10 Highly Regarded Massage Schools in the U.S. for Aspiring Therapists

A massage school is an educational institution that offers courses and programs focused on teaching individuals the knowledge and skills necessary to become a professional massage therapist. There are several well-known massage schools in the U.S., including the Cortiva Institute, National Holistic Institute (NHI), and many more.

These are just a few examples, and there are many other reputable massage schools throughout the country. If you dream of becoming a professional massage therapist, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we have compiled 12 of the most recommended massage schools in the U.S. Keep reading to find the best fit for you.

A Look at 10 Reputable Massage Schools in the U.S.

Massage Schools in the U.S.
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1. Cortiva Institute Massage & Beauty School (Cromwell, Connecticut)

Cortiva Institute Massage & Beauty School offers a quick path to becoming a licensed manager therapist in less than a year. With day and evening classes available, you can find a schedule that suits your needs.

Furthermore, Cortiva Institute takes care of the administrative aspects of the licensing process, assisting students in scheduling their exams and obtaining their licenses. Moreover, the institute aims to support graduates in securing employment opportunities. Financial aid options are available for eligible students who require assistance.

At Cortiva Institute, you’ll benefit from a team of passionate instructors who are dedicated to providing a quality education. You’ll leave the program with more than seven certifications, enhancing your credentials and increasing your career prospects in the massage therapy field.

2. Swedish Institute (New York, New York)

Swedish Institute is a prominent institution that offers a massage therapy program with flexible schedule options. The program is available in 5-semester, 6-semester, and 8-semester formats, providing students with choices that suit their preferences and availability. Classes are offered in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

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One notable aspect of the Swedish Institute’s massage therapy program is its integration of both Western and Eastern theories and approaches. You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of different modalities and techniques, allowing you to provide holistic care to your future clients.

Upon successfully completing the program, you’ll be awarded an Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS) degree, which recognizes your dedication and proficiency in the field of massage therapy. Additionally, you’ll be eligible to take the New York State licensure exam.

3. East West College of the Healing Arts (Portland, Oregon)

With a legacy spanning nearly 50 years, East West College of the Healing Arts has established a reputation for launching successful massage careers. The college offers an intense massage education program that combines rigorous academic study in the sciences with extensive practical, hands-on experience.

You can enroll in the college’s 800-hour program, which is available in two formats: a 12-month program and a 15-month program. This flexibility allows you to choose a schedule that best fits your needs and commitments.

One of the primary focuses of East West College is preparing students for their Oregon massage license. The program is designed to meet the requirements set by the Oregon Board of Massage Therapists. Thus, you’ll be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue a massage therapy career in The Beaver State.

4. National Holistic Institute (Emeryville, California)

National Holistic Institute (NHI) stands out among massage schools in the U.S. for its inclusive approach and comprehensive massage therapy training. International students are welcome at NHI. Most importantly, the institute provides funding options like Interest-Free Payment Plans to make education more accessible.

NHI offers an 8-month hands-on massage therapy training program, providing you with a focused and efficient path to their massage therapy careers. Both full-time and part-time program options are available. The full-time program can be completed in 8 months, while the part-time program extends to 12 months.

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A distinctive feature of NHI is its incorporation of both Western and Eastern massage modalities. You’ll learn a diverse range of techniques, gaining skills in various styles to cater to clients’ unique needs and preferences.

5. Pacific College of Health and Science (San Diego, California)

Pacific College of Health and Science is a distinguished institution with three campuses located in San Diego, New York, and Chicago. The college offers a comprehensive massage therapy program that blends Eastern bodywork traditions with Western scientific principles.

You’ll learn a range of techniques that integrate the wisdom of Eastern healing practices with the understanding of Western science. Upon completion of the program, you’ll have the opportunity to earn either Associate of Applied Science in Massage Therapies degree or a certificate in Massage Therapy, depending on your chosen path.

Pacific College’s massage therapy program is approved by the California Massage Therapy Council. In other words, this ensure that you’ll meet the standards required to pursue licensure in California.

6. New York College of Health Professions (Muttontown, New York)

New York College of Health Professions offers an advanced 72-credit AOS degree program in massage therapy. Graduates of this program are eligible to take the New York State licensing exam and the Massage Board Licensing

Examination (MBLEx).The massage therapy program at New York College can be completed in either 20 or 24 months. Additionally, for those interested in pursuing further education, credits earned in certain courses can be evaluated and transferred into the Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) or Master of Science (MS) Degree Program.

New York College understands the financial aspect of education and provides financial aid and scholarships to qualified students. This includes the availability of physical therapy scholarships, helping students pursue their education and career goals.

7. Atlanta School of Massage (Atlanta, Georgia)

The Atlanta School of Massage holds the distinction of being the first massage school established in Georgia. In fact, it opened its doors in 1980. It offers a comprehensive 750-hour massage program designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful career in massage therapy.

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At the Atlanta School of Massage, you have the flexibility to choose between full-time and part-time study options. Moreover, classes are available both during the day and night, accommodating a variety of lifestyles.

Recognizing the financial aspect of education, the Atlanta School of Massage offers financial aid options for eligible students who apply and qualify.

8. Boulder Massage Therapy Institute (Boulder, Colorado)

Boulder Massage Therapy Institute is a renowned institution known for its diverse program offerings and experienced faculty. Students at the institute have the opportunity to choose from various study options, including a study abroad program in Todos Santos, Mexico, as well as fast track and part-time options for the massage therapy program.

In particular, the massage therapy program consists of a comprehensive 625-hour curriculum. The curriculum covers a wide range of massage techniques and therapeutic modalities.

One of the institute’s notable strengths lies in its faculty, which comprises highly acclaimed instructors with over 20 years of experience in the field.

9. Potomac Massage Training Institute (Silver Spring, Maryland)

Potomac Massage Training Institute (PMTI) is a respected institution with a longstanding commitment to providing professional training for massage therapists and serving the community for over 40 years. With a track record of excellence, PMTI offers a comprehensive Professional Training Program (PTP) available in both part-time and full-time options.

The PTP at PMTI can be completed in either 18 months part-time or 9 months full-time. With an acceptance rate of 85%, PMTI welcomes a diverse group of aspiring message therapists into its program.

A distinctive feature of PMTI is its fieldwork assignments, which take place in various locations around the Washington D.C. area, as well as suburban Maryland and Virginia. This practical experience allows you to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world settings.

10. Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (Tempe, Arizona)

Lastly, the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) is a dynamic institution that offers a wide range of massage therapy courses designed to meet varying student needs. The courses at SWIHA cover diverse topics such as aromatherapy, reflexology, and more, with credit hours ranging from four to sixty.

Additionally, SWIHA provides online courses for students who are located out-of-state or prefer the flexibility of remote study. This allows you to pursue your massage therapy education from anywhere.

SWIHA understands the financial aspect of education and offers Federal Student Aid and work-exchange opportunities for eligible students.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the top 10 massage schools in the U.S. offer excellent educational opportunities for aspiring massage therapists. With diverse programs, experienced faculty, flexible schedules, and financial aid options, these schools provide a solid foundation for you to pursue your passion for massage therapy and embark on successful careers in the field.

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