Jul 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Play Therapy, Graduate Certificate


Department of Counseling
491B Pawley Hall   (map)
(248) 370-4179 • Fax (248) 370-4141

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Rebecca Vannest
491C Pawley Hall
(248) 370-2638

Program description

The Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy prepares individuals to be a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) or a School Based-Registered Play Therapist (SB-RPT). Includes instruction in child development, theories of personality, psychotherapy, child and adolescent psychopathology, and ethics

Admission terms and application deadlines

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

  2. Additional department application requirements
  • Completion or capstone enrollment in a graduate degree in a mental health discipline or commensurate graduate experience as determined by the Department of Counseling.

  • Essay (500 words establishing commitment and interest in the field of child and adolescent mental health and play therapy).

  • Requirements for the two official and original Recommendation for Graduate Admission forms.

The Recommendation  for Graduate Admission forms must be from those who can attest to the applicant’s potential for successful graduate study


Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate study at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Oakland University Graduate School, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department.

To be admitted to the graduate certificate program in full standing, the applicant must have an undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0, but with an appropriate academic background and strong letters of recommendation, may be considered for admission in limited standing. Students who qualify for this admission classification must complete a maximum of 12 credits of graduate coursework with a grade of 3.0 or above in each course within the first three academic terms from the time of initial enrollment.

Graduate certificate requirements

Course requirements (12 Credits)

CNS 6030 Introduction to Child & Adolescent Play Therapy (4 credits) During the course of this semester, students will learn about the lifespan development of childhood and adolescence. Play therapy techniques, demonstrations and experiential role plays such as sand tray therapy will be integrated into the course. 

CNS 6035 Advanced Child & Adolescent Play Therapy (4 credits) During the course of this semester, students will learn about the lifespan development of childhood and adolescence. Play therapy techniques, demonstrations and experiential role plays such as group play therapy will be integrated into the course. 

CNS 7931 Fieldwork in Child & Adolescent Play Therapy (4 credits) Students in the course will provide pro bono play therapy sessions to children and adolescents from the community under supervision. All play therapy services will be provided at the SEHS Counseling Center. 

Students must complete 12 credits in the play therapy curriculum in order to receive the Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy.

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University. 

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted by the student to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework. (See the Graduate Student Responsibility  section of this catalog.)

Note:  Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.