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Continuing Education

Optical Sciences - Eyeglasses

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The location where your NAIT courses will be held.


The type of certification (degree, diploma, certificate) you will earn after completing your program.

  • Degree - NAIT offers a number of business degrees and applied science and technology degrees accredited by Alberta Advanced Education.
    Applied degree programs offer a stronger emphasis on practical applications of the concepts learned in the classroom
  • Diplomas & Certificates - These credit programs take 1 or 2 years and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.
  • Journeyman Certificate - Hands-on and expert-led apprenticeship and industry training for skilled trades and technology professionals.
  • Continuing Education/Non-Credit - NAIT offers a wide range of non-credit programs and courses for personal and professional development in a number of interesting and exciting fields. These options are great for people who may be working but are interested in studying as well.

Delivery Options

The flexible schedule options for this course including time of day and full/part-time.

  • Day - Courses taking place between Monday - Friday, before 5 PM.
  • Evening/Weekend - Courses taking place on weekdays from 5 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online - Sometimes called "Home Study" or "Computer-Based Learning"
  • Distance - Traditional correspondence format. These courses work best if you can't get to a campus or if your schedule can't accommodate fixed class times


The average or expected time it will take to complete your program.

Open Studies

Open Studies allows you to explore credit courses without applying to a program.
It is an opportunity to get a feel for school and what program you want to be in.

International Students

Program availability may be limited for international applicants. Contact your student advisor for more information.

Advanced Credit

You may apply for advanced credit once you have been accepted into the program. Advanced Credit can be Transfer Credit (for completed post-secondary courses) or PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition).

Transfer Credit

In addition to the common guidelines outlined on the Transfer and Credit Options section and on the Transfer Credit Request Form (PDF), your program has other advanced credit requirements that are applied to each request including:

  • You must have completed the course or program no more than 5 year(s) ago unless a formalized articulation agreement is in place
  • You must have a minimum mark of C- in the course(s) or program

Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition (PLAR)

If you do not qualify for transfer credit or credential recognition, Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) may be an option.

Contact the program for additional information about Advanced Credit.

Learn the art of better vision

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, so people entering this field require rigorous training and education. The work is retail oriented, so anyone considering this as a career must have great communication skills as well as a flexible schedule.

The Optical Sciences Eyeglasses Diploma is a 2-year, independent-study program. In addition to the 2 years of theory, 4 levels of practicum must be completed. This practicum consists of on-the-job training similar in nature to an apprenticeship – you'll perfect your skills under the supervision of a qualified preceptor at your place of employment.

Employment rates reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and do not guarantee future employment opportunities.

Salaries reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and are not a guarantee of future alumni income.

Enter the workforce with confidence

Upon successful completion of this program, you can expect to find work as a licensed optician in:

  • retail dispensaries
  • low vision practices
  • refractive surgery clinics

You could also go on to obtain certificates in contact lens fitting and refracting.

NAIT's Optical Sciences Eyeglasses program is accredited by the National Association of Canadian Opticians Regulators (NACOR). After successful completion, you can take the national licensing examination to practice in Canada. After passing the exam, you can continue to the  Optical Sciences Contact Lens program.

Flexible programming

In order to provide maximum flexibility to complete your courses on evenings and weekends, we have designed this program to be taken online. However, during your first and second year, you will be required to attend 2 full-day labs. These labs can be completed in either Edmonton or Calgary, or at your place of work if you qualify for distance status.

If you start the program in the Fall term, you can take advantage of optional, biweekly evening lectures held in Edmonton or Calgary. This in-class experience will support the course material offered online and will provide you with face-to-face time with your instructor. However, these optional lectures are not available if you begin the program in the Winter term.

The rest of the program, including course material and quizzes, is accessible through Moodle, NAIT’s online e-learning system. This allows you to participate in forums and to access learning materials whenever you want from the comfort of your own home, office, or local coffee shop.

Exam locations

Final exams must be taken in person unless you live further than 175 kilometres away from Edmonton or Calgary. In those cases, arrangements will be made to write your exam(s) at an approved alternate location. Exams written at alternate locations are scheduled on the same day and at the same time as the exams scheduled in Edmonton and Calgary.

Entrance requirements

To be a successful applicant, you must have a Canadian High School Diploma (or assessed equivalent), and be working in the opticianry field with a licensed optician, optometrist or ophthalmologist who is qualified to oversee your practical training.

You must also have a strong grasp of the English language for entrance into our program. If you are unsure whether you have sufficient English language proficiency, you can review the requirements for NAIT programs by visiting NAIT English Language Proficiency.

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.

Learn more about Canadian immigration, and refugee and citizenship statuses

Apply today!

Canadian residents in Alberta

To apply for the Winter 2020 intake of our Optical Sciences Eyeglasses Diploma program, please complete the application package linked below and send it directly to the Optical Sciences program office.

  1. Download the Eyeglasses Year One Application Package Winter 2019/2020
  2. Complete the application package
  3. Submit your completed application package to our office by mail, courier, or in person

If your application is successful, the program office with provide you with further application instructions.

For the Winter 2020 intake, do not apply through the Alberta Post-Secondary Application System (APAS) until the program office grants you conditional acceptance and instructs you to do so. If you apply in error, the application fee cannot be refunded.

If you have any questions about the program or application process, please contact us:

Canadian residents outside Alberta

If you are a Canadian resident outside of Alberta, please contact the Opticians Association of Canada (OAC) for registration information and an application package. Canadian residents outside of Alberta do not apply through the Alberta Post-Secondary Application System (APAS). If you apply in error, the application fee cannot be refunded.

International Students

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, then the participant 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.

If you have any questions about the program or application process, please contact us:



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Term Definition
Open Program still has seats available.
Waitlisting Program is full and qualified applicants are being placed on a waitlist. For information about waitlists, please visit the Waitlist FAQs.

If you’re on a non-competitive waitlist, you should consider NAIT’s Academic Upgrading program or NAIT Equivalency Tests to become a more competitive applicant.

There is no guarantee that waitlisted applicants will be offered a seat, however it is common for seats to become available until the start of class. As seats become available, they are filled from the waitlist.
Closed Program is no longer accepting applications.
N/A Not available for this term.

*Program availability is subject to change without notice.