The Massage Therapy Program will not be offered this academic year. The program will be on hold until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please reach out to an AWC Academic Advisor to discuss another healthcare program that best fits your interest. You can contact an Academic Advisor and make an online appointment. You can also call the Advisement services at (928) 344-7624 or email them at

In our fast-paced society, relaxation treatments and techniques are in demand more than ever. If you’ve ever had a massage, you know exactly how rejuvenating the experience can be. Beyond being a relaxing experience, however, massage therapy is now widely recognized as a reputable healing method.  Massage therapists methodically apply focused, hands-on techniques to promote relaxation and increase circulation in the body’s soft tissues (muscles, tendons, connective tissue, etc.).

Graduates of the program will be versed in the most current techniques and modalities of massage therapy, be ready to seek Arizona state licensure and national certification and be ready for a career in a variety of positions.

Mission and Philosophy

The faculty of the Licensed Massage Therapy Program upholds the mission of Arizona Western College by supporting educational and lifelong learning needs of the community through innovative partnerships. The faculty is dedicated to (a) providing excellence in massage therapy education and practice and (b) incorporating changes aimed at current and emerging healthcare trends.

We believe that excellent massage therapy education requires current therapeutic massage information, incorporates massage research, and uses multiple teaching modalities. We also believe the practice of massage must be in accordance with established standards of therapeutic massage practice and the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Code of Ethics.

We believe that the students take ownership of their learning and that faculty members facilitate that learning through a commitment to providing learning activities that meet the needs of a diverse student population, including both traditional and non-traditional learners. Additionally, the faculty embraces the idea that using educational methods that are supportive of students in teaching/learning situations is essential and that recognition of the unique worth of each student requires individualized attention to assist students as they develop and work toward the attainment of their individual goals.

The AWC Massage Therapy Program is accepted by the Arizona State Massage Therapy Board and by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (school code number 410463).


This program is designed to provide students with the essential skills to become a Licensed Massage Therapist in Arizona (700 clock hours required for state license). The curriculum focuses on the integration of the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the individual while providing the philosophical foundation and technical skills required to perform a therapeutic massage.

The curriculum includes traditional Swedish massage techniques along with active or passive joint movement, and a variety of modalities; deep tissue, sports, pregnancy, and others.

Completion of this program will include certification in massage therapy (state-approved program, NCMTMB school code 410436-00), CPR for healthcare providers, and OSHA-10 for healthcare.

Breakdown by Subject Contact Hours
Anatomy & Physiology 135
Kinesiology 50
Pathology 50
Business 24
Ethics 16
Assessment 105
Theory 60
Application 185
Other Topics in Massage 125
Total program 750

Click on a program to get more information.

AAS in Massage Therapy

Recommended Program Map / Program Requirements

The recommended plan below meets the requirements to complete this program.  For official requirements, visit the AWC Catalog. If the recommended classes listed below don’t fit your schedule or interests, you can take alternate classes. 

To get started on your personalized Academic Plan, visit the Academic Planning page or schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor.

First Semester: Fall

Course Course Title Credits Area
LMT 150  Massage Practice 1 12 Major Requirement
ENG 101 Freshman Composition/GE 3 GE-Composition
MAT 142 College Mathematics with Applications 3 GE-Mathematics

Second Semester: Spring

Course Course Title Credits Area
LMT 250 Massage Practice 2 12 Major Requirement
ENG 102 English Composition/GE 3 GE- Composition
ENG 281 Film Studies/GE 3 GE-Arts

Third Semester: Fall

Course Course Title Credits Area
PHI 220 Medical Ethics (recommended) 3 GE- Humanities
PSY 140 Positive Psychology (recommended) 3 GE- Social/Behavioral Sciences
BIO 201 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4 GE- Physical/Biological Sciences
CIS 105 Intro to Business Information Systems/GE (recommended) 3 GE- Additional Courses

Fourth Semester: Spring

Course Course Title Credits Area
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology/GE 3 GE- Social/Behavioral Sciences
BIO 202 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4 GE- Physical/Biological Sciences
SPC 110 Intro to Speech Communications/GE (recommended) 3 GE- Additional Courses
AHE 101 Medical Terminology 3 Elective

Massage Therapy

Recommended Program Map / Program Requirements

The recommended plan below meets the requirements to complete this program.  For official requirements, visit the AWC Catalog. If the recommended classes listed below don’t fit your schedule or interests, you can take alternate classes. 

To get started on your personalized Academic Plan, visit the Academic Planning page or schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor.

First Semester: Fall

Course Course Title Credits Area
LMT 150  Massage Practice I 12 Major Requirement

Second Semester: Spring

Course Course Title Credits Area
LMT 250 Massage Practice 2 12 Major Requirement

Massage Therapy Mastery Program

Learn more about the Mastery Program.

Massage Therapy Mastery Program


This program provides advanced training for massage therapists and the required professional experience that can be gained through the internship to sit for National Board Certification.

The focus in on fine-tuning skills with additional exposure to seasoned, licensed therapy instructors and an additional one on one instructor time during your clinical experience. The student can expect:

  • One on one body mechanics fine-tuning
  • Medical massage techniques appropriate in addressing specific physical issues in a variety  of specialties to include oncology, cardiology, and pregnancy, labor & deliver
  • Individualized clinical experience and opportunity to apply for a paid internship
  • Advanced study of anatomy with Anatomy in Clay lab work
  • Advanced techniques of bodywork application for specific conditions

The addition to this certificate to the Licensed Massage Therapy Program Certificate (784 contact hours) will result in 1000 hours or more of course work that is required in some state and municipal jurisdictions for licensing.


Students must earn a “C” or better in all courses within the program to earn a certificate.  Students are required to meet health standards for dedicated on-site personnel to participate in clinical experience in a hospital or other professional health-care setting.  This includes current vaccinations, proof of immunization titers, drug testing, fingerprinting and/or background checks.


*Eligibility for Arizona state license (to start the program)

*Arizona State License is required for clinical rotation

Certificate Requirements: 

Required Major Courses:  9 Credits (244 contact hours)

  • LMT 270 Bodywork Mastery          3 credits
  • LMT 271 Advanced Anatomy and Movement      2 credits
  • LMT 272 Internship Clinic              4 credits

Restricted Electives:  6 Credits

  • LMT 221 Medically Frail & The Hospital Patient 3 credits
  • AND Additional from list     3 credits


Program Entry Requirements

Students must have a minimum reading score of 219, current vaccinations or proof of immunization titers, submit to a drug test, and complete background check.

Program Requirements



Students must complete the steps to apply for admission to AWC and complete the new student checklist.


Apply to Program

  1. Students must submit a program application to register for required courses.
  2. Have current vaccinations or proof of immunization titers.
  3. Pass a Drug test
  4. Pass a background check
  5. Attend an orientation to massage program session

Required Courses: 24 credits

Students must submit a program application to register for required major courses.

LMT-150 Massage Practice 1 12 Credits
LMT-250 Massage Practice 2 12 Credits

All requirements of the certificate program with the addition of the following (see current AWC catalog for AGEC-A specific course listing)

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Requirements for Graduation
English Composition 6
Mathematics 3
Arts & Humanities 6
Social & Behavioral Science 6
Physical & Biological Science 8  
Any additional GE course 6
General Electives 5


Students must earn a “C” or better in all courses in the program.

Visit our Student Clinic

The Student Massage Clinic provides opportunities for students to improve their skills in all aspects of massage treatment and business management while in a professional atmosphere under the guidance of a certified therapist/instructor.

Students offer massage for relaxation and stress reduction only. Sessions are available for one-hour full body massage or 15-minute chair massage. Please specify your preference when you book your appointment.

AWC Student Massage Clinic
2020 S Ave 8 E, Yuma, AZ 85365
Call for appointments – 928-317-7529
Full body massage – 1 hour - $35
Chair massage – 15 minutes - $15
Discounts for our local heroes

Payment in person or online (select Massage Therapy, bring a receipt to your appointment)

Visit our Little Free Library when you come to our Massage Therapy Center – Take a book, return a book.

Career Overview and Job Outlook

The news about the health benefits of massage should come as no surprise since it is one of the oldest “healing arts” – dating back to 2700 B.C. 

Today, therapeutic massage is employed throughout the health care system – in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and private clinics, for patients ranging from premature infants to the elderly.  Many hospices have massage therapists on staff, and massage is frequently offered in wellness centers, drug treatment programs, and pain clinics.

With your massage license, you’ll be qualified to work in a number of settings—especially as the demand for massage therapists grows. Consider a few of these potential workplaces:

  • Spas: A spa environment is one of the first places people think of when they’re craving a soothing massage experience. Massage therapists “stage” their workspace so it’s comfortable and inviting for the client. The goal of the massage therapist is to make the client feel transported to full relaxation mode.

  • Rehab clinics and hospitals: In a rehabilitation setting, your massage methods will focus on soothing and healing injuries. For instance, if someone is recovering from a knee injury, you would use massage techniques meant to relieve pain and restore mobility.

  • Cruise ships, hotels, and resorts: What better time to relax and refresh with a massage than on vacation? For many people, vacation is a time to splurge on luxuries, so massage therapist will often enjoy a steady stream of clients. However, it will be rare to build long-lasting relationships since clients are only in the location temporarily.

  • Health and wellness centers: As the shift toward natural healing methods continues, massage therapists can fill a needed role. Patients who don’t want to take medication may come to a health or wellness center for massage treatments to help aid anything from muscle injuries to headaches to anxiety.

  • Self-employed private practice: Another great option is to start your own massage therapy practice. This route requires an entrepreneurial spirit and hard work to get things off the ground, but the benefits include choosing your own hours and getting to keep all the profits.

Virtually all massage therapists in the United States are trained in Swedish and deep tissue techniques; in addition, they may specialize in other methods and adjunct modalities which require further education.

Massage therapists typically do the following:

  • Talk with clients about symptoms, medical history, and desired results

  • Evaluate clients to locate painful or tense areas of the body

  • Manipulate muscles or other soft tissues of the body

  • Provide clients with guidance on stretching, strengthening, overall relaxation, and how to improve their posture

Document client’s condition and progress

Massage therapists treat clients by using touch to manipulate the soft-tissues of the body. With their touch, therapists relieve pain, help rehabilitate injuries, improve circulation, and relieve stress, increase relaxation, and aid in the general wellness of clients.

They use their hands, fingers, forearms, elbows, and sometimes feet to knead muscles and soft tissues of the body.

Massage therapists may use lotions and oils and massage tables or chairs when treating a client. A massage can be as short as 5–10 minutes or could last more than an hour.

Therapists talk with clients about what they hope to achieve through massage. Some massage therapists suggest personalized treatment plans for their clients. They also may offer clients information about additional relaxation techniques to practice between sessions.

Usually, the type of massage given depends on the client’s needs and physical condition. For example, therapists may use a special technique for elderly clients that they would not use for athletes. Some forms of massage are given solely to one type of client; for example, prenatal massage is given to pregnant women.

Massage therapists who are self-employed may need to do business-related tasks such as marketing and maintaining financial records. They also may have to buy supplies and do laundry.

Communication skills. Massage therapists need to listen carefully to clients in order to understand what they want to achieve through massage sessions.

Decision-making skills. Massage therapists must evaluate each client’s needs and recommend the best treatment on the basis of that person’s needs.

Empathy. Massage therapists must give clients a positive experience, which requires building trust between therapist and client. Making clients feel comfortable is necessary for therapists to expand their client base.

Physical stamina. Massage therapists may give several treatments during a workday and have to stay on their feet throughout massage appointments.

Physical strength and dexterity. Massage therapists must be strong and able to exert pressure through a variety of movements of the arms and hands when manipulating a client’s muscles.

Employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 22 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations according to the "Bureau of Labor Statistics." Continued growth in the demand for massage services will lead to new openings for massage therapists.

As an increasing number of states adopt licensing requirements and standards for therapists, the practice of massage is likely to be respected and accepted by more people as a way to treat pain and to improve overall wellness. Similarly, as more healthcare providers understand the benefits of massage, demand will increase as these services become part of treatment plans.

Contact Information


Professional Links

State of Arizona Board of Massage Therapy
1400 West Washington, Suite# 230
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Phone: (602) 542-8604
FAX: (602) 542-3093

National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)
1901 S. Meyers Rd., Ste. 240
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181-5243
Phone: 800/296-0664
Web site:

American Bodywork and Massage Professionals
1271 Sugarbush Drive
Evergreen, CO 80439
Toll-Free 800/458-2267
Phone: 303/674-8478
Fax: 800/667-8260
Web site:

American Massage Therapy Association
500 Davis Street, Suite 900
Evanston, IL 60201-4695
Toll-Free 877/905-2700
Phone 847/864-0123
Fax 847/864-1178

Contact Info

Phone: (928) 317-6056
Fax: (928) 336-1311
  • Monday - Thursday: 8:00am - 1:00pm