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Waitlisted for Fall 2021

Open for Fall 2021 (International)

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

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Upcoming Information Sessions

This program will be delivered in a blended format for the Winter 2021 term. The majority of courses will take place online, with certain labs and hands-on learning scheduled on campus. Learn more


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 Association 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 Association 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.

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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: $10,722
Year 2: $10,722

Year 1 (International): $23,813 
Year 2 (International): $23,813

Year 1: TBA 
Year 2: TBA

Year 1 (International): $22,950 (+fees TBD) 
Year 2 (International): $24,557 (+fees TBD) 

*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.

When can you apply?

  • Applications for fall 2021 are accepted starting Oct. 7, 2020, until the program start date.

Term Program start
Fall 2021 Sept. 7, 2021 

SAIT Vision Care Sciences Programs

Learn all about SAIT’s new Vision Care Sciences programs — Optician diploma and Ophthalmic and Optometric Assisting certificate.

Admission Requirements

Admission and Selection

  • Fall 2021 start: applications are accepted starting Oct. 7, 2020, until the program start date but are subject to change. 

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 and students may be required to relocate outside of Calgary for practicum. Successful candidates will be informed of the allocation of their practicum placement by the program.

There is no guarantee that students will be placed at their desired practicum location. Special considerations of personal circumstances will not be given in regards to assigning practicum placements. 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


Semester 2 - Winter

Course Code Course Name Credit
COMP-264 Microsoft Office Basics 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

Semester 3 - Spring

Course Code Course Name Credit
PRCT-252 Clinical Practicum  3.0
Semester 3 Total 3.0
Year 1 Total 33

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

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

Semester 6 - Spring

Course Code Course Name Credit
PRCT-372  Clinical Practicum II 3.0
Semester 6 Total 3.0
Year 2 Total 33
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

The opportunity to advance your education through transfer to, within or from SAIT may be available. To learn more, visit Transfer Options.


2020/21 Domestic Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees SAITSA fees Health & Dental Plan 2020/21 total
1 $9,500 $682 $288 $252 $10,722
2 $9,500 $682 $288 $252 $10,722

2020/21 International Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees SAITSA fees Health & Dental Plan 2020/21 total
1 $22,500 $682 $288 $344 $23,813
2 $22,500 $682 $288 $344 $23,813

2021/22 Domestic Tuition and Fees*

Check back for updates on the 2021/22 domestic tuition and fees. 

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2021/22 total
1 TBA $- $- $- TBA
2 TBA $- $- $- TBA

2021/22 International Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2021/22 total
1 $22,950 $- $- $- TBA
2 $24,557 $- $- $- TBA

*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: $171.20
Universal transit pass (UPass): $310 - Check eligibility here.
Student support fee: $100
Student technology fee: $100

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: $344
  • 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.
  • There is a fee associated with obtaining a police information check including Vulnerable Sector Check and is payable to the Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP.)
  • Textbooks, student toolkit and other learning materials cost about $2,800.
  • 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.

    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

    ✅ 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 2020


    Orientation for new students will take place online on Sept. 2, 2020.

    To find the time and platform, visit our orientation page.


    All classes in this program will be delivered online for the Fall 2020 term due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health and safety guidelines.

    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, SAIT offers some short courses before classes start, including PREP 100: The SAIT Experience, ETHI 110: SAIT Ethical Practices and SAFE 165: Safety at SAIT.

    Required textbooks

    The booklist will be available about two weeks before classes start.

    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

    Academic chair

    Shay Gornshtein, Academic Chair
    Email:  shay.gornshtein@sait.ca

    Have questions about this program?

    Contact us at

    School of Health and Public Safety

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