Admissions - Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy Program

The Massage Therapy program at National University of Health Sciences provides you with extensive hands-on instruction so that you can provide the highest quality of care to your clients.


What is Massage Therapy?

Therapeutic massage offers both relaxation and health benefits. With the correct training, massage can be an adjunct therapy in addressing many health disorders. Massage can also be a stress-relieving choice for people committed to wellness and preventive health care.

Massage Therapy Techniques

From the long-slow strokes of Swedish massage, to the direct and penetrating pressure of trigger-point therapy, massage therapy can also include: cranio-sacral work, sports massage, pregnancy and infant massage, chair massage, hot stone therapy and more!

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Massage Therapy Careers

The field of massage therapy continues to expand, offering solid benefits, including competitive compensation and a healthy job growth, as well as a rewarding career in healthcare.

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Massage Therapy Licensure

To practice as a massage therapist, students must pass one or more examinations in states with massage licensure. The Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) conducted by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) is currently utilized for licensure in 44 of the 48 regulated states, including Illinois. Students must also apply for licensure in the state in which they plan to practice. Students are responsible for becoming familiar with all state licensing requirements through their state licensing board. Visit the American Massage Therapy Association State Regulations and Legislative updates for more information.

Licensed practitioners must check continuing education requirements for license renewal with their state licensing board.

The professional organizations representing massage therapists include American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP).

Our Curriculum

You can earn your Certification in Massage Therapy in 3 trimesters or just one year of convenient evening classes. Or, if you've earned your general education requirements toward a two-year degree at another college, you can earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Massage Therapy by completing our program.

The massage therapy programs at National University provide thorough training in every area necessary to practice successfully as a professional massage therapist. Our distinctive curriculum provides you with a solid grounding in anatomy and physiology, includes study of massage theory and history, and offers extensive training in clinical massage as well as business practices and ethics. You will be prepared for immediate work in any health care setting or for self-employment.

View trimester-by-trimester courses, course descriptions, and the course schedule. Learn more »

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Master Techniques

Establish proficiency in Swedish massage, chair massage, sports massage, trigger point therapy, orthopedic massage, and deep tissue work as well as geriatric, cancer, pregnancy, infant and pediatric massage. Put these in practice when you intern in our on-campus integrative Whole Health Center treating a wide variety of clients.

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Introduction to Massage Therapy

National University has created the Introduction to Massage Therapy course to help determine whether massage therapy is the right career choice for you. You will take this course in the first week of your Trimester 1 and will learn the basics of massage therapy through lecture, demonstration and hands-on instruction. You must pass this course to continue in the program.


The Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA), 900 Commonwealth Place, Suite 200-331, VA 23464, 202-888-6790, granted National's Massage Therapy Certification Program fully accredited status on October 25, 2002.

The associate of applied science degree in massage therapy is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1413, 800-621-7440, 312-263-0456.


National University's distinct advantages prepare you for the massage career that awaits you.

Excellent Career Preparation

NUHS graduates score very well on state licensure exams, the first step toward your employment. We also train you for a variety of job settings in massage therapy, including: spa, corporate, hospital, and sports venues, your own business and more.

Gain Business and Communication Skills

Gain business skills like learning how to build a successful client base, keep accounting and tax records, and familiarize yourself with state and local laws through our business management courses. Learn to communicate with other health care professionals in classes like medical terminology, interpersonal communication and ethics.

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Cadaver-Based Anatomy

Very few massage schools in the country offer the advantage of learning from human cadavers. At NUHS, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of human anatomy through instruction in a graduate level medical cadaver lab. You will actually see the musculature, ligaments and organ systems, not just read about them in books.

Outstanding Faculty and Campus

Because we are also a graduate medical school, you will learn from professors, instructors and physicians with outstanding credentials.

Our beautiful 35-acre campus includes a massage therapy suite housed in our on-site integrative medical clinic. Here you'll intern under seasoned clinicians, giving you real world interaction with patients and the public. This is just one of the ways your training will have a strong medical and health focus.

As a graduate medical school, National University offers graduate-level, science-focused facilities to all students, including students in the massage therapy program. You'll benefit in a variety of ways; from studying cadavers in our gross anatomy laboratory, working on The Anatomage Table, to working interactively with students and practitioners from other health care professions in our on-campus integrated whole health center.

Integrative Learning

Students have the opportunity to learn in a unique environment with others from multiple Complementary and Alternative Medicine professions. This unique setting will prepare you well for future careers in integrated health care.


The Massage Therapy program at NUHS offers students a few unique opportunities that go beyond what a typical community college program can provide. As an institution providing professional degrees in natural healthcare, we have the faculty and facilities to provide the best possible training.

On-site Medical Clinic Training

Whether you decide to work in a spa or a hospital, you will benefit from the unique training in National University's Whole Health Center located right on campus. While interning in National's massage therapy suite, you will be working along-side doctor of chiropractic, doctor of naturopathic, acupuncture and Oriental medicine interns and clinicians who may be treating some of your clients as well. This integrative health care training provides National University Massage Therapy Program graduates with a broader range of practice opportunities for successful careers.

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Esperanza Lee - Massage Therapy Grad

"I work with expectant mothers who are having complications or are on bed rest, and with mothers who have just given birth. I also help relieve pain, anxiety, stress and headaches for both mothers and fathers whose babies are in the Neonatal Intensive or Special Care Unit. I wanted an accredited, well-known school that would help me be knowledgeable enough to be able to work anywhere. Someone considering going to National should go knowing they will be confident in their knowledge after graduation."

Explore other CAM Professions

In addition to massage therapy, you can also explore other CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) fields such as chiropractic medicine, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and oriental medicine. After sharing faculty and facilities with students in these programs, you may decide that pursuing one of these first professional programs in natural medicine is right for you.

Kristin Wodka

Kristin Woodka - Massage Therapy/Doctor of Chiropractic Student

"I knew I wanted to be a DC and got an undergraduate degree in psychology to be able to recognize patients who may have mental health issues or have faced traumatic experiences. I also wanted to have massage therapy as a base, to be able to work with muscles. I chose National for massage therapy because it had the highest board exam pass rates and I could transition into the chiropractic program more easily. I like being in the integrative environment. I was already in the clinic as an MT student, so I'm familiar and comfortable there. I'll definitely use massage in my practice."