Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Massage Therapy?
- What does a Massage Therapist do?
- What does Massage Therapy training involve?
- Do I have to be licensed to practice massage therapy in Ohio?
- Will Tri-C’s Massage Therapy program prepare me to sit for the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) MBLEx massage exam and apply for a massage license with the State Medical Board of Ohio?
- What if I want to practice massage therapy outside of Ohio?
- What’s the difference between the Certificate of Proficiency, Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, Post-degree Professional Certificate and Advanced Massage Therapy Short-term Certificate?
- Are Tri-C credits transferable?
- What courses are included in the Massage Therapy Program?
- What are the eligibility requirements for International students?
- What is the difference between Tri-C’s Massage Therapy Program and the other massage schools in the area?
- How long is the program? Can I complete the coursework on a part-time basis?
- Are classes offered in the evenings or on weekends?
- How many students are accepted into the program? Is there a waiting list?
- How can I get accepted into the program?
- What are the prerequisite (core) courses?
- When should I submit my application?
- What does the program cost?
- Is financial aid available?
- If I had to withdraw from the program and want to return, do I have to start over?
Massage therapy is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body to produce therapeutic effects such as stress relief, pain relief, relaxation and improved blood circulation. Massage therapy is also used to treat medical conditions and injuries and for preventive wellness.
One of the many appealing features of the massage therapy profession is its extreme flexibility. Employment may be full- or part-time and is geared toward individual needs and desires. The opportunity to begin a career as a massage therapist is open to adults in all stages of life.
- Massage soft tissues of the body for wellness maintenance and to treat medical conditions and injuries.
- Apply massage and advanced techniques over the patient’s entire body.
- Assess soft tissue condition, joint quality and function, muscle strength and range of motion.
- Assess muscle tonicity as well as changes in patient’s physiological status such as skin temperature.
- Determine the appropriate intensity of manual pressure and force when massaging and performing advanced techniques.
- Confer with patients about their medical histories and problems with stress or pain in order to determine how massage will be most helpful.
- Maintain treatment records and develop and propose patient treatment plans.
- Position patients and assist patients on and off tables as needed.
- Use a variety of equipment such as bolsters, hot/cold packs, massage chairs and various types of treatment tables.
- Prepare massage table and other equipment before each massage, cleaning and sanitizing equipment after each use.
- Use scheduling, electronic medical record, spreadsheet and word processing software.
- Use the knowledge of principles and process for providing customer service.
- Understand medical terminology and be able to communicate with other medical professionals verbally and in writing.
- Practice hygiene and sanitation, universal precautions, follow CDC guidelines and prevent transmission of pathogens in a therapeutic environment.
- Use knowledge of business practices, ethics and privacy practices (HIPAA).
- Educate patients about ergonomics, self-massage techniques, results and benefits of massage therapy, etc.
Classes in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology and ethics in addition to massage therapy methods and business practices.
Yes. Ohio is the only state in which massage therapy is considered a limited branch of medicine. The State Medical Board of Ohio licenses massage therapists and regulates massage therapy schools and practitioners through its standing committee on Limited Branches and Alternative Medicine.
Will Tri-C’s Massage Therapy program prepare me to sit for the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) MBLEx massage exam and apply for a massage license with the State Medical Board of Ohio?
Yes. Tri-C’s Massage Therapy certificate of proficiency and post-degree professional certificate are approved by the State Medical Board. After completing one of these certificate programs and passing the MBLEx, students are eligible to apply for licensure through the State Medical Board of Ohio.
Note: The State Medical Board requires that all applicants submit BCI 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 (http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/4731-4) for factors the medical board may consider when reviewing the results of a criminal background check.
Arrests, charges or convictions of criminal offenses may be cause to deny or limit licensure or employment opportunities in specific careers and occupations (including massage therapy) and may limit a 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.
Contact the state’s massage licensing board to determine what requirements you must meet to practice massage in that state. Requirements vary considerably from state to state.
The Certificate of Proficiency in Massage Therapy provides students with an abbreviated career path leading to State Medical Board of Ohio licensure. All course credits are transferable to the Associate of Applied Science degree in Massage Therapy.
The Associate of Applied Science degree is a four-semester college degree program. Course credits from the Certificate of Proficiency and Post-degree Professional Certificate are transferable to the AAS program.
The Post-degree Professional Certificate is for students who already have an associate degree or higher and want to become licensed massage therapists.
The Advanced Massage Therapy Short-term Certificate enables students to progress in their careers and improve their earning potential. The program offers advanced bodywork training for graduates of the certificate of proficiency and post-degree certificate programs, preparing them for positions in specialized areas. These courses are also part of the AAS degree. Students graduating with an AAS in Massage Therapy will also receive the Advanced Massage Therapy Short-term Certificate.
Yes. Depending on the program, Tri-C credits may be transferable to other colleges and universities including Kent State University, Cleveland State University and Ursuline College. Tri-C also has articulation agreements with Cleveland State University, Baldwin Wallace and Youngstown State University which allow Massage Therapy graduates to seamlessly continue their education from an associate degree to a bachelor’s degree with significant cost savings.
Specific course descriptions are found in Cuyahoga Community College’s catalog.
View specific admission guidelines if you live in another country or have a foreign school transcript.
Tri-C’s program offers college credit toward a certificate or degree at a significantly lower cost. The courses you take at Tri-C may also be transferable to other colleges and universities.
Most other massage therapy schools in Ohio do not offer credit-bearing degrees and certificates, and courses completed at these schools cannot be transferred to other institutions (including Tri-C).
The associate degree is a 16-month, four-semester program. The Post-degree Certificate and Certificate of Proficiency can each be completed in one year, or three semesters.
Part-time options allow you to complete either certificate program in two years. If you wish to enroll part time, you must contact the Program Director for an approved part-time schedule.
Classes are offered during the day and in the evening. The program does not currently offer weekend classes.
Each year, up to 52 students (26 in the day program and 26 in the evening program) are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. There may be a waiting list, so it is helpful to apply as early as possible after the 1st of the year for fall of the same year.
Step 1: Apply for admission and be accepted to Cuyahoga Community College.
Note: Admission to the College does not automatically admit a student to the Massage Therapy program.
Step 2: Meet admission requirements for the Massage Therapy program.
Note: All Massage Therapy applicants are required to complete two background checks. In some instances, a citation may preclude a student from being accepted into the Massage Therapy Program.
Eligibility for ENG-1010 or completion of ENG-0990 with a letter grade of "C" or better
Eligibility for MATH-0955 or completion of MATH-0910 with a letter grade of "C" or better
Note: Prerequisites are only required for the Certificate of Proficiency and Associate of Applied Science degree.
New students are admitted to the Massage Therapy program each fall semester; however, applications are accepted beginning in January and close at the end of July each year.
Your application file should be started as soon as possible so that you can begin submitting the required paperwork and documents. All paperwork does not need to be submitted at once – please submit forms and documents as you complete them.
At the current in-county tuition rate of $114.54 per credit hour (not including lab and other fees), the certificate of proficiency costs about $4,100; the associate degree program (including general education courses) costs about $7,350; and the post-degree certificate costs about $3,550.
Financial assistance is available in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and part-time employment. Veterans may qualify for VA assistance. More information on financial aid can be obtained by contacting the Financial Aid Office at 1-800-954-8742 or email@example.com.
If I had to withdraw from the program and want to return do I have to start over?
If it has been more than one year since you withdrew, you must start over and take all classes with the MT prefix. If you are returning within one year from withdrawal you must retake any classes for which you received less than a “C” grade. In either case, you must fill out and submit a new application.