Massage Therapist

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  • Degree Type
  • Campus Location
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Professional massage treatments support and promote the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of clients.

The Massage Therapist program is for students interested in pursuing a professional career in massage therapy, or for health care providers looking to enhance their range of clinical skills and knowledge. Professional massage treatments support and promote the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of clients. Massage Therapy also reduces the ill effects of stress, assists with pain management, and assists in the recovery of physical injuries. Students in the program learn the theory as well as fundamental techniques necessary to perform effective, professional massage.

Upon successful completion of the Massage Therapist program, students are eligible to take the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM), National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB) administered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), or the Massage Board Licensing Exam (MBLEx).

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Why Choose Northland?

Northland offers a multitude of opportunities, whether you're beginning your degree or returning to college. We're affordable, convenient, and flexible. Take your life North at Northland.

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Need Direction?

GPS LifePlan

Feel like you need a little more direction? Our GPS LifePlan website helps students set goals and design plans that will lead them to the success they desire. Consult our GPS LifePlan website for information for your career, work, and educational planning!

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Are you ready to begin the Massage Therapist Diploma at Northland? Take your first step toward becoming a student at Northland.

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Program Accreditation

Program Accreditation

College Accreditation

Northland Community & Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

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Program Specific Requirements

Current CPR for Health Care Providers (AHA) or CPR for Professional Rescuer (RC) certification is required.

Completion and approval for clinical participation of the Minnesota Department of Human Services Licensing Division Backgroup Study.

All required courses must be completed with a grade of C or better to graduate.

Students achieving assessment scores below the established minimums must register and successfully complete (with a grade of C or better) the required developmental courses in order to meet graduation requirements.

The program minimum scores for the Accuplacer Assessment test are as follows:

  • Reading Comprehension: 64
  • Arithmetic: 50

North Dakota Certification

Students interested in pursuing North Dakota certification will need to complete 35 credits, which includes all the required courses, as well as:

  • MSTH 1142 Student Clinical 3 credits (not 2 cr option) -- offered spring semester on TRF campus
  • MSTH 1125 Massage Ethics for ND 1 credit -- offered fall semester online Distance Education
  • HPER 2211 Intermediate Kinesiology 2 credits -- offered spring semester on TRF campus

Program Course Listings

Required Courses

Course # Course Name Credits
BIOL 2252 Anatomy & Phys I 3 credits
BIOL 2254 Anatomy & Phys II 3 credits
HPER 2210 Intro to Kinesiology 2 credits
MSTH 1105 Massage Techniques/Ethics 3 credits
MSTH 1115 Massage Pathology 3 credits
MSTH 1118 Intermediate Massage 2 credits
MSTH 1122 Deep Tissue Massage 2 credits
MSTH 1124 Sport Massage/Hydrotherap 2 credits
MSTH 1132 Specialized Massage 3 credits
MSTH 1135 Advanced Massage 2 credits
MSTH 1140 Massage Business 2 credits
MSTH 1142 Student Clinic 2 credits
MSTH 1145 Certification Prep 2 credits
TOTAL CREDITS: 31 credits

Program Specific Elective Course Options


Electives for this program may be selected from the following list of courses below. Need help? Schedule an appointment with a Northland Academic Advisor for assistance in selecting courses.

Course # Course Name Credits
HPER 2211Intermediate Kinesiology 2 credits
MSTH 1125Massage Ethics for ND 1 credits

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Program Learner Outcomes

  1. Student will perform appropriate therapeutic massage techniques for a massage session to a diverse client population.

  2. Student will assess the client's current physical conditions and develop a treatment plan.

  3. Student will demonstrate proper use of massage therapy equipment and materials to ensure client safety.

  4. Student will develop successful and ethical therapeutic relationships with a variety of clients, peers and other professionals.

  5. Student will complete a Mock National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork examination.

  6. Student will prepare a business plan and demonstrate the ability to legally and financially operate a massage practice.

  7. Student will demonstrate and apply proper hygienic habits for a health, clean massage environment.

Employment Outlook & Opportunities

Northland Career Center

Job Openings

Counselors are available in the Career Center to assist with career advising, job search resources, employer connections, occupational descriptions, employment outlook, earnings, education/training requirements and sources.

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The employment outlook for massage therapists in the state of Minnesota from 2010 to 2020 is 25.6%, a very high growth career.

Program Faculty

Thief River Falls Campus

  • Tishara Melcher
  • Massage Therapist Program Director
  • (218) 683-8704