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Frequently Asked Questions about Massage Therapy

The following are frequently asked questions about massage therapy and the Massage Therapy program at AACC.

What is massage therapy?
Massage therapy spans a wide variety of therapeutic approaches, working to improve an individual’s health and well-being through the hands-on manipulation of muscles and other soft tissues of the body.

Where do massage therapists practice?
Massage therapists offer their services in a wide variety of settings, including:

  • private practice clinics and offices
  • physicians’ offices and wellness facilities
  • chiropractors’ offices and rehabilitation clinics
  • salons, spas, resorts and cruise ships
  • health clubs and fitness centers
  • nursing homes and hospitals
  • on-site in the workplace
  • in clients’ homes

What is the minimum massage training I need to practice in Maryland?
Maryland requires 600 hours of training (including 100 hours of Anatomy and Physiology) from an approved school and passing  a board-approved licensing exam (MBLEx). Both Anne Arundel Community College's certificate and degree programs satisfy the requirements to sit for this exam and apply to become a massage professional in Maryland.

How have AACC graduates from the Massage Therapy program performed on the licensing exam?
AACC massage therapy program graduates have enjoyed one of the highest pass rates in Maryland as well as nationally.

How can I find out exactly what Maryland's regulations are?
Go to 

How quickly can I get my massage training at AACC?
There are three consecutive semesters of bodywork (“hands-on”) training (MAS 110, MAS 111/MAS 120 and MAS 113/ MAS 121) after the initial 1-credit-hour MAS 100. There is one semester of biology (BIO 230), one semester of kinesiology (MAS 117) and one semester of business (MAS 118).  Students can complete the certificate program in 11 to 18 months, depending on the cohort in which they take classes. 

Are classes offered evenings as well as during the days?
Yes. The fall evening cohort is an 18-month program. Students take class in the fall, spring and the following fall semesters and will finish the program after the second fall semester. The winter and summer semesters are optional.

The spring evening cohort is a 1-year program. Students take classes in the spring, summer and fall semesters and will finish the program after the fall semester.

The fall day cohort is a 1-year program. Students take classes in the fall, spring and summer semesters and will finish the program after the summer semester. The winter semester is optional.

Day students wishing to start in the spring semester are encouraged to take MAS 100 and BIO 230 in the spring and apply for the fall-start day cohort.

How much will the core training (certificate) cost me?

Approximately $4200 plus textbooks (subject to change based on tuition changes).

What is the average class size?
The largest bodywork class is 20 students. The average is 14.

I see the list of courses required. Do I have to take them in order?
A number of specific massage classes have prerequisites and/or corequisites listed. See the detailed list for specifics.

How is a typical massage class structured?
The three hands-on classes (MAS 110, 111 & 113) meet twice a week (3 days/week in the summer semester), and include both lecture and bodywork lab each class day.

What happens in the bodywork lab?
The bodywork lab is where you learn and practice massage techniques. In the lab you will work with all of your fellow students under the direction of the instructors. You will be required to give and receive massages during those lab sessions.

What sort of touch feedback do the students receive?
We encourage students to work on the instructors for touch feedback. This gives instructors the best opportunity to provide feedback so that students can improve their work. In addition, MAS 110 and MAS 113 have two hands-on practical exams and MAS 111 has one.

Do you have a student clinic?
Yes. In MAS 120 and MAS 121, students have the opportunity to refine their skills by working on faculty and staff of the college. The massage clinic is one of the most eagerly anticipated events on campus.