Top Schools for Massage Therapy and Other Related Therapies

Read about top schools with accredited programs in massage therapy, which can help students prepare for national or state certification exams. Find information about the program options at four featured schools, as well as a list of other colleges and universities that provide training for massage therapists.

Aspiring massage therapists can find undergraduate-level training programs at schools around the country. Curriculum in program dependent, but some of the broader programs offer training in massage therapy as well as related practices.

School Overview

Aspiring massage therapists can find certificate and/or associate's programs at the National University of Health Sciences, Northwestern Health Sciences University, Idaho State University and Broward College. Each of the four schools is also a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. These programs provide wide-ranging education in massage therapy and related fields.

National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL

School Highlight: The school is also a graduate medical school resulting in massage therapy having a strong health and medical foundation.

The National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) offers integrated academic and wellness programs that include topics in Oriental, chiropractic, and naturopathic medicine. The university has an Associate of Applied Science in Massage Therapy program that allows applicants to transfer general education credits earned at other academic institutions. Additional offerings include a certificate program and continuing education courses in massage therapy.

Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN

School Highlight: The massage therapy curriculum emphasizes science.

Northwestern Health Sciences University offers three professional alternative health care programs: acupuncture and Oriental medicine, chiropractic, and massage therapy. The university includes a massage therapy school that offers a certificate and an associate degree program, as well as continuing education courses in massage therapy. Clinical experience is a key part of the massage therapy program and takes place in various settings throughout the local area. As a school focused exclusively on health sciences, the university has a health sciences library and a cadaver lab to complement its focus on scientific research.

Idaho State University in Pocatello, ID

School Highlight: The massage therapy program options are from 1.5 to 4+ years.

In 2017, the graduate physical therapy program at Idaho State University (ISU) ranked among the top 200 in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. The university's College of Technology offers a massage therapy program with a considerably higher requirement in training hours in comparison to many other programs. The college confers a technical certificate in massage therapy, as well as an Associate in Applied Science, which students can apply to the school's Bachelor of Science in Health Science program. Massage therapy students at ISU undergo hands-on training at the university clinic, which is open to the public and supervised by the faculty.

Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, FL

School Highlight: The massage program at this school includes supervised practice on-campus and off-campus.

Broward College offers a post-secondary adult vocational certificate in massage therapy. This program lasts for eight months and provides the necessary preparation for students who want to take the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) exam. Students learn about multiple types of massage, including deep tissue, Swedish style and reflexology. They also receive basic business training in subjects related to the field, such as billing insurance companies and bookkeeping.

Top Massage Therapy Schools

These are some other schools with strong offerings in massage therapy and other related therapies:

  • The massage therapy curriculum at New York College of Health Professions in Long Island, NY, is based upon a European model that integrates studies in Western physiological and Eastern medicine.
  • Parker University in Dallas, TX, offers concentrations in modalities of medical massage and sports massage.
  • Southern California University of Health Sciences in Whittier, CA, is located in a quiet suburban setting about 20 miles from Los Angeles.
  • State University of New York (SUNY) Morrisville State College, located in Morrisville, NY, offers a massage therapy program that includes classes in the liberal arts and sciences and math.
  • In the massage therapy program at University of Western States in Portland, OR, students must pass all licensing tests necessary to practice in their state.

For students who are interested in studying massage therapy and related subjects, there are broad programs available at schools around the country.

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