There is a critical shortage of mental health professionals who are trained to address the needs of children, adolescents and their families. We are meeting this need.

This program option is designed as either an addition to your master’s program of study or as an independent clinical specialization post-graduate study.

The Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Child Therapy is a 12-credit hour residential based graduate program to further your knowledge through a comprehensive, specialized curriculum of applied skills in child therapy. The CAS in Child Therapy is available for graduate students, clinicians, mental health professionals, and practitioners from allied disciplines who intend to expand their knowledge and skills in clinical practice with children and their families or care-givers. The Certificate of Advanced Studies in Child Therapy addresses the concerns expressed by state and federal agencies about the critical shortage of mental health professionals who are trained to address the needs of children, adolescents and their families.

Sample Courses

Courses are designed to help students understand principles of child development; human sexuality; gender development; and family development and processes, especially in the context of trauma. Sample courses include:

  • Play Therapy with Children and Families
  • Family Therapy Across the Life Cycle
  • Family Therapy with Complex Trauma
  • Counseling Children and Adolescents
View all course requirements and electives

Why a CAS is Important

Students consider CAS programs to advance or complement an existing skill set, or to develop a new one. For some students, CAS programs are helpful stand-alone options to enhance an advanced degree they already have. For others, supplementing a master program with a CAS generally entails coursework that matches M.A. or M.S. requirements. With little to no additional time or financial investment required, pairing a master degree and a CAS simultaneously is appealing. Enrolling in the CAS in Child Therapy while pursuing one of these clinical master’s degree pairs important skills in high demand.

What’s the advantage of earning a CAS credential and a master degree?

Graduate certificates are important when pursuing a master’s degree because they can give you a leg up on employment once you graduate. You build knowledge, skill and credentials in a specialized area of interest above and beyond the master’s degree without extending your time at Falk. And when you graduate with a master degree and a Certificate of Advanced Study, the CAS letters next to your M.A., M.S., M.S.W. or MFT on your new business cards are a valuable addition.

What Our Students Are Saying

What’s Next

A Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) complements a M.A. in marriage and family therapy degree and other master degrees, not to mention their marketability after graduation, with additional knowledge, skills, licensing and credentials in a specialized area. Additional licensing and credentialing strategically position students in the counseling and mental health fields. Students wishing to pursue a university level-teaching career can further pursue a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy.


Therapists with a specialization in child therapy often work in facilities where there are children in need of mental health services. This often includes schools, hospitals, children’s homes, juvenile detention centers, domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, and social service offices. Like many other counseling professionals, therapists with a specialization in child therapy can also usually choose to open their own private practices. In doing so, they may counsel children in their offices, or travel to the children’s homes or schools.

Financial Support

New reduced 2023-2024 tuition for graduate students:

Graduate programs were reduced from $1,872 to $1,139 per credit hour for the 2023-2024 academic year! This reduced pricing is for both new and current students. With few exceptions, the reduced rates can not be combined with other funding awards and are not applicable toward prior semesters’ tuition. For questions about the new tuition pricing, please contact Falk Admissions.

Getting Admitted

The Certificate of Advanced Studies in Child Therapy is restricted to baccalaureate prepared licensed/certified professionals, students currently enrolled in a master level licensure qualifying programs. and post-masters professional applicants. GRE’s are not required. Psychopathology (or its equivalent) is required for completion of the Child Therapy CAS. Because Psychopathology is a required course in the SWK, MFT and MHC master degree programs, it is not listed as a course in the Child Therapy CAS. However, applicants who previously completed a master’s degree, and did not have Psychopathology in their course of study, must take a Psychopathology course in addition to the required 12 credits in the CAS.

Please note: Completion of the Advanced Certificate in Child Therapy program alone does not qualify an individual for licensure as a social worker, marriage and family therapist, or any other profession licensed under Title VIII of the Education Law, nor does it authorize a certificate holder to engage in those scope-restricted professions. A maximum of three credits from a combination of transfer and/or external examinations/extra-institutional and experiential learning will be accepted toward a C.A.S.

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