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Tennessee Reconnect and Promise. Graduating high school seniors can attend tuition-free. Free tuition for adults.Tennessee Reconnect and Promise. Graduating high school seniors can attend tuition-free. Free tuition for adults.
Online degrees available. Choose from seven completely online programs.Online degrees available. Choose from seven completely online programs.


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Massage therapy is an 11-month certificate program to prepare students for entry level careers in the growing field of massage, bodywork, and somatic therapies. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) and, upon successful passage of the exam, be eligible for a Tennessee Massage Therapy License.

The focus of this program will be Swedish Massage and Neuromuscular Therapy with an overview of the many other modalities practiced by Licensed Massage Therapists. More than 100 different approaches to therapeutic manipulation of muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and circulatory structures are available in the market. Most require advanced training beyond the scope of this certificate program.

Massage therapists practice in a wide variety of settings: health clubs and wellness centers; chiropractic and physical therapy offices; hotels, resorts and cruise lines; health food stores and sports outfitters; pain management and sports injury clinics; psychological and psychiatric clinics; and private homes and offices. Some work under the supervision of other licensed health care providers. Some are in business for themselves as private contractors. Many work part-time. Many work exclusively from their home offices.

All Massage Therapy courses are taught at the Oak Ridge Branch Campus. Enrollment is limited.

Admission Requirements

  1. Complete the Roane State Community College (RSCC) admissions process to become an admitted student.
  2. Complete the electronic Allied Health Science (AHS) application on RaiderNet and submit by the published application deadline.
    Note: When choosing the Planned Course of Study, select ‘Massage Therapy’. If ‘Massage Therapy’ is not selected as a Planned Course of Study you will not be considered for the Massage Therapy Program. 
  3. Complete the required program admission examination. Complete the COMPASS or Accuplacer assessment. If COMPASS or Accuplacer results indicate a reading deficiency, all Learning Support requirements for reading comprehension must be successfully completed before applicant will be considered for admission to the program. Note: Some applicants may be exempt from COMPASS/Accuplacer testing.  COMPASS/Accuplacer scores within the last three years are accepted.  COMPASS/Accuplacer transcripts from other colleges must be turned into the RSCC Admission and Records Office by published application deadline. See the COMPASS/Accuplacer webpage for registration directions, exemptions, and more.
  4. Or
    1. Student may have an ACT score of 19 or above in Reading. Or
    2. Student may have a HESI score of 70% or above. Or
    3. ENGL 1010 (Composition I) with a grade of C or better
      Note: Scores are considered valid for 3 years or program director approval
  5. Qualified applicants will be interviewed prior to acceptance.  NOTE:  Students in a massage therapy program must be 18 years of age. 
  6. Final selection of students will be made by the AHS Admissions Committee.
  7. Students will be notified electronically via RaiderNet email of acceptance to the Massage Therapy program. Students must acknowledge their acceptance via reply email by the designated response date stated in the acceptance email.
  8. The Health Science Admissions Advisor will change the major of all accepted students to accurately reflect their program of study. Students may not register for discipline-specific courses until their major has been changed.

Note: Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Preference will be given to Tennessee Residents. 

Program Application Deadline

June 15. Late applicants may be considered on a space-available basis.

Criminal Background Checks

Criminal background checks and drug screening may be a requirement at affiliated clinical sites utilized for training in the Massage Therapy Program. Based on the results of these checks, an affiliated clinical site may determine to not allow your presence at their facility. This would result in your inability to successfully complete the Massage Therapy Program. Students will be responsible for the costs of the background check. Additionally, a criminal background may preclude licensure or employment. More information is available from your program director.

Health Guidelines

Students will be required to meet all health guidelines of affiliated clinical agencies. Personal health insurance may be required by some agencies. Students are highly encouraged to carry personal health insurance and are responsible for costs incurred due to injury or illness while enrolled. Students will be responsible for the cost of the physical examination and required immunizations and/or testing.

Students will be required, during the course of the program to demonstrate their physical and/or emotional fitness to meet the essential requirements of the program. Such essential requirements include freedom from communicable diseases, the ability to perform certain tasks, and suitable emotional fitness. Any appraisal measures used to determine such physical and/or emotional fitness will be in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American Disabilities Act of 1990. Students will be required to meet all health guidelines of the affiliating agencies. Students are responsible for cost incurred from injury or illness while in the Massage Therapy Program.


Students’ grades will be evaluated at the end of each semester by the Program Director. A student must maintain the following standards or he/she will be dismissed from the program:

  1. A grade of “C” or better in each specialty course.
  2. Completion of specialty courses as specified by the certificate checklist. A student must be able to complete courses with the class in which he/she was admitted. A student who cannot graduate with the class in which he/she was admitted will be dropped from that class and must re-apply to a subsequent class.
  3. Evidence of malpractice insurance and physical examination must be provided prior to clinical training.

The RSCC policy of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Sanctions applies to all students regardless of the program in which they are enrolled. In cases where alcohol and drug violations occur, disciplinary action, as well as the decision whether to test for alcohol or drugs, will be processed through the Dean of Allied Health Sciences and the office of the Dean of Student Services and Multicultural Affairs.

Readmission Procedures 

A student must request readmission after a grade of “D” or “F” is received in a core course or after withdrawal from the program at any time during the semester.

A student may be considered for readmission to the program if all of the following criteria are met:

  1. Students applying for readmission must meet all admissions criteria listed above.
    The applicant must submit a readmission request in writing to the Program Director at least thirty (30) days prior to enrollment. The request must be a detailed personal reflection of the reason(s) for the unsuccessful performance and a plan of correction.
  2. One (1) readmission to the program will be permitted.
  3. The applicant applying for readmission will be required to interview with the Program Director for consideration of readmission before the review date by the AHS Admissions Committee.
  4. An acceptable level of discipline-specific competency may need to be demonstrated prior to readmission.
  5. A student with previous unsatisfactory clinical performance must be recommended for readmission by consensus of the program faculty.
    Note: The AHS Program Director will verify that all readmission documents and criteria including licensure/credentials are current and valid.
  6. Readmission to an Allied Health Sciences program is contingent upon the availability of space.
  7. Students who are dismissed for reasons associated with academic misconduct or violations of a code of ethics will not be considered for re-admission.
  8. A student must repeat the specialty course or courses for which he/she was dismissed and attain a “C” or better in the course.
  9. A student may be readmitted to the program within two years from the semester they failed. Before being considered for readmission they will be required to take a competency exam for those course(s) which they previously successfully completed. Upon successful completion of those exams they will be considered for readmission to the program and be required to take only the course(s) they failed. If they do not successfully complete the competency exam(s), they can reapply for admission but will have to repeat all courses. Successful completion of a competency exam(s) would mean a grade of 70 or greater.
1st Fall   Hours
MASS 1401 Fundamentals of Muscle Anatomy 4
MASS 1301 TN Massage Law & Practice Ethics 3
MASS 1302 Swedish Massage 3
MASS 1303 Massage for Special Populations 3
Action Items    
  Oct Complete Application for Graduation  
  Nov Register for next term  
1st Spring   Hours
MASS 1601 Principles of Physiology and Pathology 6
MASS 1201 Massage Business, Professionalism, and Communication 2
MASS 1101 Student Massage Clinic 1
MASS 1402 Medical Massage Therapies 4
Action Items    
  Mar Complete Ceremony Participation Form   
1st Summer   Hours
MASS 1102 Clinical Fieldwork 1
MASS 1304 Overview of Somatic Therapies 3
Action Items    
  June Begin job search using RaiderRecruit   

Students pursuing this certificate will be advised by the Allied Health Sciences Division. Students wishing to pursue an A.A.S. Allied Health Sciences with an emphasis in Massage Therapy should contact their advisor.

A certain number of credit hours in each program must be completed in order to meet the graduation residency requirement.  contact your advisor for the requirement of your program.

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