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 UNCC 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 UNCC. 

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 four 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 have a 3.0 average to receive the Graduate Certificate.

How do I apply for the Graduate Certificate?

You must apply online through the UNCC Graduate School.  The link for the application is:  (Online Application Login).

When is the application deadline? 

The deadline for applications can be found at this link:

Admission Requirements

  • A master’s degree in counseling, social work, or psychology from an accredited university or a current student admitted to the Department of Counseling
  • Online application to Graduate Admissions accompanied by the application fee in effect.
  • GPA required for entry into a master’s degree program.
  • Official transcripts
  • A statement of purpose as to why the applicant seeks admission to the program
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • 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:

All students are required to take the following three (3) courses:

  • CSLG 7142               Introduction to Play Therapy  (spring or summer)
  • CSLG 71431            Filial Therapy:  An Approach to Parent Training (spring)
  • CSLG 7144             Contemporary Theories of Play Therapy (fall)

Students must select one (1) course from the following courses:

  • CSLG 7145             Special Topics in Play Therapy (e.g., Conference, Expressive Arts)
  • OR
  • Course Approved by Director of Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy

1 Pre-requisite is CSLG 7142

Course Descriptions

CSLG 7142. Introduction to Play Therapy. (3) Cross-listed as CSLG 8142. 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. Filial Therapy: An Approach to Parent Training. (3) Prerequisite: CSLG 7142. Cross-listed as CSLG 8143. 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) Cross-listed as CSLG 8144. 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. (Fall)

CSLG 7145. Special Topics in Play Therapy. (3).  Cross-listed as CSLG 8145.  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. Conference: Summer; On Demand)

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


For more information contact:

Dr. Phyllis Post
Department of Counseling
UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
(704) 687-8961