Specialized Accreditation

Requirements to apply for accreditation

Accreditation is a process that can take one to two years to complete. You can earn institutional accreditation for your entire school, or programmatic accreditation for a specific program. To begin the process, the requirements below must be met:

Institutional Accreditation Requirements

  • You must have five students enrolled.
  • All programs offered must be massage therapy/bodywork or esthetics/skin care programs.
  • You must be legally organized and licensed by the appropriate state education and/or state licensing agency.
  • You must offer instruction on the post-secondary level.
  • You must offer at least one massage therapy or esthetics program that requires completion of the number of hours equal to or greater than that required for state licensure – if your state does not have a licensure hour requirement, you program must equal at least 600 clock hours.

Programmatic Accreditation Requirements

  • You must have five students enrolled.
  • Your program must be clearly identified as a professional massage therapy or esthetics educational program. Other professional education programs that include massage or skin care courses are not eligible.
  • A specific entity or department must be responsible for the program. Identifiable faculty and staff must be assigned to and responsible for the program.
  • The program must provide an organized plan of study. *see below
  • The institution must offer a certificate, diploma or degree in massage therapy or esthetics to a body of students enrolled for the purpose of receiving such a credential.
  • The parent institution must demonstrate its financial commitment to the massage therapy and bodywork program or aesthetics/esthetics/skin care program by allocating enough financial support to enable all enrolled students to complete the program.
  • The program must be located in an institution that already has institutional accreditation from an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

*That equals or exceeds the number of hours required for state licensure or, in the absence of a state licensure hour requirement, the program is at least 600 clock hours.

Steps to accreditation:

  1. Complete online training that covers the COMTA Standards and Self-Study Report process
  2. Complete an online application
  3. Complete a Self-Study Report – a rich and rewarding in-depth effort by the school, its administration, faculty, students, graduates, and employers
  4. Participate in an on-site visit by a team of COMTA peer reviewers
  5. Address any issues found in the on-site visit
  6. Receive COMTA’s decision on your accreditation status

Learn More

Accreditation Fees

Accreditation fees are divided into four separate categories:

For a full list of specific fees, view our Fee Guide.