Massage Science Associate's Degree

Learn about associate's degree programs in massage science or massage therapy. Get program overviews, areas of study and admission requirements, along with what areas of specialty may be offered. Schools offering Massage Therapy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Can I Expect From an Associate's Degree Program?

An associate's degree program in massage science or massage therapy is a 2-year course of study that prepares you for entry-level massage therapy positions. Because many of the courses require massage demonstrations or hands-on training, you cannot usually complete this degree online. In addition to learning about massage techniques, expect to take anatomy and general wellness classes. Some degree programs in this field offer specialized training; for example, you could enroll in an associate's degree program in medical massage therapy. The following are examples of classes you might find in the curriculum:

  • Kinesiology
  • First aid
  • Swedish massage techniques
  • Herbs and supplements
  • Pathology
  • Advanced massage principles

Typical Degree Fields Massage therapy, medical massage therapy
PrerequisitesHigh school diploma or GED; specific high school coursework sometimes required
Common CoursesKinesiology, herbs and supplements, pathology
Types of Massage LearnedSwedish, deep tissue, shiatsu, Thai, hot stone, neuromuscular

What Is Massage Science?

The field of massage science is more commonly referred to as massage therapy. Massage therapy is the process of physically massaging and manipulating muscles and other tissue to produce beneficial effects for the body. In some cases, the effect may simply be relaxation, but you can also apply massage therapy to treat medical problems or athletic injuries. For this reason, there are more than 80 types of massage, known as modalities. Examples include Swedish massage, reflexology and deep-tissue massage. Different types of massage require different equipment and different techniques.

What Types of Massage Will I Learn?

Most massage science associate's degree programs cover several modalities. Swedish and deep tissue massage are common subjects, but you may also learn about styles such as shiatsu, Thai, hot stone and neuromuscular massage. Many programs divide study between Western and Eastern approaches to massage. A medical massage program will also focus more on treatments for specific injuries and disorders.

What Are the Admission Requirements?

The minimum requirement for admission into associate's degree programs in massage therapy is typically a high school diploma or GED. You may also have to meet minimum education requirements; for example, you may need to have earned a C or better in relevant high school classes, like biology and exercise science. If you want to prepare for this program in high school, consider taking classes in anatomy, biology, chemistry and nutrition.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

  • Kaplan University

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  • South University

    South University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at South University:

    • Associate Programs

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  • Whatcom Community College

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    • Washington: Bellingham
  • Waubonsee Community College

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    • Illinois: Sugar Grove
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    • Indiana: Vincennes
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  • Swedish Institute a College of Health Sciences

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    • New York: New York
  • Stark State College

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: North Canton
  • Williston State College

    Campus Locations:

    • North Dakota: Williston
  • St Clair County Community College

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    • Michigan: Port Huron