About the Program
Please note: Given that distance learning does not require one to be in Canada, foreign nationals wanting to complete this online program in Canada are not eligible for a study permit. For further details, please review Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s website.
Opticianry is a growing industry that involves the fitting and supplying of eyeglasses. The skillful preparation and fitting of corrective lenses is vitally important to the customer's health; therefore, people entering this field require rigorous training and education. Since the work is retail-oriented, anyone considering this as a career must have great communication skills as well as a flexible schedule.
The Optical Sciences Eyeglasses Diploma is a two-year, independent study program. In addition to the two (2) years of theory, four (4) clinical levels must be completed. The clinical consists of on-the-job training similar in nature to an apprenticeship; students perfect their skills under the supervision of a qualified preceptor at their place of employment.
To obtain a NAIT Optical Sciences Eyeglasses Diploma, students must successfully complete:
- 12 online theory courses - the passing grade for each course is a minimum 63% (standard C letter grade)
- 4 clinical levels of 500 hours each, under the direct supervision of a qualified preceptor - graded on a pass/fail basis
How to Register
Submit a complete paper application package (pdf) to the Optical Sciences program office. The program office will review your application package and e-mail you further instructions. If you meet the entrance requirements, the program office will grant you conditional acceptance and ask you to finalize your application through the Alberta Post-Secondary Application System (APAS). Do not apply online through APAS until the program office grants you conditional acceptance and instructs you to do so. Students applying for Eyeglasses Year Two after completing Eyeglasses Year One in the previous academic year are not required to apply through APAS again.
For more information, please contact the program office directly.
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 780.378.2800
- Toll Free: 1.888.491.3130
- Fax: 780.471.8377
Canadian Residents outside Alberta
CANADIAN RESIDENTS OUTSIDE OF ALBERTA DO NOT APPLY THROUGH THE ALBERTA POST-SECONDARY APPLICATION SYSTEM (APAS). IF YOU APPLY IN ERROR, THE APPLICATION FEE WILL NOT BE REFUNDED.
To register, please contact the Opticians Association of Canada.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 1.800.847.3155
Please note that this program can only accept persons already employed in the Optical field. As such, any foreign national wanting to be admitted into this program must hold a valid work permit issued by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). There are three valid work permit categories:
- Temporary Foreign Worker Program: Eligible foreign nationals may be issued a work permit issued on the basis of a valid labor market impact assessment (LMIA).
- International Experience Canada (IEC): Eligible participants in the IEC program may obtain a work permit without having to apply for an LMIA. If the participant is not able to secure authorization to work for more than one year in Canada, s/he is responsible for securing additional authorization to work in Canada through other IRCC work permit programs.
- Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP): Eligible participants may obtain a work permit after graduating from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution without having to apply for an LMIA.
Since by definition distance learning does not require one to be in Canada, IRRC will not issue study permits or Co-Op work permits for this program.
Tuition & Fees (Cost per semester)
Cost Per Credit: $81
Tuition Cap: $1,940
Health & Dental: $128
Rec. & Athletics: $70
Books, Supplies & Program Fees (est.)
Semester 1: $450
Semester 2: $450
Semester 3: $250
Semester 4: $250
Please note: This information is provided to help you estimate your costs for student financing. Some courses may also have additional expenses. Students who take all of their courses online are exempt from U-Pass, Health & Dental, and Recreation & Athletics fees. All fees are subject to change.
- Canadian High School Diploma or assessed equivalent.
View the English Language Proficiency Requirements for the Program: NAIT | English Language Proficiency
Additional Requirements and Considerations
Applicant must be employed within the optical industry, with a qualified preceptor willing to supervise the clinical practicum. The preceptor must be a registered optician, optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Through the clinical (practicum), students gain practical experience by working with patients and equipment. Each level of the clinical requires 500 hours to be documented under the direct supervision of a qualified preceptor. The preceptor must be a licensed optician, optometrist or ophthalmologist.
There is also an accompanying clinical manual to be completed during this time.
Accreditation & Industry Certification
Certification as a Licensed Optician will be awarded to students who pass the National Licensing Exam. Students must apply to write the exam, which is administered by the National Association of Canadian Optician Regulators (NACOR).
In addition to becoming a Licensed Optician, you must join the Alberta College and Association of Opticians (ACAO) to practice in Alberta.
Scholarships & Bursaries
For general application and special selections, ranging from $500 to $5,000, see Scholarships & Bursaries.