Nov 29, 2022  
2020-21 Gaston College Catalog 

Therapeutic Massage - Massage Practitioner I (C45750MA)

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Students must complete both Therapeutic Massage Practitioner I and Therapeutic Massage Practitioner II Certificates to be eligible to take the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam.

The Therapeutic Massage curriculum prepares graduates to work in direct client care settings providing manipulation / massage of the soft tissue structures of the body to prevent and alleviate pain, discomfort, muscle spasm, and stress, and to promote health and wellness.

Courses include content in normal human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic massage, ethical /legal issues, business practices, and psychology. Students should be able to perform entry level therapeutic massage with various populations throughout the lifespan.

Employment opportunities include health care facilities, chiropractors’ offices, spas /health/sports clubs, and private practice.

Upon completing Certificate I & II, graduates may be eligible to take the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam. Upon passing this exam a candidate may apply for North Carolina State License for Massage and Bodywork. Licensure is MANDATORY to practice massage in the state of North Carolina. Refer to website: for details.

The Therapeutic Massage curriculum offers three options: a degree, diploma and certificate(s) program. Completion of the degree program is highly recommended as it prepares the graduate to be a practitioner with a broader knowledge base in the practice of Therapeutic Massage.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates will:

  1. Plan, organize and deliver an effective massage session.
  2. Perform within the ethical, legal and professional parameters set forth by the N.C. Board of Massage & Bodywork.
  3. Perform massage therapy and bodywork for therapeutic benefits.

Admission Information

Students applying to the Certificate(s) for Therapeutic Massage must meet all Gaston College admission requirements.  Admission to the general college does not guarantee admission to the Therapeutic Massage program.

  1. Complete Residency Determination
  2. Submit a Gaston College Application
  3. Apply for financial aid
  4. Meet with an advisor and/or attend an information session
  5. Submit official high school (and college, if applicable) transcripts
  6. Provide proof of course placement requirements

Additional Requirements to be eligible to submit an application to the Therapeutic Massage Program

  • Complete an application to the Therapeutic Massage Program. The application can be found on the Therapeutic Massage webpage, under the Admission Requirements tab.
  • Must have an overall grade point average of 2.0 or better in required college courses.
  • Must have grades of 80% or better in all related courses.
  • All completed required Biology courses must be within five (5) years from the date of application to the program or required Biology courses can be taken in program.
  • Interview with Therapeutic Massage Program Chair.

Additional Program Requirements upon admission into the Therapeutic Massage Program

  • Proof of receiving a one hour full body Swedish professional massage.
  • A completed Gaston College Health and Human Services Student Medical form documenting satisfactory emotional and physical health. This is required by the due date stated in the applicant’s admission letter.
  • In addition to maintaining a 2.0 GPA in the general education courses, students must earn and maintain a minimum grade of 80% in all MTH courses in order to progress in the program.
  • Hold a current Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers certification through the American Heart Association.
  • Students will be required to submit documentation of additional non-academic criteria such as, but not limited to, criminal background checks, urine drug testing, and proof of immunizations. Students are to complete these requirements by registering and paying a fee to a third party vendor. Instructions will be provided by the compliance specialist.
  • Professional liability insurance (malpractice insurance). This insurance is arranged through the Therapeutic Massage program.

Total Credit Hours: 16


Graduates from the certificate series are eligible to earn a future Diploma or Associates Degree in Therapeutic Massage. The additional course requirements will be completed after the certificates have earned.

Anatomy & Physiology: BIO 168/169 is not required for the certificate program. However, these courses are mandatory for students who wish to earn a diploma or an associate degree from Gaston College’s Therapeutic Massage program after completing the certificate series.

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