The 16-month Associate of Applied Science Degree in Massage Therapy provides students with the competencies that enable them to learn not only the basic massage therapy skills but also the advanced techniques in a clinical setting. Students complete over 1,000 massage therapy instruction hours. Students can sit for the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board's Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) before completing the degree by receiving a Certificate of Proficiency in Massage Therapy. All applicants for State Medical Board of Ohio massage licensure are required to pass the MBLEx exam. Students who are awarded the associate degree will also receive the Short-Term Certificate in Advanced Massage Therapy.

Program contact: Learn more

This degree program contains one or more embedded certificates which will be automatically awarded when the certificate requirements are completed. If you do not want to receive the embedded certificate(s), please notify the Office of the Registrar at

Learn more about how certificate credits apply to the related degree.

Program Admission Requirements

Application must be submitted to the Massage Therapy Program Office at the Eastern Campus.

  • High School Diploma/GED/HiSet or TASC.
  • Non-native English speaking applicants:  Admission into Cuyahoga Community College is premised on a complete and accurate initial application to the College, including, if applicable, proof of English Language Proficiency Requirements for admission as indicated on the English Language Proficiency Requirements for Admissions to the College, and available on the web at:
    To be accepted into any selective admission programs, students must successfully complete English as a Second Language (ESL) course/s, as referenced above,  if deemed necessary by the College at the time of enrollment.  Admission is conditioned upon achieving the necessary grade point average (GPA), English language proficiency requirements and any specific pre-requisite courses, and by meeting program accreditation or licensing requirements as evidenced in the Program Handbook for the specific program.
  • GPA. If courses already taken at Tri-C or other college/university, overall minimum of 2.5 GPA. (High school GPA is used for students without a college/university GPA.) Students with an overall GPA lower than 2.5, but no lower than 2.0, can be accepted as “Conditional Status” students. Contact the Program Director for more information regarding "Conditional Acceptance" and "Conditional Status."
  • Completion of the following courses with grade of "C" or higher, or appropriate score on English and Math Placement Tests:
ENG-0995Applied College Literacies4
MATH-0910Basic Arithmetic and Pre-Algebra ( )3

Other Information

  • The program accepts 26 students in the day program and 26 in the evening program (a combined total of 52 each year which includes students in the Certificate and Degree programs).
  • Students must submit evidence of good health and required immunizations before acceptance to the program. Student will not be accepted or will be dismissed from the program if significant limiting health conditions are present to prevent student from performing the essential functions of a Massage Therapy student and/or constitute a hazard to health and safety of participants or classmates.
  • Once accepted, students must maintain a 2.5 GPA throughout program. Students with an Overall and/or MT course GPA below 2.5 but no lower than 2.0 will be placed on Conditional Status. Students who drop below 2.0 GPA are dismissed from the program.
  • Students will be placed on Conditional Status if a "U," Unsatisfactory, is received for any of the Massage Therapy courses during Academic Progress Reporting in the first semester.
  • Accepted applicants are required to attend Orientation held prior to the start of fall semester.
  • Pass/No Pass (P/NP) and Audit (A) grading options for English and Math or any other courses in the Massage Therapy Program Sequence not accepted.
  • Students must meet all college, program and medical board admissions requirements before acceptance to the program. This includes timely and correct completion of all required paperwork. Students are then accepted on a "first-come, first-served" basis, once per year.
  • Ohio Medical Board accepts the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) for licensure. Applicants for Ohio massage licensure are required to sit for and pass the MBLEx and then apply to the Ohio Medical Board for licensure. Students must complete all courses in the Certificate of Proficiency or Post-Degree Professional Certificate sequence with a letter grade of "C" or better and meet all other college, program, and Ohio Medical Board requirements.
  • All massage courses in the sequence can only be repeated once to improve a grade.
  • Tri-C Health Careers criminal background check required before acceptance to the Massage Therapy Program.
  • Important: Arrests, charges or convictions of criminal offenses may be cause to deny or limit licensure or employment opportunities and may limit the student’s ability to obtain federal, state, and other financial aid. Students are encouraged to investigate these possibilities before applying to the Massage Therapy Program. In addition to the criminal background check required before acceptance to the program, the State Medical Board of Ohio requires that all applicants for massage licensure must submit BCII and FBI fingerprints and a criminal background check as part of the massage licensure application process. Please see Rule 4731-4-02(D) of the Ohio Administrative Code for factors the Medical Board may consider when reviewing the results of a criminal record check.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program is designed to prepare students to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

  1. Use observation, verbal and other assessment tools to plan and perform a general relaxation massage.
  2. Show proficiency in anatomy and physiology studies, massage theory and techniques to be eligible to sit for the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) MBLEx examination required for licensure as a Massage Therapist by the Ohio State Medical Board.
  3. Apply the knowledge of anatomy to the study of cells, tissues, and different systems of the body.
  4. Apply the detailed knowledge of anatomy as it relates to the study of muscles, joints, and ligaments.
  5. Use the knowledge of physiological principles as it relates to the different systems of the body and massage therapy.
  6. Apply the knowledge of pathological conditions as they indicate or contraindicate the applications of massage therapy.
  7. Apply the principles of pharmacology as it relates to the indications and contraindications to massage therapy.
  8. Develop a business plan that will address principles of small business management, entrepreneurship and marketing for a private practice.
  9. Demonstrate work ethic, hygiene, office management, customer service, time management and team work skills needed in a clinic setting.
  10. Communicate verbally and in writing, including SOAP charting, to clients, colleagues and other health care professionals.
  11. Conduct yourself professionally, ethically and legally, especially regarding sexual and substance abuse issues, according to the State Medical Board of Ohio and American Massage Therapy Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice including identifying and referring patients to an appropriate licensed healthcare professional as needed.
  12. Apply emergency, safety and sanitation protocols according to OSHA and CDC regulatory standards for a clinic and hospital setting.
  13. Use physical observation, verbal investigation and advanced assessment techniques to create and perform advanced treatment plan for disorders to the human body.
  14. Educate the patient, within the scope of practice as defined by the State Medical Board of Ohio, on the principles of treatment used for specific disorders, proper body mechanics as well as suggest appropriate modalities.

Suggested Semester Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
MA-1010 Introduction to Medical Terminology 2
MT-1242 Somatic Studies I 3
MT-1302 Massage Therapy I 2
MT-1312 Applied Musculo-Skeletal Anatomy 3
MT-2301 Pathology for Massage Therapists 3
Select one of the following: 3
College Composition I
Honors College Composition I
 Credit Hours16
Second Semester
MT-1272 Somatic Studies II 3
MT-1321 Functional Assessment in Massage Therapy 2
MT-1331 Massage Therapy II 3
MT-2350 Massage Therapy Clinic I 3
Select one of the following: 1
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
CPR-AED for Healthcare Professionals
Select one of the following: 3
Fundamentals of Speech Communication
Honors Speech Communication
Select one of the following: 3
General Psychology
Honors General Psychology
 Credit Hours18
Summer Session
MT-1280 Somatic Studies III 2
MT-2201 Massage Modalities and Career Paths 2
MT-2360 Massage Therapy Clinic II 3
MT-2701 Comprehensive Somatic Studies for Massage Therapists 1
MT-2991 Comprehensive Massage Therapy 1
Select one of the following 3
Mathematical Explorations (or higher)
Algebraic and Quantitative Reasoning (or higher)
 Credit Hours12
Third Semester
MT-2311 Advanced Massage Therapy 3
MT-2380 Advanced Massage Therapy Clinic 3
Select one of the following 3
Introduction to Business
Small Business Management
Business Communications
Honors Business Communications
Social Media Marketing
Select one of the following: 3
Honors Bioethics
Select one of the following: 4
Life Span Development
Honors Life Span Development
Select one from the folllowing: 1
Weight Training
Physical Relaxation Techniques
 Credit Hours17
 Total Credit Hours63

MATH-1140, MATH-1141, MATH-1200, MATH-1270, and MATH-1280 can no longer count towards fulfilling the college-level mathematics requirement.  These courses were re-classified as developmental mathematics by the state of Ohio in 2016.  Tri-C established a 5-year transitioning window for students who had completed these courses prior to 2016 to apply them towards meeting graduation requirements, which expired in Summer 2021. It is highly recommended to see a counselor to determine the appropriate math required for your current major.