Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy


The Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy consists of a coherent program of play therapy course work. The program is available for students who have completed master’s degrees in counseling, social work or psychology, but who want additional coursework in play therapy. In addition, students currently enrolled in the master’s or doctoral program in the Department of Counseling at UNC Charlotte may take the coursework required for the Graduate Certificate.

A minimum of 4 courses (twelve credit hours) is required for the Graduate Certificate. All courses must be taken at UNC Charlotte.

The program is not an online program. At this time several of the courses have a distance learning component, and both of these classes are taught as a “hybrid” class. This means that while most of the work with be distance learning, there will also be times when the class meet at UNC Charlotte.

All course work must be completed within five years, and the four years begins at the time of your first course in the Graduate Certificate program. Please note that if you do not take one course each academic year, you will have to re-apply to the program.

Students must havea 3.0 averageto receive the Graduate Certificate.

How do I apply for the Graduate Certificate?
Students must apply online through the UNC Charlotte Graduate School. The link for the application is: (Online Application Login).

Application Information:

Students may apply for the program at any time.

This program is not the same as becoming a Registered Play Therapist. For information about that please consult

Admission Requirements

  • Students who have completed master’s degrees in counseling, social work or psychology in an accredited university or
  • Students who are currently a student in social work, counseling, or psychology in an accredited university.
  • Online application to Graduate Admissions accompanied by the application fee in effect.
  • Official transcripts
  • A statement of purpose as to why the applicant seeks admission to the program
  • Interview (if requested by the Director of the Graduate Certificate)

Program Description

A curriculum has been established for a specialty in play therapy. Students must complete four courses, as follows:

Required courses (9 credits):

Students are required to take:

  • CSLG 7142, Introduction to Play Therapy  (fall, spring, summer 1)

Students are required to select 2 of the 3 courses:

  • CSLG 7143*, Child-Centered Relationship Training: An Approach for Training Parents/Caregivers/Teachers (spring)
  • CSLG 7144, Contemporary Theories of Play Therapy (hybrid) (fall)
  • CSLG 7147*, Multicultural Play Therapy (hybrid) (spring)

*Pre-requisite: CSLG 7142

Elective courses (3 credits):

  • CSLG 7145

    • Special Topics in Play Therapy: Conference (hybrid) (summer 1)
    • Special Topics in Play Therapy: Expressive Arts (summer 2)

  • CSLG ____, The course in the required course selection list above that you did not choose may be your elective
  • Other Elective Course determined in consultation with the Director of the Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy

Course Descriptions

CSLG 7142. Introduction to Play Therapy. (3) Enhancing the counseling relationship with children by using play media to establish facilitative relationships with children under the age of ten years. (Fall, Spring, Summer)

CSLG 7143. Child-Centered Relationship Training: An Approach for Training Parents/Caregivers/Teachers (3) Prerequisite: CSLG 7142. This advanced level play therapy course focuses on concepts and skills for training parents/caretakers/teachers to be therapeutic agents in their children’s lives through the utilization of child centered play therapy skills in regularly scheduled structured play sessions with children. (Spring)

CSLG 7144. Contemporary Theories of Play Therapy. (3) An advanced exploration of fundamental issues involved in play therapy, this seminar course will focus on an in-depth study of various theoretical approaches, modalities, techniques, and applications of play therapy. Historical and theoretical foundations of play therapy are presented as are current issues in providing appropriate counseling services to children aged three to ten years old. (Hybrid; Fall)

CSLG 7145. Special Topics in Play Therapy. (3). Focuses on a variety of topics in play therapy such as conference, supervision of play therapy, and group play therapy. The course may offer alternative formats, such as weekend sessions and distance learning options. (e.g., Conference (hybrid; Summer), Expressive Arts)

CSLG 7147. Multicultural and Social Justice Issues in Play Therapy (3) Prerequisite: CSLG 7142. An advanced exploration of multicultural and social justice advocacy in play therapy. The course will focus on self-awareness, knowledge, and skills relevant to providing culturally sensitive interventions to diverse children and their families. This hybrid class will include topics such as racial and ethnic background, cultural heritage, family structure, religious and spiritual beliefs, disciplinary styles, adverse childhood experiences, and trauma informed interventions. (Hybrid; Spring)

The University Catalog, application forms and materials can be obtained from:

The Graduate School
UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
704.687.3279 (Fax)

Begin the application process at this link:

University Catalog and current Schedule of Courses are available online at

Forms required for completing the Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy:

Please note that the deadline for filing for graduation from the program is early in the semester you plan to graduate. Consult the Academic Calendar to be sure to submit the form by that date. This link provides information about filing for graduation:


Information about our annual Multicultural Play Therapy Conference can be found at:

For more information contact:

Dr. Phyllis Post
Department of Counseling
UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001