What is the Required Massage Therapy Curriculum in Florida?

In the last article, we discussed how long it takes to graduate from massage therapy school in Florida. We learned that most massage therapy programs are a minimum of 500 hours long. This requirement means that most massage programs are at least 6 months long.

Since most massage schools in Miami include additional courses in their curriculums, many programs end up being closer to 750 hours long, so you can expect to be in massage school for approximately 8 to 9 months.


However, longer programs often have many advantages over shorter programs. For example, many longer massage therapy programs offer specialization certificates, which demonstrates competency in a specific massage modality, and gives those graduates a professional advantage.

In this article, we discuss what the massage therapy curriculum is like. Hopefully, this will give you an idea of what massage classes are like.

What is the core curriculum for a massage school in Miami, FL?

Regardless of whether you choose to enroll at a shorter or longer massage therapy program, you will have a core set of classes required by the state your massage school is located in. In Florida, approved programs are a minimum of 500 classroom hours and require the following courses:

Area of Study Classroom Hours
Anatomy and Physiology 150
Basic Massage Theory and History 100
Clinical Practicum 125
Allied Modalities 76
Business 15
Theory and Practice of Hydrotherapy 15
Florida Laws and Rules (Chapters 456 and 480, F.S., and Chapter 64B7, F.A.C.) 10
Professional Ethics 4
HIV/AIDS Education 3
Medical Errors 2

In case there is any uncertainty, let’s go over a brief description of these courses.

Anatomy and Physiology: A general study of the human body’s structure and functions. A particular emphasis is placed on the specific needs of massage therapists. Classes in this category may include courses in musculoskeletal biology and pathology.


Basic Massage Theory and History: An introduction to massage as a medical practice. You will learn assessment techniques, basic strokes, poststructural analysis, and clinic etiquette.


Clinical Practicum: The hands-on portion of massage school. During this portion, you will practice the various massage techniques you have studied, under the supervision of a licensed instructor. As your skills and confidence improve, you will move onto treating real patients.

Allied Modalities: The study of any specific massage therapy modality. This can include Western massage modalities, such as Deep Tissue Massage, or Eastern modalities, such as Shiatsu.


Business: Courses that cover the different business and professional practices as they relate to massage therapy, including marketing, public speaking, and networking.

Theory and Practice of Hydrotherapy: Most states allow massage therapists to practice hydrotherapy, which is the practice of using water for pain relief and treatment. These classes will ensure a basic level of competence.


Florida Laws and Rules: State of Florida Massage Therapy regulations, licensing procedures, renewal requirements, and scope of practice limitations.


Professional Ethics: Ethical principles and strategies for moral decision making in a clinical and medical setting.

HIV/AIDs Education: An overview of current information on the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), including epidemiology, clinical manifestations, treatment, prevention, legal/ethical issues, and the importance of behavior and attitude changes for the caregiver.


Medical Errors: These classes teach you how to prevent common medical errors by learning how to evaluate the everyday routines, materials, environments, individuals (including patients) and groups with a fresh eye.

While these courses are required for every state approved-massage therapy program in Florida, most massage therapy schools have longer programs. In the next blog, we will cover the massage therapy curriculum at Acupuncture and Massage College in Miami, Florida. This will give you an overview of what a longer massage therapy program is like.

Career In Massage

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