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New Program!

Open for Fall 2022

Waitlisted for Winter 2022

Open for Winter 2022 (International)

Length: 2 years Credential: Diploma Delivery: Full Time Classroom

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SAIT's Virtual Open House
Oct 27 @ 9:00am | Online
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Dec 7 @ 5:00pm | Zoom
Upcoming Information Sessions

This program will be delivered in a blended format (OA, OS, OR and OF/CLAS) for the Fall 2021 semester.
Some courses will be delivered online while others occur on-campus.
Learn more about our course delivery options


Be at the forefront of eye care practice, working as part of a multi-disciplinary vision care team. Students will study ocular pathology, refracting and pharmacology, as well as business and retail aspects of the profession.

The Optician program is two years in length and trains students to be at the forefront of eye care practice, working as part of a multi-disciplinary vision care team.

Students will study ocular pathology, refracting and pharmacology, as well as business and retail aspects of the profession. Application of the theory will be demonstrated through clinical competencies focusing on refraction, filling eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions, ensuring a proper fit, and determining clients’ eyewear needs.

These skills, along with business and retail skills, will be practiced and demonstrated in a dynamic, patient-centred environment.

Is this the right fit for me?

Students with higher secondary or post-secondary marks usually experience greater success in SAIT’s programs.

Students who experience success in this program have effective communication skills in English.

Health care practitioners are detail-oriented in the care they provide and enjoy working in a team environment.

Interest in science, health, and technology is essential for success in this program.


The Optician program delivered by SAIT is aligned with the competencies outlined by the National Alliance of Canadian Optician Regulators (NACOR) guidelines and will seek accreditation with Accreditation Canada starting in 2020/21.

Additionally, graduates will be prepared to challenge the National Alliance of Canadian Optician Regulators (NACOR) exam and obtain a dual license as both a dispensing optician and a contact lens fitter.


Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will be awarded a SAIT Optician Diploma.

Read more


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Career opportunities

Graduates can pursue job opportunities in optical retail stores or a variety of other medical settings. Potential positions include: 

  • optician 
  • contact lens practitioner 

Related careers include: 

  • ophthalmic medical personnel 
  • optical laboratory technician 
  • optometrist 

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $11,023
Year 2: $11,023

Year 1 (International): $24,283
Year 2 (International): $23,833

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change

Full costs
Tuition and financial aid


You will be offered admission to this program through direct entry if you meet the admission requirements and space is available.

Admission Requirements

When can you apply?

Applications are accepted until the program start date.

  • Applications for winter 2022 open March 20, 2021 
  • Applications for fall 2022 open Oct. 6, 2021
Classes begin Year start date Year end date
Fall 2021 Sept. 7, 2021  Aug. 19, 2022
Winter 2022 Jan. 10, 2022 Dec. 19, 2022
Fall 2022 Sept. 6, 2022 Aug. 18, 2023

How to apply

Two Unique Vision Care Programs

“This programming was created by doing what SAIT does best — partnering with industry to drive innovation,” says optometrist Shay Gornshtein, Academic Chair, Vision Care Sciences at SAIT. “The eye-care industry relies heavily on technology and evolves almost as fast. The technology-focused curriculum and lab space means graduates will hit the ground running and thrive in almost any eye-care, patient-focused environment.”

Admission Requirements

Admission and Selection 

Applications are accepted until the program start date but are subject to change.

  • Winter 2022 start: applications are accepted starting March 31, 2021.
  • Fall 2022 start: applications are accepted starting Oct. 6, 2021.

Admission Requirements

A minimum grade of 65% in each of the following courses or their equivalents:

  • English Language Arts 30-1 or English Language Arts 30-2
  • Math 30-1 or Math 30-2 or Pure Math 30
  • Physics 20 or Biology 30 or Science 30


  • Completion of the SAIT Ophthalmic and Optometric Assisting program or equivalent
  • All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Clinical Practicum

Practicum placements in Calgary are limited. Optician students will be required to relocate outside of Calgary for practicum. Although students are requested to indicate a location of their choice, there is no guarantee to be placed at the practicum location. Students will be responsible for fees associated with practicum such as entrance requirements, relocation and travel costs.

Direct Entry: four-step process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.

Step 3: Apply and submit your transcripts and/or anticipated final grades.  

  • Admission will be extended on a first-qualified, first-offered basis until the program is full. 

Step 4: Log in to mySAIT.ca to check your admission status and monitor changes to your application status

Failure to meet anticipated final grades will result in offers being rescinded.


Program outline

Looking for course descriptions and requisites? Visit the course catalogue

First Year

Semester 1 - Fall

Course Code Course Name Credit
ANPH-220 Anatomy & Applied Terminology   3.0
HSCI-219 Ocular Anatomy & Physiology  3.0
HSCI-221 Introduction to Ophthalmic Practice 3.0
HSCI-223  Ophthalmic and Optometric Skills 3.0
HSCI-309  Systemic and Ocular Pathology and Pharmacology 3.0
Semester 1 Total 15.0


Semester 2 - Winter

Course Code Course Name Credit
COMP-264 Introduction to Digital Productivity Applications 1.5
HSCI-207  Contact Lenses and Dispensing I 3.0
HSCI-214 Optical Dispensing I 3.0
HSCI-217 Contact Lenses I 3.0
MKTG-366 Business Development 3.0
PROF-240 Healthcare Professionalism 1.5
Semester 2 Total 15.0

Semester 3 - Spring

Course Code Course Name Credit
PRCT-252 Clinical Practicum  3.0
Semester 3 Total 3.0
Year 1 Total 33.0

Second Year

Semester 4 - Fall

Course Code Course Name Credit
HSCI-250 Contact Lenses II 3.0
HSCI-252 Contact Lenses and Dispensing II 3.0
HSCI-253 Optical Dispensing II 3.0
HSCI-301 Refracting Skills I 3.0
HSCI-350 Applied Refracting Skills I 3.0
Semester 4 Total 15.0

Semester 5 - Winter

Course Code Course Name Credit
HSCI-308 Refracting Skills II 3.0
HSCI-311 Optical Dispensing III 3.0
HSCI-351 Contact Lenses III 3.0
HSCI-352 Contact Lenses and Dispensing III 3.0
HSCI-371 Applied Refracting Skills II 3.0
Semester 3 Total 15.0

Semester 6 - Spring

Course Code Course Name Credit
PRCT-372  Clinical Practicum II 3.0
Semester 6 Total 3.0
Year 2 Total 33.0
Program Total



Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Transfer options

Once completed, this SAIT credential may be eligible for transfer credit at another post-secondary institution. Visit Transfer Options to learn more about the transfer agreements currently available to SAIT graduates and incoming students.

Have questions? Write to us at transfer.options@sait.ca.


2021/22 Domestic Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2021/22 total
1 $9,690 $793.20 $287.77 $252 $11,023
2 $9,690 $793.20 $287.77 $252 $11,023

2021/22 International Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2021/22 total
1 $22,950 $793.20 $287.77 $252 $24,283
2 $22,500 $793.20 $287.77 $252 $23,833

*Fees and tuition are based on a two-semester full course load structure. There may be additional fees for practicums and terms held outside this time frame. 


Campus athletic and recreation Fee: $183.20
Universal transit pass (UPass): $310 - Check eligibility here.
Student support fee: $150
Student technology fee: $150

Health and Dental Fees

Domestic Students 

  • Health Plan: $122
  • Dental Plan: $130
  • For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the Saitsa website for information on opting out.

International Students 

  • Health and Dental Plan: $252
  • For more information on Health and Dental Benefits for International students please contact the International Centre.

Books and supplies*

  • Students are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practicum including relocation costs to practicum sites outside of Calgary.
  • Textbooks, student toolkit and other learning materials cost about $2,800.
  • For an estimate of the costs associated with purchasing a device that meets the standard hardware and software requirements, see our  computers and laptops page.
  • Students must have a personal computer and access to the Internet. Most classes are taught at SAIT, but some require online access. All courses require additional self‐study.

Find out about tuition and financial aid.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

Next steps for incoming students

Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.

✅ Plan ahead ❗️

You are required to complete several health, confidentiality and consent forms before starting your program. All completed and signed paperwork is needed on orientation day. 

Ensure you complete all three steps below ahead of orientation.

Get started on pre-orientation requirements

Fall 2021


Your program orientation will take place Sept. 1 on campus. Check your schedule in mySAIT for the time and location details.

Learn more about your orientation.

How to register for classes

You'll follow a fixed block registration process to enrol in your classes. Learn how to register on our registration and schedules page.

Computers and laptops

This is a bring your own device program with a standard hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page

Required equipment/tools

You are required to have a Student Optician toolkit. We will discuss full details on orientation day.

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

The industry-approved PPE you'll need will be discussed during your first few days of classes. 

Other requirements

  • Police Information Clearance with Vulnerable Sector Check
  • Health and wellness status

Preparation courses

To support your success, you’ll be automatically registered in two short courses to prepare you for the academic year: 

PERS 050: Student Rights and Responsibilities

This course is designed to introduce you to student rights and responsibilities at SAIT. You will learn about SAIT's rich and diverse community, become familiar with guidelines and procedures that create a safe, respectful learning experience for you, and gain practical tips for how you can engage in the SAIT community in a positive and responsible way. PRES-050 must be completed within 30 days from the start of the semester.

PREP 100: The SAIT Experience

Get tips and insider information on time management, exam preparation, effective notetaking and more through this free, online short course for new students. Plus, learn about discussion boards, online communication and submitting assignments online. Course completion is recommended by the end of your first semester.

Both courses can be accessed through  Brightspace (D2L) before the first day of classes.

Required textbooks

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date.

Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck, no textbook purchase required this term.


Phone: 403.284.8481
Email: hps.info@sait.ca

Next steps for all students

Here's what else you'll need to do to get ready!

Next steps for accepted students

Important dates and deadlines

Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

Important Dates

Have questions about this program?

Contact us at

School of Health and Public Safety

Meet some of the instructors

Program Development Coordinator and Academic Chair

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