What do I need to apply?

  • To be 18 years old by the time of graduation from OSTM
  • High School diploma (or GED)
  • Two references
  • Verification that you have received a massage from a licensed massage therapist or through our public clinic
  • Personal statement describing why you want to become a massage therapist
  • Completed application (available to download from our website)
  • $50 application fee

We review applications on a continual basis, so it shouldn’t take too long to find out if you’ve been admitted. Don’t wait too long, however, to apply, as classes fill up quickly!

What will the program cost?

Tuition and fees:  January 2016 – $15,575. Books and supplies are approximately $600. Licensing and exam fees are $358. You do not need to purchase a massage table or chair right away, as we have plenty to use while you attend school.
Where will I live while I’m in school? Do you have housing?

While the School does not have living quarters, we can recommend local housing to you in the form of rental apartments, etc.
Is the program easy? Science wasn’t my best subject in high school. Will I be able to do this?

While “easy” and “hard” are relative terms that mean different things to different students, we can tell you that the program is intense, by design. In Myology class you can learn the muscles of the body, what they do, what bones they begin and end on, and what nerves run through them. In Anatomy and Physiology you can learn the body’s different systems (skeletal, circulatory, digestive, nervous, etc.). In Pathology, you can learn about different diseases, syndromes, and problems that the body may encounter, and how you, as a massage therapist can help – or what to avoid.The hands-on classes (Swedish, Chair, Pregnancy and Sports massage modalities; treatment and energy techniques; and Shiatsu) teach you the practical applications of massage including how to drape the client, massage strokes, health intake forms, etc.

How much studying is required?

Every student learns differently, but a good rule of thumb is that for every day of class, you will most likely study 2-3 hours.
What does a typical day look like?

For 6-month and 12-month day students classes are taught Monday through Friday (and occasional Saturdays) with science classes taught in the morning (8:30am – 12:00pm) and hands-on classes taught in the afternoon (1:00pm – 4:30pm). Once you begin clinic, an average of two nights per week can be expected.For 15-month evening students, classes run Monday through Thursday evening from 6:00pm – 9:30pm. Clinic is scheduled on Friday evenings and Saturdays.

What kinds of jobs can I find as a massage therapist?

  • Many of our graduates have gone into business for themselves, or work for others in the following industries:
  • Medical Facilities (Hospitals, Clinics, etc.)
  • Spas and Salons
  • Chiropractic Offices
  • Sports Massage (with various athletic teams and within gyms and workout centers)
  • Health & Wellness Centers
What if I’m a New York City area candidate?

It was several years ago that residents of New York City discovered that leaving New York City to study Upstate can have many advantages. The Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage limits its enrollment to around 50 students per program. By limiting enrollment we provide a high staff-to-student ratio with more personalized attention and education. Also, the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage offers one of New York State’s only 1,000 hour programs that can be completed in six-months. This means you can be earning an income as a massage therapist sooner than your counterparts who study locally. Combine this with the reasonable apartment rates and it is no surprise students are choosing to study at the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage.

Boyce Brawly who chose to study at OSTM completed the program in six months and returned New York City to practice. He works summers in the Hamptons and winters in South Beach, Florida!

Although we don’t have dormitory facilities, our admissions department can aid you in finding nearby housing. Feel free to contact the admissions department of our Syracuse or Rochester campuses for additional information,-or to schedule a tour.

What if I’m an out-of-state candidate?

New York and Nebraska are the only two states that offer 1,000-hour programs. The national average is 500 hours of education which means that OSTM graduates start their massage career with a substantial educational advantage,-and have little difficulty securing out-of-state employment. Graduates of the Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage can be eligible to sit for the MBLEx Exam and NCBTMB Board Certification, recognized by many other states. Because laws governing the practice of massage outside of New York State vary, graduates should contact the local jurisdiction in which they intend to practice for specific requirements.
Does OSTM provide accommodations in the classroom and on exams?

OSTM provides accommodations in the classroom and on exams for students who qualify. For more information on applying for accommodations while enrolled at OSTM, ask your Admissions Director during your campus tour.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the programs, and other important information, visit the links below:

Median Student Debt – 6 Month Therapeutic Massage Program

Median Student Debt – 12 Month Therapeutic Massage Program

Median Student Debt – 15 Month Therapeutic Massage Program

Additional Funding Information

ACCSC Annually Reported Graduation and Completion Rates

Net Price Calculator


To Our Dear OSTM Community

Alumni, prospective students and patrons of Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage, we have some important news regarding the future of our schools.

Click here to view our announcement.

This pop-up cannot be closed and any information found on this site not contained in the announcement above should be disregarded until further updates are announced.