Massage therapy is an accepted, effective, versatile, and noninvasive treatment option for pain management and stress relief. Research has shown that it is also a beneficial aid in the treatment of anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, immune disorders, and so much more. With the Western medical community focusing more on prevention of disease, massage therapy can play a vital role in supporting overall health and wellness.

The COMTA-accredited Massage Therapy Program at Elgin Community College provides students with a multidimensional education that prepares them for state licensure and holistic careers that address body, mind, and spirit. ECC has spacious, modern facilities, experienced instructors, and flexible class schedules. Massage therapy is projected to have faster than average job growth over the next several years. A career in massage therapy can be flexible and is well suited for self-directed individuals. Full- and part-time opportunities exist in clinics, day spas, physicians’ offices, fitness centers, cruise ships, hotels, resorts, or self-employment.

Accreditation

The Massage Therapy Program is accredited by:

The Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA)
900 Commonwealth Place, Suite 200-331
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
202-888-6790
comta.org

The program also holds school memberships in the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and Associated Bodyworkers and Massage Professionals (ABMP).

Entrance Requirements

  • Complete MAS 100 Introduction to Massage Therapy with a 75% or better and score a 68% or better on the written final exam
  • High school diploma, high school equivalency, or 60+ college-level credits.

Preference is given to candidates who are legal residents of Community College District 509, Elgin Community College. Working in-district does not meet this requirement. Qualified applicants from other districts may be considered if space is available. Go to Joint Agreements to learn more.

Admission Procedures

Admission to the program is selective.  For more information, please see admission requirements.

Program Requirements

Students must complete all required courses with grades of C or better and pass a state-approved licensing exam (MBLEx) to be eligible to apply for an Illinois state massage license. Students must provide their own uniforms and transportation to and from all clinical sites.

Policies and Procedures

All students applying to the Massage Therapy Program must successfully complete MAS 100 Introduction to Massage Therapy. Health professions applications will be distributed in MAS 100 Introduction to Massage Therapy. Students admitted to the program will also be required to attend an orientation before massage therapy classes begin. A valid Social Security number is needed to apply for licensing/certification exams.

The standards, policies, and procedures of the Massage Therapy Program are published in the massage therapy student handbook

It is the mission of the massage therapy department to support Elgin Community College in “Improving People’s Lives through Learning”. To that end, we will provide students highly trained instructors, an education that exceeds set standards, opportunities to give back to their community with time and service, and relevant challenges to learn, think, and act using critical thinking skills, a compassionate heart, and well trained hands.


1. The program will prepare graduates who possess skills and knowledge that will function as competent massage therapists.
          Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills necessary to function as a licensed massage therapist in today’s health care environment.  
  • Practice effective, safe and hygienic techniques for the client and him/herself.  

2. The graduates will demonstrate proficiency in problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
        Outcomes:  

  •  Apply knowledge of principles, indications and contraindications of massage therapy techniques.  
  •  Demonstrate proficiency in problem-solving and critical thinking skills by modifying and adapting procedures and techniques to accommodate the client’s condition and other variables. 
  • Collect, document and analyze written, verbal and observed data to create client treatment plan of care.

3. The graduate will practice effective communication in the therapeutic setting.
       Outcomes: 

  •  Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills with clients and health care providers. 
  •  Demonstrate effective use of body language.  
  • Perform comprehensive client assessment.  
  • Document client care in a manner that meets state, federal and regulatory agency guidelines. 

4. The graduate will conduct him or herself in a professional and ethical manner.
       Outcomes: 

  • Demonstrate professional behaviors as outlined by the Principles of Ethics for Massage Therapists from the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). 
  • Apply concepts of multi-cultural awareness in professional behavior in the therapeutic environment. 

5. To provide the healthcare community with qualified massage therapists.
     Outcomes: 

  • First time pass rates of graduates on the MBLEx licensing exam will be consistent with or above the national passing rates each year of the exam, with a minimum pass rate of 75%. 
  •  Demonstrate awareness of research literature and technology usage that provide tools necessary to become lifelong learners.

Massage Therapy - Vocational Specialist

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
MAS 110 Theory & Fundamentals of Massage 3
MAS 115 Wellness Concepts 1.5
MAS 120 A & P for Massage Therapists I 3
MAS 125 Musculoskeletal Palpation I 2
MAS 130 Basic Massage and Bodywork 5
MAS 141 Massage Practice Clinic I 1
 Total15.5
Second Semester
MAS 210 Pathology & Pharmaceuticals 2.5
MAS 215 Applied Therapies 4
MAS 225 Musculoskeletal Palpation II 1.5
MAS 142 Massage Practice Clinic II 1
 Total9
Third Semester
MAS 220 A & P for Massage Therapists II 3
MAS 230 Supplemental Massage Techniques 3.5
MAS 235 Eastern/Energetic Theory & Technique 2.5
MAS 250 Business for Massage Therapists 2.5
MAS 243 Massage Therapy Practice Clinic III 1.5
MAS 240 Clinical Case Report 1
 Total14
 Program Total38.5

Massage Therapy Courses

Students must successfully complete MAS 100 Introduction to Massage Therapy before submitting the health professions application and before taking any additional massage therapy classes. The massage therapy program application is given to students upon successful completion of MAS 100 Introduction to Massage Therapy.

Appropriate PSB-HOA test scores may be required for the Massage Therapy (MAS) Program after completion of MAS 100 Introduction to Massage Therapy. For more information, please refer to the Massage Therapy Program page.

MAS 100 Introduction to Massage Therapy (1.5)(1.5,0)

This course is required to apply to the Massage Therapy program. It is an introduction to the basic theory, principles, and techniques of therapeutic massage. Students will be introduced to massage theory, basic massage techniques, the concepts of quality of touch, contraindications, endangerment sites, safety and sanitation and body mechanics for the therapist, as well as basic anatomy and simple recognition of selected muscle groups and bones. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Not Available Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $233 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: None

Semester(s) Offered: Fall, Spring and Summer

MAS 110 Theory & Fundamentals of Massage (3)(3,0)

This course is intended to provide the student with a strong understanding of the fundamental concepts of therapeutic massage. The focus of this course will encompass the history of the profession and touch, ethics and professionalism, requirements to practice, medical terminology, consultation, documentation, research, physiologic effects and benefits of massage, and indications and contraindications for massage. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Not Available Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $426 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAS 100 and acceptance into the massage therapy program

Semester(s) Offered: Fall and Spring

MAS 115 Wellness Concepts (1.5)(1.5,0)

This course is intended to provide the student with a strong understanding of the fundamental concepts of illness and health, personal wellness and responsibility, as well as in a larger context of connection with other people and planetary responsibility. Students will learn to correlate personal wellness with the concepts and practice of responsibility, breathing and sensing, eating, exercise, thinking, work and play, communication, intimacy, and higher meaning in life. Cancer, geriatrics, and HIV/AIDS, as related to the massage therapy profession, are also introduced. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Not Available Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $228 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAS 100 and acceptance into the massage therapy program

Semester(s) Offered: Fall and Spring

MAS 120 A & P for Massage Therapists I (3)(3,0)

Anatomy and Physiology is the study of the structural and functional relationships and homeostasis of body systems. The course incorporates the systems approach and integration of the systems into one functioning unit - the human body. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Available (2 MITH) Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $446 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAS 100 and acceptance into the massage therapy program

Semester(s) Offered: Fall and Spring

MAS 125 Musculoskeletal Palpation I (2)(2,0)

This course provides an opportunity to learn muscles, bony landmarks and surface features on an individual basis, emphasizing origins, insertions, and actions of muscles. Palpation, examination through touch, is an integral part of the learning process and is part of each class. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Not Available Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $314 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAS 100 and acceptance into the massage therapy program

Semester(s) Offered: Fall and Spring

MAS 130 Basic Massage and Bodywork (5)(4,2)

This course teaches students to administer a full-body, one-hour Swedish massage using a variety of strokes, correct draping, proper sanitation and healthy body mechanics. A therapeutic movement component is incorporated to assist students with balance, core strengthening, and stretching. Chair and Event Massage is introduced. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Not Available Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $905 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAS 100 and acceptance into the massage therapy program

Semester(s) Offered: Fall and Spring

MAS 141 Massage Practice Clinic I (1)(0,2)

This course is designed to provide students with their first clinical experience with the public. With a clinic instructor on-site, students will practice client history taking and charting, practice massage technique, body mechanics, and therapeutic communication in a clinic setting. Students will apply skills to the level learned in their technique class on fellow classmates and members of the community. Students will receive instruction and correction during the massage sessions from the instructor and be evaluated by the clients. Each class meeting includes a lecture and assessment component to expand hands-on learning into applicable critical thinking skills. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Not Available Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $252 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAS 130 or concurrent enrollment in MAS 130

Semester(s) Offered: Fall and Spring

MAS 142 Massage Practice Clinic II (1)(0,2)

In this course, students perform full-body massage therapy treatments on the public. Students will further develop their skills in communication, critical thinking, technique, centering, qualities of touch, timing, body mechanics, and charting. As additional modalities and advanced techniques are learned, they are incorporated into the massage. Instructors use a portion of each class to lecture and discuss each client interaction to foster critical thinking skills for each unique treatment session. This course moves the student from general Swedish massage to individualized treatment. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Not Available Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $142 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: MAS 141

Semester(s) Offered: Spring and Summer

MAS 210 Pathology & Pharmaceuticals (2.5)(2.5,0)

This course will provide the student with a strong understanding of specific pathologies for each system of the body as well as indications and contraindications for massage therapy treatment. Students will learn to identify major classes of pharmaceuticals and consider their impact when designing a massage session. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Not Available Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $360 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAS 110

Semester(s) Offered: Spring and Summer

MAS 215 Applied Therapies (4)(3.5,1)

This course addresses the basic principles of hydrotherapy, active and passive stretching, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, reciprocal inhibition, trigger point therapy, deep tissue techniques and aromatherapy. Massage therapy indications and contraindications for treatment of specific special populations will be discussed. Students practice assessing and treating using critical thinking skills based on content presented. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Not Available Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $728 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAS 130

Semester(s) Offered: Spring and Summer

MAS 220 A & P for Massage Therapists II (3)(3,0)

This course is a continuation of the considerations of the structural and functional relationships and homeostasis of body systems started in MAS 120. The principles of kinesiology, postural assessment and gait analysis are introduced. This course incorporates the systems approach and integration of the systems into one functioning unit - the human body. A cadaver study is included in the course. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Available (2 MT) Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $446 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAS 120

Semester(s) Offered: Fall and Spring

MAS 225 Musculoskeletal Palpation II (1.5)(1.5,0)

This course provides an opportunity to learn muscles, bony landmarks and surface features on an individual basis, emphasizing origins, insertions, and actions of muscles. Palpation, examination through touch, is an integral part of the learning process and is part of each class. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Not Available Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $318 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAS 125

Semester(s) Offered: Spring and Summer

MAS 230 Supplemental Massage Techniques (3.5)(2.5,2)

Through both lecture and hands-on practice this course introduces adjunct and advanced modalities that will deepen knowledge of body systems, techniques and tools to establish a well-rounded practice. Topics covered will be, but are not limited to, Craniosacral Technique, Manual Lymphatic Drainage, Myofascial Release, prenatal and side-lying massage, infant massage, body scrubs, assistive tools, hot stone massage, connecting style massage, and massage at a sporting event. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Not Available Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $662 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAS 130

Semester(s) Offered: Fall and Spring

MAS 235 Eastern/Energetic Theory & Technique (2.5)(2.5,0)

This course further develops the student's awareness and ability to apply the subtle, natural energy systems of the body in a therapeutic treatment session. Eastern wellness philosophy and application is introduced through basic concepts of traditional Chinese medicine, meridians, acupressure, reflexology and shiatsu. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Not Available Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $430 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAS 130

Semester(s) Offered: Fall and Summer

MAS 240 Clinical Case Report (1)(.5,1)

Students are assigned one client to treat in the massage clinic under the supervision and guidance of a clinical instructor. The focus of this class is researching pathologies, pharmaceuticals, and executing treatment while considering the contraindications and indications of their client. Students will work with the same client for the duration of the class, creating a unique treatment plan and writing a case study report. The case study format will follow Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) guidelines and may be submitted to the MTF Student Case Study contest. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Not Available Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $232 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: MAS 142 and MAS 210

Semester(s) Offered: Fall and Summer

MAS 243 Massage Therapy Practice Clinic III (1.5)(0,3)

Under the supervision of instructors, students apply principles, techniques, and procedures learned to assess and treat clients, who are members of the community, individually in a setting that simulates a professional therapeutic massage practice. Students will serve as, and gain experience as, both as a massage therapist and an office manager. Students will also practice short massage event sequences and appropriate event intake. Students will demonstrate professional therapeutic communication skills, the proper application of both basic and more advanced bodywork techniques, proper body mechanics and draping techniques, use proper safety and sanitation practices, demonstrate critical thinking skills, and create documentation of each session. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Not Available Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $493 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: MAS 142

Semester(s) Offered: Fall and Summer

MAS 250 Business for Massage Therapists (2.5)(2.5,0)

In this course students will learn the fundamentals of massage therapy business. Course topics will focus on the business plan, ethics, record-keeping, finances, policies, procedures, professionalism, communications, marketing and advertising. Students will discuss target markets, as well as identify success strategies and obstacles to success when managing a business. Local business people will present during this course, sharing their experiences with students. Students will create a resume and cover letter and practice interview skills based on their new profession as a massage therapist. Professional development, client retention and career longevity will also be a focus of the course. (1.2) Proficiency Credit Not Available Pass/No Credit Not Available.

In-District Tuition/Fees: $360 (effective 2022/23 academic year)

In-district tuition rates are subject to change based on Board approval.

Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAS 110

Semester(s) Offered: Fall and Summer