||23**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time)||28% (for 2006 entering class)**||31% (for 2006 entering class)**||45% (for 2009 entering class)**|
|Noteworthy||Community College Week named the school one of the top ten in the country for awarding associate's degrees to minority students||Largest college in the United States||Oldest of the three technical centers in Broward County|
Sources: *Broward College, *NCES College Navigator, **Sheridan Technical Center.
Winner: Broward College
- According to Community College Weekly, Broward College ranks fifth in the nation among four-year colleges for awarding associate's degrees
- It is the most affordable college in the South Florida region
- Students have the opportunity to practice with and receive valuable feedback from members of the Florida State Massage Therapy Association and the American Massage Therapy Association
Students seeking a certificate in massage therapy through Broward College must complete two terms and a summer session, for a total of 750 hours. The curriculum includes courses in hydrotherapy, medical ethics, and allied modalities. To enroll in the program, students must take a placement test and meet additional admission requirements. The massage therapy program takes place at a state-of-the-art clinic with high-quality massage equipment, as well as access to a shared rehabilitation clinic. Those who complete the program are on track to pass the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) exam and apply for a Florida massage therapy license.
Runner-Up #1: Miami Dade College
- Called 'the most exciting institution of higher education' by visiting Harvard professor K. Patricia Cross
- Miami Dade's cultural programming was named among the 'best in academia' by the New York Times
- MDC was Florida's first racially integrated junior college in the 1960s
Students at Miami Dade College can choose from a generic, accelerated, or transitional massage therapy programs. The generic option is a 2-semester track for students without healthcare background, while the accelerated program is for those who already hold a physical therapy assistant or physical therapy degree. The transitional program is designed for students who are already licensed in another healthcare profession. Students who do not already hold an associate's degree must pass the Test of Adult Basic Education (T.A.B.E.) for admission into the massage therapy program. The clinical portion of the program takes place at on-campus facilities, but students may also be required to travel off-site locations.
Runner-Up #2: Sheridan Technical Center
- From 2010-2011, NCES data shows a 60% retention rate for full-time, first-time students
- Program includes courses in basic healthcare and computer literacy
Sheridan Technical Center is a vocational college that offers training in various high-demand areas, including massage therapy. The school employs 106 full-time faculty members and has a student-faculty ratio of 15:1. The 750-hour technical certificate in massage therapy includes coursework in anatomy and physiology, clinical pathology, and kinesiology, as well as healthcare courses in CPR and AIDS education. Students who complete the program qualify to take the National Certification Examination in Therapeutic Massage and become licensed in the state of Florida.