Starting Up a Massage Therapy School in Missouri

Starting Up a Massage Therapy School in Missouri, the requirements for massage therapy practice and education are overseen by the Missouri Board of Therapeutic Massage, a part of the Missouri Division of Professional Registration.

If you want to open a massage therapy school in Missouri, it must be certified by the Coordinating Board of Higher Education (CBHE) or an approved vocational program with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

Private proprietary schools would fall under the jurisdiction of CBHE.

In addition, your school must meet certain requirements of Missouri state laws and rules.

Obtaining Certification from CBHE

Your first step in obtaining initial certification is to request the application materials from the Missouri Department of Higher Education.

Applications are not available online.

You can, however, request the application online.

School  Application Requirement – Starting Up a Massage Therapy School in Missouri

The application requires you to provide the following information:

  • Agree that your school will meet certification standards listed on the application;
  • Location, ownership, control and accreditation;
  • A program inventory, reflecting your school’s anticipated programs and the equipment you will have available;
  • Personnel data for all positions and resumes of faculty and staff hired.
  • Detailed job descriptions for any positions not yet filled;
  • A financial statement with estimated income and expenses for the first year;
  • Publications and other printed materials that contain the required disclosures of information on your programs to students;
  • A “mock” completed enrollment agreement;
  • A “mock” official completed transcript;
  • Your program and course information, including course outlines;
  • Equipment list and facility description;
  • Corporate documents, if your school is incorporated;
  • Employment and salary expectations for students graduating from your program;
  • Supplemental information of any kind that will provide necessary information about your school.
  • This includes an explanation of any attestations you did not initial.

Application Fees – Starting Up a Massage Therapy School in Missouri

You must submit a completed application along with a non-refundable $200 application fee in order to place in the queue for review.

This fee will credit toward your first year’s $500 certification fee.

At Department of Higher Education, your application will review thoroughly.

If anything is incomplete, it will return to you.

Your application will also send to the Board of Therapeutic Massage for their review.

A site visit may do to verify the accuracy of the information you provide.

Following the review, your application may be denied, approved, or conditionally approved.

If denied, you can appeal.

If conditionally approved, you will have to make the corrections recommended before you can obtain a certificate.

Once your school is approved, you will have to have a security deposit in the form of a surety bond, irrevocable letter of credit, or a cash bond secured by a certificate of deposit.

The amount of the security deposit is determined from your financial information provided in the application.

The minimum deposit is $5,000 and the maximum is $100,000.

Finally, you must pay the remaining $300 of your initial certification fee.

Your initial certificate is valid until the end of the current certification year.

After that, your annual fee is determined from your financial reports.

The minimum fee is $500, and the maximum is $5,000.

When applying for renewal of your certificate, you are required to provide information on student enrollment and other statistics regarding your students.

Requirements for Missouri Massage Schools

For your graduates to be eligible for licensure in Missouri, your school must offer a program of 500 hours or more.  Of those 500 hours:

  • At least 300 hours must dedicate to massage therapy theory and practice.
  • At least 100 hours must dedicate to the study of anatomy and physiology.
  • So at least 50 hours must dedicate to the study of laws, rules, business, ethics and hygiene.
  • At least 50 hours must dedicate to the study of ancillary therapies. This must include CPR and first aid.

Instructors for massage therapy theory and practice must license massage therapist or eligible for a license in Missouri with at least 2 years of practical experience.

Instructors for kinesiology and pathology need not license therapists if they have education and/or experience in kinesiology and pathology instruction.

And also, instructors for anatomy and physiology must have a science-based associate’s degree or higher in a field of study that includes a course of study in anatomy and physiology.

Alternatively, an instructor can teach anatomy and physiology if they have taken at least 15 semester hours or 25 quarter hours of science courses at a college level and at least 8 semester hours or 15 quarter hours are in anatomy and physiology.

Instructors for laws, rules, business, ethics and hygiene must demonstrate education and/or experience in a related field.

Instructors for CPR and first aid must be certified to instruct those classes.

Summary – Starting Up a Massage Therapy School in Missouri

And also, if you want to open a new massage therapy school in Missouri and starting up a Massage Therapy School in Missouri.

So you must obtain certification from the Missouri Certification Board for Higher Education (CBHE).

The application process can take 120 days or more and consists of application review, a site visit, and action on the application.

The CBHE will request that the massage therapy board approve your application before they will grant a certification.

Your initial certification fee will be $500.

Annual renewals will be between $500 and $5000, depending on your tuition receipts for each year.


Missouri Board of Therapeutic Massage

Missouri Rules for Massage Therapy

Starting Up a Massage Therapy School in Missouri

Missouri Coordinating Board of Higher Education

Missouri Rules for School Certification


Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

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