Get A Play Therapy Certificate Through UW

Children can speak volumes through the language of play.

The University of Wyoming Play Therapy certificate program will ensure you will have the skills required to decode that language and help the youngest and most vulnerable regain their voice.

Those who have completed the program can apply to the Association for Play Therapy (APT) to become certified to provide their clients with additional services to help children better express what is troubling them when they do not have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings.

Program Details

Program Requirements

Curriculum & Courses

About the Play Therapy Certificate Program

Counselor with client

Play allows children to examine their problems from a safe psychological distance and allows them to express thoughts and feelings that are appropriate to their development. Play therapy includes a variety of treatment methods that apply the therapeutic benefits of play to help children learn to communicate with others, better express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others. It can be a powerful tool to to help children and families reconnect and heal after a traumatic experience.

The online post-master's certificate program at UW was designed to meet the 150 clock training hours required by the Association for Play Therapy* to become a Registered Play Therapist or a School-Based Registered Play Therapist. The program is designed for completion in one academic year with cohort groups beginning annually in the fall semester.

*APT awards the certification and students must are responsible for meeting their additional requirements in order to gain the credential.

Speak with an advisor!

Application Deadline

July 1 - Fall Semesters (our certificate program only admits cohorts in the fall semester)

Admission Requirements

Domestic Students
GPA: 3.0
GRE: no requirement

International Students
TOEFL: 80 minimum online score and 20 minimum score in each subset, OR IELTS: 6.5 minimum overall score with 6 minimum in each subset.
GRE: 291 minimum

How to Apply
Please visit our program admission webpage for more details.

Counselor drawing on white board
Counselor with client

This 7-hour graduate level certificate program requires three courses and is designed to be completed in one year.

  • CNSL 5341 Play Therapy and Expressive Arts (3 credit hours) Offered Fall Term
  • CNSL 5342 Theoretical Models of Play Therapy (1 credit hours) Offered J-Term (Winter Break)
  • CNSL 5343 Filial and Family Play Therapy (3 credit hours) Offered Spring Term

View the full play therapy certificate curriculum.


Online Learning At UW

The University of Wyoming presents an extensive array of fully-online and hybrid programs, alongside the online play therapy certificate. These virtual programs are equivalent to in-person options concerning educational benchmarks and official recognition. Acknowledging the unique needs of online students, we provide a variety of academic and student resources crafted to bolster your achievements throughout your UW experience and beyond graduation.


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What Can You Do with a Play Therapy Graduate Certificate?

The certificate in play therapy program at UW was designed to meet the 150 clock training hours required by the Association for Play Therapy (APT). This program allows mental health professionals to expand the services they offer clients by applying to APT to become certified* as a:

Play Therapy Careers

  • Registered Play Therapist
  • School-Based Registered Play Therapist


*APT awards the certification and students must are responsible for meeting their additional requirements in order to gain the credential.


Counselor playing with puppets with client



The Association for Play Therapy reports that, on average, research shows it takes 20 play therapy sessions to address the issues of a typical child who has been referred for treatment.

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Play Therapy Certificate Program Highlights

Here are some reason to choose UW to gain your training to become a play therapist:


The program at UW is one of the few programs approved by the Association for Play Therapy to meet training hour requirement to become a Registered Play Therapist or School-Based Registered Play Therapist (APT Approved Provider 10-288).


The UW College of Education is nationally accredited by NCATE. The counselor programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Biennial Conference

The UW Play Therapy Conference allows you to gain expertise from renowned experts in the field right here in Laramie! It also provides a venue to network with counselors and therapist from all over the world.



Travel Grants

Take advantage of travel funds for graduate students available from the dean’s office to offset travel expenses associated with attending or presenting at professional conferences.




In the play therapy experience, toys are like the child’s words, and play is the child’s language.

- Garry Landreth