Dispensing Opticianry

Starting Fall 2022, the Dispensing Opticianry program will no longer be accepting applications. The program name has been changed. For those still interested in this area of study, please visit our Opticianry (Diploma) page.

Science & Technology
Dispensing Opticianry
Length of Program
Two years
Credential Type
Learning Format
Admission Type
Limited Enrolment


Combine health care, business, fashion and technology with a Diploma in Dispensing Opticianry. You’ll study all areas of modern opticianry, including eyeglasses, contact lenses and refraction technologies. Classes take place three days per week, which means you’ll be able to work part time while you study. Upon graduation, you’ll be ready to take the College of Opticians exam, which is a required step in becoming a licensed optician in B.C. 

A practical education

You’ll gain real-world experience in eye testing, automatic refracting, and eyeglass and contact lens dispensing through the Douglas College Vision Care Centre, a retail facility located on campus that is open to the public. You’ll work with standard and specialized optical equipment with a complete eyeglass dispensing service, including a comprehensive contact lens lab with five fitting rooms and one automated refraction station. Sharpen your skills with retail site placements that offer practical experience and job contacts necessary to jump-start your career. 

Future education

If you’re interested in furthering your education, your credential may transfer to health care programs at other post-secondary institutions in B.C. Visit the B.C. Transfer Guide and your transfer university’s website to confirm which courses transfer. 

Excellent job prospects

Many of our students are hired part time in the industry in their first or second semester and work full time over the summer break. Plus, surveys show 100 percent of our Dispensing Opticianry graduates are currently working in the field. (Source: B.C. Student Outcomes). 

Prior learning assessment and recognition

If you are already a licensed optician and want to get your contact lens fitting qualifications, you may be eligible for direct entry into the second year of the program.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must meet the admission requirements listed below:

  • General College Admission Requirements
  • High School Graduation or equivalent *
  • Any Math 11 with a grade of "C-" or better (or equivalent)
  • A completed and signed Optical Tour Form
  • Applicants may be required to attend a personal interview that will be used for the purposes of providing information and academic counselling. Direct entry into second year of the program is available for those individuals already employed within the optical field as an Optician - Eyeglass Dispenser and desiring educational qualifications in the fitting of contact lenses
  • Criminal Record Check - This program requires students to train in an environment that demands individuals to provide proof of a satisfactorily completed, current CRS for the protection of the clients. To meet this requirement, prospective students must submit to a current CRC as a condition of entry to the program. All costs related to the completion of this search are the responsibility of the individual student.

* Successful completion of two three-credit university transfer courses may be substituted for high school graduation


You can get an average cost for your program - tuition and student fees, books, uniforms, lab fees etc - on the Program Cost page. 

Only programs approved for student loan funding are listed on the Program Cost page. For all other programs, refer to the Tuition Fee page.

Program Requirements

Curriculum Framework

Graduation Requirements For Students Completing By Summer 2023:

  • Successful completion of 63 credits
  • 25% (16 credits) of all coursework must be completed at Douglas College
  • Minimum Grade: “C” in all courses except Mastery graded courses
  • Time limit to complete program graduation requirements: seven (7) years

Graduation Requirements For Students Completing After Summer 2023:

  • Successful completion of 63 credits
  • 50% (31.5 credits) of all coursework must be completed at Douglas College
  • Minimum grade “C” in all courses except Mastery graded courses and minimum 2.00 PGPA
  • Time limit to complete program graduation requirements: seven (7) years.

Course Requirements:

Course Number Course Title Credits

Semester I

DOPT 1100

Dispensing Optician Theory I


DOPT 1112

Dispensing Optician Lab Skills I


CMNS 1216

Interpersonal Skills for the Workplace


Semester I credits



Semester II

DOPT 1200

Dispensing Optician Theory II


DOPT 1210

Dispensing Optician Clinical Practice II


DOPT 1212

Dispensing Optician Lab Skills II


Semester II Credits



Semester III

DOPT 1310

Dispensing Optician Eyeglass Preceptorship


Semester III credits



Semester IV

DOPT 2101

Theory in Contact Lenses & Optical Technologies I


DOPT 2113

Laboratory in Contact Lenses & Optical Technologies I


Semester IV credits



Semester V

DOPT 2201

Theory in Contact Lenses & Optical Technologies II


DOPT 2211

Clinical in Contact Lenses & Optical Technologies II


DOPT 2213

Laboratory in Contact Lenses & Optical Technologies II


Semester V credits



Semester VI 

DOPT 2311

Clinical in Contact Lenses & Optical Technologies III


Semester VI credits



Total Program Credits



Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.


Framing education with experience

Framing education with experience

Hands-on work placements kick-started this Dispensing Opticianry grad’s career.

Sight for all

Students in the Dispensing Optician diploma program volunteer to help people in need with their vision care problems.
Student Quote

Crafting their career

DOPT grads forge customized eyewear business with a difference.

More Information

Tuition deposit

When offered a full-time seat in this program a non-refundable, non-transferable $350 tuition deposit is required.

Career Pathways

Career opportunities include: 

  • Licensed Optician  

  • Contact Lens Dispenser  

  • Contact Lens Technician 

  • Contact Lens Fitter  

  • Dispensing Optician  

  • Dispensing Optician Office Manager  

  • Optical Device Dispenser  

  • Optical Frame Fitter  

  • Optical Laboratory Technician 

  • Ophthalmic Technician 

  • Optician Sales Associate 

With the business and health care skills you learn, you can choose to work for independent opticians, optometrists or become self-employed.