Massage Practitioner

Program News

Massage program offers second cohort! Starting in 2013, Whatcom will be offering an additional cohort for the massage practitioner program. This second group or students will begin each spring and will attend core massage classes in the evening. Complete applications submitted by January 10th, 2013 will be given selection priority. As of Tuesday, January 22nd, there is space available for the Spring-start, evening program. Applications are still being accepted.

Click here for information explaining and comparing the differences between the two program options. 

Massage Practitioner Students achieve 100% pass rate for two consecutive years! All 2010-11 and 2011-12 graduates of WCC's Massage Practitioner program who took the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) following completion of their studies passed the test. Congratulations to our graduates and faculty! Passing the exam is essential for licensed practice of massage in the state of Washington.

Course format delivery
The massage program continues to offer enhancements in class scheduling and delivery format. As of fall 2012, eight of the core massage program classes are delivered on-line or in a blended "online/hybrid" delivery format. Online/hybrid courses have the lecture portion of class delivered online and the laboratory portion delivered face-to-face in our dedicated lab. Check with a Program Advisor for information on all courses offered throughout the year and to discuss the online learning experience

Revised non-standard tuition rates start Spring 20113
In order to continue offering the Massage Practitioner Program, WCC must implement an adjusted non-standard, per-credit rate for core requirement courses. Starting Spring 2013, the rate for massage practitioner certificate or degree core requirement courses will be $170 per credit. There will be no additional lab fee charged given this increase. Click here to see estimated fees for this program. This program is still eligible for financial aid. This adjustment does not apply to current massage students.

What can I do as a Licensed Massage Practitioner (LMP)?

Licensed Massage Practitioners (LMPs) are members of the healthcare community and they work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, sports medicine clinics, medical and physical therapy offices/clinics, health clubs, spas, alternative medicine clinics, counseling and rehabilitation centers, and private massage clinics. Being an Licensed Massage Practitioners (LMP)s offers you the opportunity to help others achieve their healthcare goals and re-establish the connection between mind and body. This is done through the application of therapeutic touch. Massage is a very personal, hands-on approach to healthcare, giving both the practitioner and the client the opportunity to connect at a deeper level. LMPs are members of the healthcare community and they work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, sports medicine clinics, medical and physical therapy offices/clinics, health clubs, spas, alternative medicine clinics, counseling and rehabilitation centers, and private massage clinics.

WCC's Massage Practitioner Program is approved by the Washington State Massage Board, a subsidiary of the Washington State Department of Health.

There are different areas of specialization within the massage profession including:

  • Therapeutic medical massage
  • Infant massage
  • Pregnancy massage
  • Sports massage
  • Wellness massage
  • Massage within the hospitality industry (e.g. hotel spas)

Information Sessions

You are strongly encouraged to attend an information session or contact one of the Professional Technical advisors for planning help.

Degree/Certificate available

What is the Massage Practitioner Program?

Whatcom Community College now offers two options for aspiring LMPs: the Associate of Science Degree and the Certificate. These program options run concurrently and begin each fall quarter.

Students wishing to enter the program must apply in the spring (go to the section on application process and deadline below for specific dates) to begin the program the following fall.

The Associate in Science Degree / Massage Practitioner offers students the ability to complete advanced coursework and specialize in an area of interest, as well as participate in an externship at a local business. Core curriculum massage classes must be taken in sequence, are only offered to students accepted into the massage program, and run for four consecutive quarters (fall, winter, spring, summer).

The Massage Practitioner Certificate was designed to accommodate those who have a previous college education and/or who are pursuing a career change. This program is also offered in sequence over fall, winter and spring quarters.

The Massage Practitioner Program is full-time and very demanding. Both the degree and certificate curriculum qualifies graduates to sit for the Washington State licensing exam and the National Certification Exam to become licensed massage practitioners

How can the Opportunity Grant Scholarship help you?

The Opportunity Grant Scholarship offers tuition assistance to eligible students as they work toward a career in the healthcare industry. Please click here for a detailed explanation of eligibility, services, and contact information. Apply Now!

Application Process & Deadline

  • Spring-start, evening program: Deadline for consideration is January 10, 2013 for complete application and all related materials. Applications will only be accepted between November 15th, 2012 and January 10th, 2013.
  • Fall-start, daytime program: Deadline for consideration is June 6, 2013 for complete application and all related materials. Applications will only be accepted between February 15th, 2013 and June 6th, 2013

You must complete the following steps by the program application deadline to be considered for program acceptance:

STEP 1 – Apply to Whatcom Community College
Students must be enrolled at WCC and have an active Student Identification (SID) number in order to apply for the Massage Practitioner program and pay related fees. You must be at least 18 years old by the start of fall 2012 classes to be accepted into the Massage Practitioner Program.

  • New Students:
    • Apply to WCC online.
    • Unable to apply online?
      •  Request a WCC application by email at, by phone 360.383.3001, or in person at the Entry & Advising Center, LDC 116.
      • Get your SID Number.  Once your completed WCC application has been received, you will be sent an SID number via email within two to three days.  Once you receive your SID number, proceed to STEP 2
  • Returning Students: Contact the Registration Office to reactivate your student account and SID, then proceed to STEP 2.
  • Current Students: Proceed to STEP 2 and use your active SID.

STEP 2 – Obtain and complete the Massage Practitioner selective entry application forms
To obtain Massage Practitioner application forms, download the Application for Selective Entry: Massage Practitioner Program or, contact, or by phone at 360 383-3030.

STEP 3 – Pay application fee and submit all supporting application materials
The Massage Practitioner Program requires a selective entry application fee of $25. Students must pay the application fee, and submit application forms, with all supporting materials, on or before the application deadline to be considered for the Massage Practitioner program:

  • Pay application fee. Students must pay the Massage Practitioner Program application fee of $25 in one of two ways:
    • Go in person to the WCC Cashier's window and pay the application fee with cash, check or credit card. You must have your SID number and identify the program for which you are applying. It is suggested that you complete the Application Fee Payment Form and turn it in with your payment.
    • Mail a check along with the Application Fee Payment Form directly to the WCC Business Office.
    • Note: The application fee is non-refundable. If you are not admitted to this program with your initial application, there will be no refund of the fee.
  • Submit Application for Selective Entry – Submit the completed Massage Practitioner application form and supporting materials. Include form and all required supporting documentation, in one complete packet to the WCC Registration/Records Office in person or by mail. Your packet should include:
    • Completed Application Form with Experience/Education Summary
    • Completed Application Checklist
    • Official Transcripts from all previously attended colleges where you earned credits that may apply to the Massage Practitioner Program
    • Three (3) completed Student Recommendation Forms
    • Three (3) completed Experience Verification Forms
    • Completed Health Form
    • Receipt for the $10 purchase of a Washington State Patrol background check through the WCC Business Office in Laidlaw Center at WCC.

Please have all documents and transcripts sent or delivered to:

Whatcom Community College
Admissions - Massage Practitioner Program
237 West Kellogg Road
Bellingham, WA 98226

All materials, whether delivered in person or by mail, must be received at the WCC Registration/Records Office by the deadline to be considered for the Massage Practitioner program. Incomplete files will not be considered for acceptance. Late applications will be considered only if there is space available.

Background Check Information

Clinical placements, employment and licensure in a healthcare field often require a background check. WCC will conduct a Washington State Patrol background check on applicants. Students need to pay the $10 fee for background checks to the business office, obtain a receipt, and attach that receipt to their application. Results of the background check will be given to the Massage Program Coordinator. Those students with a negative finding will be required to meet with the Program Coordinator prior to admittance to discuss possible options. Background check results for program applicants are considered valid for a period of six months only. Entrance and acceptance into the program is contingent upon background checks.


Career & Salary Outlook

  • Occupation is in demand*
  • Many self-employed
  • Often work part-time
  • Median wage for LMPs in Washington is $27.35*

*As of March 2011

Apply Now to WCC 
Apply to Massage Practitioner Program
Information Sessions 
Other Prof Tech Programs

Advising and Education Planning
360.383.3080 for appointment

Program Coordinator
Richard Butts
Cascade Hall, Room 134

Whatcom Community College

237 W. Kellogg Road, Bellingham, WA 98226

(360) 383-3000

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