Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy

Sam Houston State University’s (SHSU) Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy (offered by the Department of Counselor Education housed within the College of Education) provides specialized academic training in therapeutic play modalities for master’s level, degree-seeking students as well as post-master’s practitioners seeking professional training. The Huntsville facility is outfitted with 2- play rooms, 3-sandtray rooms, as well as videotaping capabilities. Facilities at the Woodlands Center contain a playroom, several portable sand tray carts as well as portable art carts.  Additionally, this facility has digital taping capabilities. 

The 12-semester credit hour Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy is designed for students training in clinical mental health and school counseling and related fields (i.e., psychology, social work, and marriage and family) as well as for post-master’s professionals in counseling and related fields who want to specialize and/or work towards their professional registration through the national organization (Association for Play Therapy, APT). Students should view from APT to understand the full requirements and keep updated on changes (i.e., academic, PT specific training, license, supervision, clinical experiences).  The Play Therapy Training Institute at SHSU is an Approved Provider by APT; however, APT alone holds the right to accept or deny any continuing education training at its discretion has the final approval of their applications. SHSU is an APT Approved Provider #07211.

This Graduate Certificate is eligible to receive Title IV funding – Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Graduate PLUS loans by request. To be considered for aid, students need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Additional information: Reference the Program Landing Page for additional information, such as cost, delivery format, contact information, or to schedule a visit.

Applicants seeking admission to work on their Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy must submit the following directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Application
  2. Application fee
  3. Official transcript from current program

This certificate does not equate to an official Play Therapy certification by the Association of Play Therapy (APT). Students wishing to become certified Play Therapists must complete all requirements, application, and clinical experiences for consideration by APT. More information about Play Therapy certification is available here.

For information regarding coursework for the Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy, please, contact the Play Therapy Coordinator Dr. Evelyne Fitzgerald in the Department of Counselor Education: 936-294-4148.

Students enrolled in the 12-credit hour Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy may be taking courses alongside SHSU students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in Counseling. Course work for the Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy (3 credit hours each) are listed below.

This certificate does not equate to an official Play Therapy certification. Students wishing to become certified Play Therapists must complete all requirements and application through the Association of Play Therapy.

Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy
Specified Courses
COUN 5399Play Therapy Basics3
COUN 6331Advanced Play Therapy3
COUN 5391Child & Adolescent Counseling3
COUN 5398Sandtray Therapy3
Total Hours12

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state's 60x30 plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers. Marketable skills are those valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The Play Therapy Certificate is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Advanced knowledge of challenges encountered by children
  • Advanced skill and intervention training when providing counseling services to children
  • Evidence-based counseling services to children
  • Foundational education for specialized training toward Register Play Therapist designation managed by Association for Play Therapy