Online Massage Therapy Schools, Degrees and Courses

Learn about fully or partially online massage therapy degree or certificate programs. Get information about the requirements to complete these programs as well as state licensure for massage therapists. Schools offering Holistic Health Practitioner degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Massage therapists offer clients improved health and wellness through touch, massage, stretching, relaxation and other physical therapies. This requires basic knowledge of the human body as well as familiarity with a range of techniques and practices.

Schools Some 2-year colleges and trade schools
Degrees Certificate and associate's degrees
Courses Anatomy, physiology, English, communications, deep tissue massage, Swedish massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, medical law and ethics, trigger point therapy, body movement and support, Chinese medicine, kinesiology

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Types of Online Massage Therapy Programs Are Available?

A few 2-year colleges and trade schools offer online certificate and associate's degree programs in massage therapy. Most online massage therapy programs are offered in a hybrid format; you'll need to visit your school's campus or an approved facility for required clinical sessions. Certificate programs can take as little as six months to complete while associate's degree programs typically take two years to finish.

Where Can I Enroll in These Programs?

Although online massage therapy degrees and courses are typically rare, you still can find some programs that are available. Try looking at schools that are specifically designed for integrative healthcare or oriental medicine. Some community colleges may offer these programs as well. The following colleges offer these online degrees and certificate programs:

  • Institute for Integrative Healthcare
  • U.S. Career Institute
  • Rasmussen College
  • Fort Hays State University
  • Pacific College of Oriental Medicine

What Topics Will I Study?

Most online programs include introductory coursework in anatomy and physiology. Associate's degree programs usually require completion of general education courses like English or communications. Both certificate and associate's programs explore topics like reflexology and aromatherapy. Additional courses might include:

  • Medical law and ethics
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Body movement and support
  • Chinese medicine
  • Kinesiology
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Swedish massage

What About Licensure?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most states require aspiring massage therapists to complete some formal training and take a written exam ( While specific licensure requirements vary from state to state, you'll probably need between 500 and 1,000 hours of didactic and hands-on instruction from a state-approved program to qualify. Contact your state's department of professional licensure to find out if a particular degree or certificate program is approved.

What Career Options Will I Find?

In addition to landing a job at a spa or resort, you may be able to find work at a doctor's office, nursing home or hospital. Numerous massage therapists are also self-employed or use massage as a secondary source of revenue. According to the BLS, the number of employed massage therapists was expected to rise by 26% from 2016-2026. Job growth during this time was attributed to an increase in the number of spas and private massage clinics as well as an increase in demand for massage services.

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:
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