2020 Winter Trimester

Admission Information

Admission to the Massage Therapy programs

Northwestern admits as students, women and men of good character and health who are qualified by previous education and experience to meet its academic challenges and to become a practicing massage therapist.

Applications for admission, as well as current tuition and fees, are available online at www.nwhealth.edu or they may be obtained by contacting the Office of Admissions. The application for admission must be accompanied by a non-refundable application processing fee of $50. It is the responsibility of the applicant to read this catalog and comply with all provisions and instructions.

New students are admitted at the beginning of three trimesters of the academic year January, May and September.

Persons who have been convicted of a misdemeanor of a violent or sexual nature or any felony will be prohibited from professional health care practice in many jurisdictions. Northwestern Health Sciences University will deny admission to applicants with such convictions. The University therefore reserves the right to conduct a criminal background check on all applicants and enrolled students.

Entrance Requirements

In addition to meeting the qualifications of a student of the College of Health and Wellness, applicants must meet the following admission requirements for the Massage Therapy Program:

  1. Students must have an earned a high school diploma, its foreign equivalent or a General Educational Development diploma (GED). Successful completion of at least 60 semester credit hours in a college or university accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education will be recognized as equivalent to a high school diploma.
  2. Applicants must have achieved a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better in prerequisite coursework.
  3. All students must pass a criminal background check.


A student must possess the following abilities, with or without reasonable accommodation, for completion of the professional certificate programs in massage therapy:

  1. Ability to apply massage and adjunctive techniques over the full range of a client’s body, including positioning clients, palpating, feeling with hands and fingers, pushing, pulling, kneading, grasping, twisting wrists and lifting up to 10 pounds, for periods of up to 90 minutes standing without interruption;
  2. Ability to determine depth and intensity of manual pressure and force, as applied in the performance of common massage and adjunctive procedures and techniques;
  3. With or without reasonable accommodation, ability to receive and record client histories, document treatment plans, provide instructions to clients and provide routine client safety services;
  4. Ability to perform in all laboratory and clinical settings without posing a threat to herself/himself, to the safety and well-being of fellow students or clients;
  5. Ability and willingness to receive massage and adjunctive treatment. Much of the technical instruction in the programs requires reciprocal application of the techniques of massage therapy, including trigger point therapy and cross fiber friction. In reciprocal laboratory experiences, receiving techniques is necessary in order to learn proper procedures and to receive and provide learning feedback. Reciprocal application of technique is also useful for developing sensitivity to client needs. The College may temporarily excuse a student from receiving massage therapy provided that there is a specific medical contraindication, as determined in writing by a licensed health care professional.

All students, with or without reasonable accommodation, must carry out laboratory and clinical assignments, including providing massage therapy services to clients. Qualified persons with disabilities, with or without reasonable accommodation, must be able to pass oral, written and practical examinations and meet all of the clinical requirements of the University.

It is in the best interests of both the student and the University to assess the degree of limitation caused by disability. However, the University will make the final determination of whether or not an individual meets all qualifications for study at the University.

The University accommodations process is found under “Student Life.” Additionally, questions regarding qualifications or accommodations should be directed to the Office of Student Affairs.

Selection of Candidates

The Admissions Committee seeks to matriculate students who best suit the philosophies and goals of the University. Northwestern seeks to select students who have strong academic records and who demonstrate the motivational and personal characteristics suitable for a career in massage therapy. Willingness to provide service and a caring attitude are important characteristics of a future massage therapist. The University employs a rolling admissions process. Therefore, early application could increase the applicant’s probability for acceptance. The University encourages campus visits for all applicants and reserves the right to require an interview.

Tuition Deposit Policy

Applicants will be notified in writing of the Admission Committee’s decision regarding their application following receipt of all application materials and committee review. Upon notification of acceptance, a candidate must remit a tuition deposit of $100 to reserve a position in the entering class. This tuition deposit is non-refundable but is applied toward the first trimester tuition. If the student has a loan in progress for the first trimester at Northwestern, then the first trimester tuition will be credited against this loan. It is important to note that because of the limited space available in each class, scheduling priorities and the cost of education, the institutional refund policy does not apply to the $100 tuition deposit.

Transfer Students and Transfer Policy

The College will consider requests for transfer credit based on the following criteria:

  1. An official transcript must accompany any request for transfer credit;
  2. The institution where the coursework was completed must be accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education;
  3. The course(s) completed at the other institution must have similar objectives and be of similar content and length as the course(s) being substituted within the Massage Therapy program. A course catalog and/or syllabus may be required to demonstrate course content;
  4. Students must have earned a C or better in any course being considered for transfer;
  5. Any coursework submitted for transfer must have been completed within five years of the date that a transfer application is submitted to the University;
  6. A maximum of 21 credits will be transferred per student in the certificate program and 30 credits per student in the Associate of Applied Science degree program;
  7. The College reserves the right to offer transfer credit to students who demonstrate proficiency in course material based on submission of a portfolio demonstrating competency in the objectives of the course;
  8. Requests for transfer credit will only be considered prior to matriculation into the Massage Therapy programs;
  9. The final decision regarding transfer credit rests with the Dean of the College of Health and Wellness.


All tuition and fees owed are due and payable by the end of the third week of class each academic term. After the completion of the third week of class, if tuition has not been paid or if arrangements for payment have not been made with the Accounting Office, a $100 late fee will be assessed and registration for that academic term will be canceled. In order to be reinstated, the affected student must pay tuition in full or make payment arrangements with the Accounting Office. All tuition and fees owed by a student must be paid in full before registration begins for the subsequent academic term or s/he will not be allowed to register. Any student with a balance due at the time of graduation will not receive a diploma and copies of official transcripts will be withheld until the balance is paid in full.

When you receive financial aid, you are subject to the 150 percent rule. This rule means that if you attempt more than 150 percent of the credit hours needed to graduate from the program, you will not be eligible to continue to receive financial aid. (For example, the number of credit hours needed to complete the certificate program is 44 and 150 percent of 44 credits is 66 credits.)

The Institutional Refund Policy applies to students who withdraw, students who are dismissed and in the case of cancellation of the program in which the student is enrolled.

Non-Program Students

Students not currently admitted to a program may enroll in a course for credit, if they meet the prerequisites, space is available and approval for attendance in the course has been granted by the course instructor and the Dean.

Students that are granted approval to enroll in a course should contact the Office of Admissions for a special application and registration instructions.