Therapeutic Massage – Community College of Rhode Island

Therapeutic Massage

Associate in Applied Science Degree in Therapeutic Massage (AAS_TMSG)

Occupational Title: Massage Therapist
Newport County Campus, Newport

The Therapeutic Massage program is accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA), COMTA 2101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 302, Arlington, Va, 22201;; 202-888-6790.

The Therapeutic Massage associate degree program offers students a strong scientific background for the understanding and application of various soft tissue techniques to promote health and wellness. Eastern and Western practices will be studied to ensure an education that includes a holistic approach to massage. The program is guided by the Massage Therapy Foundation’s Mission:

The Massage Therapy Foundation advances the knowledge and practice of massage therapy by supporting scientific research, education, and community service.

The Therapeutic Massage Program offered at CCRI is accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA), elevating CCRI to COMTA-endorsed curriculum status. The program offered at CCRI’s Newport campus is a modified evening and weekend program with the core courses offered at the Newport location. All of the required general education courses may be taken at other CCRI campuses prior to acceptance into the program. Graduates receive an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree after completing a combined 1135 hours and 60 credits of coursework and clinical internship. All internship courses must be completed within 18 months following completion of the academic training.

All graduates are eligible to sit for the state licensing (State licensure requirements vary state to state) and the Board Certification exams. An individual must successfully pass the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLex), overseen by the Federation of State Massage Boards, to apply for a license to practice massage in the State of Rhode Island. The Board Certification Exam is administered by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). The NCBTMB has designated CCRI as an Assigned School, which allows CCRI graduates to sit for an optional exam to become board certified therapeutic massage and bodywork practitioners.

CCRI graduates, who are licensed massage therapists, are employed in a variety of settings that include rehabilitation clinics, wellness centers, chiropractic and acupuncture offices, health clubs and spas. Additionally, many of our graduates have opened successful private businesses. CCRI’s Therapeutic Massage Program rigorously prepares students to be able to work in hospitals, medical environments and with clients who have compromised health or physical impairments.

Note: Many courses require prerequisites, corequisites and/or testing. See course descriptions for details.


See important general policies in the beginning of this section on the performance-based Health Sciences application process, academic progress, advanced placement, background check, CPR certification, health insurance, health records, reinstatement, transportation, uniforms, and equipment.

Minimum requirements to apply to the Therapeutic Massage program
  1. CCRI application – Complete and submit a CCRI Application for Enrollment. General Studies should be the first choice; TMSG should be the second choice.
  2. High school transcript – Send an official copy of the applicant’s high school or GED® transcript, including date of graduation. If the applicant holds a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, the high school transcript may be waived; a college transcript must indicate completion and degree awarded.
  3. Placement testing
    – Demonstrate competency at MATH 1025 level by placing into MATH 1420 through the standardized test or completion of MATH 099 with a C or better. The following courses will substitute for MATH 1025: MATH 1200, 1210, 1139, 1138, 1175, 1240, 1241, 2077, 2135, 1560, 1670, 1680, 2111, 2141, 2142, 2243, 1900, 1910, 1920, 2910. (Highest grade earned in any of these courses will be calculated in the point system.

    – Complete a standardized test (ACCUPLACER NEXT GENERATION) issued by CCRI’s Department of Advising and Counseling. Competency of 250 or above is required for reading comprehension or completion of ENGL 0890 - Critical Reading with a grade of B- or better.

    – Must earn English placement test results (ACCUPLACER NEXT GENERATION) issued by CCRI’s Department of Advising and Counseling, must show readiness to take ENGL 1010: Composition I or the applicant must have completed ENGL 1005: College Writing with a grade of "C" or better. ENGL 1300 will not substitute for ENGL 1010.
  4. Complete the following courses with a grade of C or better:
    1. BIOL 2201 - Human Anatomy and Physiology
    2. TMSG 1000 - Introduction to Therapeutic Massage
    3. RHAB 1010 - Medical Terminology for Rehabilitation
    4. RHAB 1020 - Fundamentals of Palpation
    5. ENGL 1020 - Foundations of Palpation
  5. Age requirement – Must be 18 years of age or older to register for TMSG 1000 - Introduction to Therapeutic Massage.
  6. GPA – Earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better for all college courses taken.
  7. Health Sciences application – Complete and submit performance-based Health Sciences application including a preadmission degree evaluation. The application and instructions can be found at
    1. IMPORTANT: All the above requirements must be completed satisfactorily BEFORE submission of performance-based Health Sciences application and do not guarantee acceptance to the program. At the time of admission, the student must meet the current admission requirements of the program. Students declining acceptance into the program for the semester offered must resubmit a performance-based Health Sciences application for the program and meet the current admission requirements for the application period in which they reapply. Once accepted into the Therapeutic Massage degree program, the student must attend a mandatory orientation conducted by the Rehabilitative Health Department.
  8. Background check – Students are required to submit a background check when directed by notification from Enrollment Services. Final acceptance to the program is dependent on the results of the background check.


PREADMISSION General Education Requirements
These courses must be taken prior to program admission.

PREADMISSION General Education Requirements
BIOL 2201 Human Anatomy & Physiology I   4
ENGL 1010 Composition I   3

Total PREADMISSION General Education Requirements Credits 7

General Education Requirements
MATH 1025 Introduction to College Mathematics   3
COMM 1100 Public Speaking   3
PSYC 2010 General Psychology   4
PSYC 2030 Developmental Psychology   3
General Education Elective   See this page for a complete list of courses that meet this requirement. 3

Total General Education Requirements Credits 16

PREADMISSION Major Requirements
These courses must be taken prior to program admission.

PREADMISSION Major Requirements
TMSG 1000 Introduction to Therapeutic Massage   2
RHAB 1010 Medical Terminology for Rehabilitative Health   1
RHAB 1020 Fundamentals of Palpation and Body Movement Skills   3

Total PREADMISSION Major Requirements Credits 6

Major Requirements
RHAB 1030 Pathophysiology for Rehabilitative Health Practitioners   3
TMSG 1020 Swedish Massage   5
TMSG 1030 Deep Tissue Massage   5
TMSG 1040 Introduction to Eastern Modalities   2
TMSG 1140 Integrating Eastern and Western Techniques   2
TMSG 2010 Introduction to Sports Massage   2
TMSG 2020 Student Massage Clinic TMSG 2020 includes 100 hours of onsite student/faculty clinic. 3
TMSG 2021 Massage Practice Business Theory   2
TMSG 2030 Clinical Internship I TMSG 2030 and TMSG 2130 each include 60 hours of clinical internship. 2
TMSG 2110 Advanced Sports Massage   3
TMSG 2040 Foundation of Evidence-Based Outcomes for Massage Therapists   3
TMSG 2130 Clinical Internship II   2

Total Major Requirements Credits 34

Total Program Credits 61

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Last Updated: 4/14/20