School of Massage Therapy & Certification ProgramPage Menu
Join a fast-growing profession aimed at improving people's lives
What is massage therapy?
Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues to enhance a person’s health and well-being. People seek massage therapy to reduce stress and anxiety, relax muscles, rehabilitate injuries, reduce pain and promote good health.
Types of massage therapy training
Relaxation massage, also known as Swedish massage, is practiced in spas, wellness centers and resorts.
Clinical massage, also called deep tissue, medical, therapeutic or rehabilitative massage, is practiced in clinics, hospitals and chiropractic offices.
Take a minute to watch and hear this student's story about how he came to Northwestern and where he is working now as a massage therapist.
Our flexible-schedule programs
Certificate in Relaxation Massage
- Day schedule: 2 trimesters, 7½ months
- Evening schedule: 3 trimesters, 11½ months
With a certificate in relaxation massage, you are ready to enter the profession after completion of the eight-month program in settings such as franchise massage and salon spas. This certificate counts toward completion of the certificate in therapeutic massage for those who want to continue their career and enter more clinical settings such as rehabilitation centers and hospitals.
Certificate in Therapeutic Massage
- Day schedule: 3 trimesters, 11½ months
- Evening schedule: 4 trimesters, 15½ months
With a certificate in therapeutic massage, you can begin your career in health care in a variety of clinical settings such as chiropractic offices and hospitals. Additionally, this certificate prepares you with the skills to run a private practice. Our strong science-based massage therapy curriculum allows you to graduate in 11½ to 15½ months.
Our massage therapy certification program provides the extensive technical training, clinical experience and business skills necessary to build a successful practice.
Associate of Applied Science in Massage Therapy (A.A.S.)
- 3 to 5 trimesters, 11½ to 19½ months
An associate's degree in massage therapy expands upon the certificate curriculum to include general education courses - providing additional communication and time management skills that contribute to success in the workplace. Some employers prefer or require a degree for employment or professional advancement in your career.
You have the option to enroll in the A.A.S. program immediately or pursue an A.A.S. degree after you earn your certificate.
In the news
Graduates of this program rank #4 in the nation for median income out of 420 massage therapy programs nationwide. Based on a recent study by Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education (studentaid.ed.gov).
This growing profession – set to increase by 22 percent from 2014 to 2024 – can lead to positions in hospitals and hospices, rehabilitation centers, salons and spas, private practices and much more.
Hands-on clinical experience
Maximize your hands-on contact with clients in public clinics, rehabilitation centers and hospital settings. Hours may range from morning to early evening and include Monday through Saturday.
Join our family of alumni
Wherever you practice, you’ll be among colleagues.