Massage Studies - Associate of Applied Technology Degree

Prepares successful students for employment and practice in a variety of workplace settings. Graduates from this program are qualified for positions at spas, clinics, hospitals and successful private practices.

Students develop a strong foundation in Swedish massage and deep tissue techniques. Clinical massage students benefit from advanced training in treatment applications and assessment. Teaching techniques are varied, addressing a wide variety of learning styles.

All students enrolled in the program are required to participate in the exchange of applied massage techniques in a supervised and professional setting. As part of the participation, students must be able to stand for up to two hours to perform massages. In addition, students must be able to support and smoothly move the limbs of their partner’s body, including the head and neck. Participation in the student-operated massage clinic allows students to gain experience in the profession while under instructor supervision.

Topics covered include, but are not limited to, massage theory and practice, anatomy, physiology, pathology, kinesiology, orthopedic assessment, pregnancy massage, sports massage, deep tissue, myofascial techniques, lymphatic drainage, on-site seated massage, hydrotherapy, hot-stone massage, and mini-spa applications.

Business classes introduce the skills and theories necessary for successful employment, such as professional ethics, goal setting, business planning, insurance billing, networking and communicating with health care professionals, marketing, job networking, resume writing, and interviewing.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Massage Studies degree, students will be able to:

  • Implement a plan for the treatment of a variety of different skeletal-muscular pathologies.
  • Interpret a kinesiology evaluation for use in treatment planning and implementation.
  • Perform a variety of massage techniques that are tailored specifically to the client’s wants and needs.
  • Summarize the test standards and information in order to complete a Washington State approved certification exam for massage.
  • Employ successful business strategies and professional ethics related to a career in massage therapy.
  • Adapt treatment applications to provide massage to those with chronic pain and illness.
  • Use complimentary modalities such as hydrotherapies, hot stones, and essential oils safely in treatment sessions.

Included in the associate degree program are academic courses in communication (English composition, speech), quantitative reasoning (math), and social sciences (psychology, sociology) that provide knowledge and abilities that enhance personal development and serve as a foundation for technical skills. These classes are offered at various times outside the regular Massage program hours.

Students pursuing an AAT or AAS-T degree must complete all college degree requirements prior to graduation. This includes courses that meet the requirements for diversity, computer literacy, and the capstone project.

Physical Activity Requirements

This occupation requires medium physical activity and lifting/handling objects weighing 10-25 lbs. (occasionally up to 50 lbs.). Massage practitioners are often standing and bending for long periods of time (up to two hours) while performing massages. This profession tends to stress the wrists, shoulders, back, and neck of practitioners.

Employability Requirements

Graduates are able to apply for licensure from Washington after passing the Federation of State Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). State requirements include completion of a minimum 500-hour program, passing the exam, and applying for licensure. A Washington State Patrol background check will be conducted to screen for prior convictions prior to state licensing. Persons with some types of criminal convictions may not be eligible for licensure.

Program Length

The associate degree program may take up to eight quarters, depending on the time students need to satisfactorily complete all graduation requirements. Some students attending full-time day courses complete in four quarters.

Admission Dates

Day program: Fall quarter.

Evening Program: Spring quarter, dependent upon enrollment.

Completion Requirements

Prerequisite(s)

A medical statement of health status from a primary care provider stating that the student is able to safely participate in all aspects of the class is required to enter the program. That statement must be submitted to the instructor during the first week of class.

Potential students entering the program must test at college level (283 or higher) in reading on the Accuplacer or equivalent or have completed ENG 094. Students must also have documentation of training in standard first aid and CPR and a four-hour HIV/AIDS/blood-borne pathogens class prior to progressing to second quarter. A Washington State Patrol check will be required during the first quarter of study to progress to the second quarter. Some results from the background check may prevent individuals from participating in certain classes.

Program Course List

MASST 146Kinesiology: Lower Extremity

2

MASST 110Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology I

5

MASST 111Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology II

5

MASST 112Swedish Massage Theory

4

MASST 115Clinical Massage Techniques

4

MASST 116Complementary Massage Modalities I

3

MASST 120Swedish Massage Practice

4

MASST 123Clinical Application of Massage Therapy

4

MASST 126Kinesiology: Upper Extremity

2

MASST 130Kinesiology: Trunk

1

MASST 131Assessment & Treatment of the Back

2

MASST 132Deep Tissue Massage Theory

3

MASST 135Deep Tissue Massage Practice

4

MASST 136Complementary Massage Modalities II

2

MASST 137Kinesiology: Head and Neck

1

MASST 139Clinical Massage Business & Ethics

1

MASST 143Massage Business & Ethics I

2

MASST 145Orthopedic Assessment

4

MASST 147Clinical Massage Anatomy & Physiology I

3

MASST 148Massage Business & Ethics II

1

MASST 150Clinical Massage Theory: Special Populations

4

MASST 153Assessment & Treatment: Upper Extremity

2

MASST 155Assessment & Treatment: Lower Extremity

2

MASST 157Assessment & Treatment: Head & Neck

2

MASST 158Practicum I

3

MASST 159Clinical Massage Business & Ethics II

1

MASST 160CAPPracticum II

3

MASST 162Student Clinic

2

MASST 163Clinical Massage Anatomy & Physiology II

3

ENGL& 101English Composition I

5

Any 100-Level Math Class

5

PSYC& 100DIVGeneral Psychology

5

Computer Literacy Requirement

3

COLL 102College Success for All

3

MASST 152Clinical Massage Practice: Special Populations

3

Total Credit Hours:103

Computer Literacy Requirements: Complete an approved computer literacy course or successfully pass the computer literacy exam