Apr 21, 2021  
2018-2019 Catalog 
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Massage Therapist, Certificate (403.2)


MAS Outlook and Outcomes    MAS Essential Functions  

This program is designed to prepare entry-level skills for students seeking practice as licensed massage therapists.   Graduates will complete a course of study that meets or exceeds 600 clock hours of curriculum content. Completion of the program qualifies graduates to apply for a license as a massage therapist in Pennsylvania.  Students with previous coursework in healthcare and sciences have the option to complete the certificate in accelerated format by demonstrating proficiency in prior coursework.

Licensed massage therapists may work as independent contractors or employees in a variety of health-related settings including pain management clinics, wellness retreat centers, hospice facilities, orthopedic centers and physical therapy and chiropractic offices.  Licensed therapists may also be employed in athletic clubs, resorts, spas, yoga centers, golf resorts and country clubs, beauty salons, dance studios and on cruise ships.

Enrollment is limited by lab size and other factors.  Students must make separate application to the program.  Applicants should have a successful record of achievement in high school science courses or develop these skills prior to program admission.  Applicants must be eligible for all college-level courses.

Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate will:

  1. Plan, organize and perform an effective massage and bodywork session for therapeutic benefit.
  2. Display skill in developing professional and ethical relationships with clients and interdisciplinary health care teams.
  3. Evaluate forms of business ownership and develop a strategy for a successful practice, business or employment situation.
  4. Identify and implement strategies for self-care, personal health and wellness and on-going professional development.
  5. Apply evidence-based practices of massage therapy within the scope of practice.

Completion of the program qualifies the graduate to sit for the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx).  Students completing more than 750 clock hours of approved courses for this certificate will meet the educational requirements to later sit for the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.

Because certification and licensing requirements vary by state, students who plan to relocate after graduation are encouraged to verify the educational requirments in states other than Pennsylvania.

A criminal record may affect a graduate's ability to take the licensure examination or obtain state licensure.  A majority of the states require a license to practice massage therapy.

Applicants must submit a criminal backgroundcheck for acceptance into the program.

Certificate Requirements

Prospective students must demonstrate a proficiency in the following courses:

Total: 3-5 Credits


Total: 3-8 Credits


Total: 3-4 Credits


General Education

Total: 9-10 Credits

Total: 9-11 Credits

Total: 10 Credits

Minimum Credits to Graduate: 19-21 ³ ⁴

1As required by Pennsylvania law, students must complete a minimum of 175 hours of anatomy and physiology, kinesiology and pathology including training in human immunodeficiency virus and related risks.  In addition to BIO courses approved by the Massage Therapy Program Director, students may elect to take HPE-201, MAS-110, MAS-111 or MAS-208 to help satisfy this requirement.  ALH-140 does not satisfy this requirement but can be counted as an elective toward the overall 600-clock hour state requirement as stated in PA Code 20.13 (related to required knowledge base).

2 BIO-103, BIO-115 and BIO-175 can each only be applied once to satisfy a group of proficiency courses.

3 Students without direct patient care experience are encouraged to complete MAS-211 Massage Therapy Applications as an elective.

4 Students must meet a minimum of 600 clock hours as required by Pennsylvania law.  Students who do not total 600 hours due to course combinations listed must choose additional elective coursework to satisfy this requirement either from unapplied courses in categories listed or from the following courses:  ALH-102, ALH-109, ALH-140, BUS-101, ENG-101, HPE-171, HPE-177, HPE-201, MAS-203, MAS-204, MAS-208, MAS-110, MAS-111, MAS-220, MAT level 100 of higher, PSY-101, SPH-101 or other courses as approved by the Massage Therapy Program Director and in complicance with PA Code 20.13 (related to required knowledge base).

Students are required to meet with the Massage Therapy Program Director individually to discuss course combinations and ensure satisfaction of both the certificate and PA Board of Massage Therapy requirements.