On this page you’ll find answers to FAQs, a map of Maui, links, and other goodies.





What are MSTM’s credentials, licenses and affiliations?

Since its inception in 1995, MSTM has been licensed as a private vocational school by the Hawaii State Department of Education, and approved by the Hawaii Board of Massage Therapy. We are a member of the ABMP – Association  of Bodywork and Massage Professionals  and of the AFMTE – Alliance for Massage Therapy Education. MSTM is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students. Our curriculum meets all requirements for entrance to the National Certification Examination, considered the highest professional credential in our field, as well as MBLEX, a requirement for licensing in many states, and for membership in the American Massage Therapy Association. Our graduates have close to 100% success rate on both state and national examinations. MSTM has graduated hundreds of successful LMTs.

What do your graduates say about MSTM?

You’ll find testimonials from our grads throughout this web site. Here’s a sample:

“My experience at MSTM was awesome!  I learned so much about the body and about healing. In the process, I also learned a lot about myself.  The administrative staff was professional and friendly.  The instructors were experienced, knowledgeable, motivating, and inspiring. Every class was well structured, fun, and interesting.  I truly felt like each instructor cared about my success as a future massage therapist.  If you are thinking about becoming a massage therapist, look no further – MSTM is the best school on Maui!”

Monica Barnas Smith MS, LMT (graduated Fall 2009)


Would you describe the school facilities? Back to top

Entrance to the school is through the reception area/waiting room with three doors. One door goes into the student lounge, one to an administrative office and one to the classroom. The classroom/clinic is light, airy and spacious (1000 square feet) with views of the ocean and the West Maui Mountains. The classroom becomes our clinic by pulling curtains around each massage table. The school has an extensive book and video library, audiovisual equipment, anatomical models and charts, lots of massage tables, tools and supplies for massage and hydrotherapy. As well as administration offices, there is a second classroom next door used for select classes and workshops, a student lounge with a kitchenette and areas for study and practice.

Where is the school located?

The school is located at 1043 Makawao Avenue, Suite 207, in Makawao. We are about 15 minutes from the airport and central shopping district. From Kahului take Hwy #36 (Hana Hwy) about 2 miles. Turn right onto Hwy #37 (Haleakala Hwy) and go 7 miles. Turn left at the traffic light onto Makawao Avenue and go 2 miles. MSTM is on the left in the Makawao Business Center, an old-western style, 2-story building. We are near the center of town, and an easy walk to restaurants, the library, health food store, post office and free public parking.

Map of Maui

How can I get a student visa?

If you will need a visa, it is best to begin the process at least 5 to 6 weeks prior to the first day of class. There is a $500 non-refundable deposit to secure your seat in the class. Once you’ve registered, we will request additional information and documents from you for the purpose of preparing your I-20. A meeting with your consulate will be required next to determine if you will be granted the visa. We strongly recommend you review the following website,, which provides detailed information about student visas. The M1 visa is valid for education only and does not allow you to work. All fees quoted in our literature are in US dollars.

What financial aid is available? Back to top

MSTM offers in-house financing through payment plans, a Friends & Family discount and a limited amount of need-based tuition assistance may be available. Please inquire with the Director for additional information, availability and eligibility of tuition assistance and visit our enrollment page for more details about our payment plans. MSTM is approved for funding from  Alu Like. Students who qualify can apply for these funds directly at their local offices.

Why is your tuition so low?

Our Public Clinic, in addition to providing our students with valuable “hands-on” training and experience, is an important source of revenue for the school and an important resource for the community. It’s a “win-win” situation.

Do you take credit cards?

Yes. Beginning December 2009, MSTM will accept credit card payments (Visa, MasterCard, Discover). You may also make your payments by personal check, money order or cash.

How many people will be in my class?

Classes are small with approximately students per class, ensuring lots of individual attention. You will take the entire 650-hour program with the same group of classmates, which fosters a sense of community.

What books and supplies will I need for class?

Once accepted, all students receive a registration packet which includes a list of required books and supplies; however, you may request this information from the Administrator at any time. MSTM sells the textbooks, oils, sheets, anatomical charts, massage tables and other supplies you will need. Your course outline will tell you what to bring to each class.

What is your grading policy? Back to top

Performance is evaluated by written and practical exams. A passing grade is given in each course if your average score in that course is 70% or higher, and you have at least 90% attendance for the term. Four courses are given a percentage grade: Anatomy, Massage Technique, Treatment of Common Conditions, and Neuromuscular Therapy. All other courses are graded “pass” or “fail”. Tutoring is available for a reasonable fee if needed.

What is your refund policy?

Up to two weeks before classes begin, all tuition paid can be refunded, except the non-refundable registration deposit of $500 and the $50 application fee. If a student withdraws before that time, the deposit and application fee may be credited to a subsequent program offered up to a year after the beginning of the program in which the student originally enrolled.

After the first class, all refunds will be calculated according to the date the school receives written notice of withdrawal. Tuition will be charged at the option four rate of $18.75 per class hour up to that date. In addition, the registration deposit and application fee are non-refundable and may not be credited toward future courses. Any tuition paid in excess of this will be refunded within 30 days. Any tuition still owed by the student at the time they withdraw will be charged in accordance with the enrollment agreement.

Do you have a nondiscrimination policy?

Yes. MSTM does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin or physical disability.

Do you accept transfer students? Back to top

Students with prior training, as well as apprentices, are welcome. Please include the transcript from your previous school with your application form. We can design a program especially for you based on what you’ve studied, what you need, your budget, and your interests.

Do you offer Continuing Education?

Yes, most of the courses in our 650-hour program can be taken separately. We also offer advanced training in addition to our regular curriculum. Elective courses in advanced techniques are offered to students, graduates and other health practitioners who wish to broaden their education. Our school’s faculty and guest instructors teach a number of courses which vary in length and cost. Fees usually average $20 per hour of instruction for Continuing Education. For more information about upcoming workshops, please check our calendar page or contact us.

Do you offer Extended Programs longer than 650 hours?

Students or graduates who want more extensive training, or need more than 650 hours of credit for their state, may choose to enroll in an extended program. Extended programs are individually tailored to the interests and needs of each student.

What can I earn as a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) and how will I find a job?

LMTs generally earn $40 to 60 per hour. Massage therapy is said to be the fastest growing health care profession in the US. (View the 2009 Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet here.)  Many of our graduates start their own private practices, while others find employment in chiropractors’ offices, medical clinics, hotels, spas or even cruise ships. Although we cannot guarantee employment, we provide placement information and job announcements when available.

“I wanted to let you know how great my experience was at M.S.T.M. and how easily I obtained work after graduation. I moved to Colorado and was immediately hired by a day spa. The pay is great, and the people are awesome. I’m so pleased with the school that I chose!” – Gretchen B.


“As the manager of a large and prestigious spa in Hawaii, I have hired hundreds of Licensed Massage Therapists over the years. I strongly prefer to hire graduates of M.S.T.M. over other schools because of their superior training and considerable clinical experience. As a general rule, your graduates are simply more effective.” – Christie A.


What are the requirements in Hawaii to become an LMT? Back to top

The State of Hawaii requires 570 hours of massage therapy instruction and specifies which subjects must be covered. The MSTM program fulfills all requirements and thoroughly prepares you for the state licensing exam which is offered 4 times per year on Maui (more often on Oahu) as well as the MBLEX. If you have attended a recognized massage school and have met all requirements for Hawaii licensing, you can apply directly to the Hawaii Board of Massage for a license. To get an application form or to contact the Board, call (808) 586-3000 or email them at If you have met some but not all licensing requirements, we can help you.

What about getting licensed in other states?

While every country, state and province has different licensing requirements for massage therapists, our program meets the requirements of the vast majority. Many states accept the National Certification Exam or MBLEX, and some will allow you to practice with your Hawaii license. Some states set licensing requirements at the county level. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the International Massage Association (IMA) are good networking and information sources. For a list of the basic licensing requirements of each state, click here.

Can I practice massage in British Columbia?

To practice as a Registered Massage Therapist in British Columbia, you must complete 3,000 hours of training in a full-time 3 year program which costs between $25,000 and $30,000 (Canadian). Many people seek an alternative to this, and prefer our more holistic approach, which includes, but is not limited to, medical massage. Graduates of our 650-hour program have set up successful private practices in BC but cannot call themselves Licensed or Registered Massage Therapists. Training from MSTM may not be transferred to a BC massage therapy college. Other Canadian provinces have less stringent requirements.

What’s it like living on Maui? Back to top

Maui is a very diverse island community of about 120,000 residents and approximately 30,000 visitors. The natural beauty of Maui is breathtaking. We have some of the finest palm tree-lined beaches on the planet. In an hour or so, you can drive from your favorite beach or surfing spot to the summit of Mount Haleakala, a 10,000-foot extinct volcano filled with giant, multicolored cinder cones, miles of hiking trails, and plants and animals found nowhere else. The famed Hana Highway twists and turns along the “wet” side of Maui, with waterfalls, lush rain forest, spectacular cliffs, and a shoreline of lava formations and pounding surf. If you want to get your feet wet, you can swim, dive, surf, paddle or snorkel with whales, dolphins, sea turtles and tropical fish, in water that’s usually in the mid-seventies. Maui is known for its ideal weather and great variety of mini-climate zones. Please check out our photos.

What is Makawao like?

Makawao is a small town of approximately 7000 people, about 15 minutes from the Kahului airport. This ”Upcountry” community is a unique blend of artist, Hawaiian Cowboy and New Age. Makawao is about 1500 feet above sea level, and only ten minutes from North Shore beaches. There’s a constant breeze here, keeping it a bit wetter and a few degrees cooler than the southwest side of the island, a welcome relief in the summer months. The temperature is so close to ideal that most upcountry homes need neither AC nor heat. Temperatures in winter average in the low 70s and in summer average in the low 80s.

What is the cost of living in Hawaii?

The cost of living is higher in Hawaii than many other states, although not as high as many major cities in the continental US. Food, gasoline and merchandise are usually a bit more expensive than the mainland due to the cost of shipping.

What about transportation? Back to top

Public transit is very limited on Maui, so a car is important. Most people rent cars when they arrive on Maui while they look for housing and their own vehicle. Some of the local rental agencies have used cars available for under $150 per week. Cars are plentiful and tend to be reasonably priced. Bicycling can be dangerous, as most roads are not designed with bike lanes or shoulders.

What does housing cost on Maui?

You can expect to spend $750 – $1,250 for a room in a shared house, and about $900 – $1,800 for a studio or one-bedroom apartment. It’s important to arrive a few weeks before classes begin to find housing and to get settled. We strongly advise against renting a place you haven’t seen. Many students find housing right in Makawao within walking distance of the school. Students often room together and our bulletin board at the school is a source of leads for housing and other opportunities in the area. You can also visit the Maui News at and the Maui Bulletin at; both are excellent sources for work, housing, transportation and information about what’s happening on Maui.

Where can I find work while studying?

Students sometime find jobs in Makawao, in the health food store, restaurants, boutiques and art galleries. Other employment opportunities are available in neighboring towns. The tourist industry generates many jobs in sales, food service, and activities.

Can I take the full-time program and work too?

Due to the intensity of our full-time program, we do not accept students for the full-time program who plan to work during the 7 months they are in school. If you need to work, we advise you to enroll in the 12-month program.

How do I get to Maui? Back to top

There are many flights to Maui. Many major airlines fly directly into Kahului, Maui (airport code OGG) from the US mainland. The flight from California takes about 5 hours. Flights from Asia arrive in Honolulu, Oahu. There are frequent inter-island flights to Maui. The lowest fares can often be found on internet travel sites.

Where can I stay when I first arrive?

There are several B&Bs in the area. If you’re on a low budget, we recommend Tropohouse (Haiku) at (808) 575-2107, and Peace of Maui (Hali’imaile) at (888) 475-5045.  Youth hostels such as Rainbows Inn Hostel (Paia) at (808) 579-9057, North Shore Inn (Wailuku) at (808) 242-8999 and the Banana Bungalow (Wailuku) at (808) 244-5090 are quite inexpensive but can be noisy. For other options, check the links below.

Can you recommend any links to Maui and Hawaii web sites?

Here are a few to get you started:
State of Hawaii:
Maui County:
Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau:
Great Maui Photos!:
Maui News: (housing, cars)
Maui Now:
For more information about our program, please contact us. For information about Hawaii and the island of Maui, please visit the links listed. And please check out our photos.

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