Certificate in Advanced Practice in Hand and Upper Quarter Rehabilitation

hand therapy courses

Certificate Type: Post-Bachelor's

Number of Credits to Completion: 16.0

Instructional Delivery: Online

Calendar Type: Quarter

Maximum Time Frame: 1 year

Financial Aid Eligibility: Not aid eligible


The Certificate in Hand and Upper Quarter Rehabilitation program is designed physical and occupational therapists who wish to gain advanced understanding of the upper quarter, including the cervical spine, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand. This program consists of four courses offered in a blended learning format. The curriculum is based on the most recent hand therapy practice analysis conducted by the Hand Therapy Certification Commission (HTCC). The HTCC oversees the certification process for qualifying occupational and physical therapists as "certified hand therapists" or CHTs. This Certificate of Advanced Practice in Hand and Upper Quarter Rehabilitation is recognized by HTCC as a resource to assist with preparation for the CHT examination.

After successfully completing the four required courses, students receive a post-professional certificate of completion. The credits may be transferred into degree programs within Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences.

What you'll learn

The Certificate Program in Advanced Practice in Hand and Upper Quarter Rehabilitation curriculum enables therapists to gain advanced practice education through a supported distance learning environment that recognizes the diversity of professional experiences. We strive to promote academic excellence, evidence-based practice, expertise, and career-long learning.

Drexel's program offers:

  • Superior pass rate on the certified hand therapist (CHT) exam;
  • Four graduate courses convenient for part-time study;
  • Online coursework integrated with weekend laboratory sessions;
  • Cadaver anatomy, orthotic fabrication skills, and advanced examination techniques;
  • Coursework that may be applied to other degree programs;
  • Certificate that can be reasonably completed in one year;
  • A two-year option available to ease financial resources and time constraints.

What makes the Hand Therapy Certificate program unique?

  • Specifically designed to accommodate working professionals.
    • A curriculum infused

      with the latest technology for online interaction.

    • One-year and two-year options for certificate completion.
  • Expert faculty who specialize in upper quarter rehabilitation


The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a compliance process that may be required for every student. Some of these steps may take significant time to complete. Please plan accordingly.

Visit the Compliance pages for more information.

Admission Requirements

A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in physical therapy or occupational therapy from an accredited institution in the United States or an equivalent international institution.

Standardized Tests:


Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended.

  • You must supply transcripts regardless of the number of credits earned or the type of school you attended.
  • Instead of hard copy transcripts, your post-secondary institution can supply official electronic transcripts directly to Drexel University Online through a password secured link or website (use our email address,customerservice@drexel.com.)
  • If you don’t list all post-secondary institutions on your application and these appear on transcripts received from other institutions, your application will not be reviewed until you have submitted the remaining transcripts.
  • Use our Transcript Lookup Tool to assist you in contacting your previous institutions.


Two letters of recommendation.

  • You may use our electronic letter of recommendation service .
  • If a recommender prefers to submit an original, hard copy letter, please remind them that it must include an ink signature and be submitted in a sealed envelope.

Personal Statement/ Essay:

Essay in which the student discusses his or her professional goals related to obtaining the post-professional certificate in hand rehabilitation.


Not required.


Resume highlighting continued professional development.

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