Dispensing opticians are those professionals who fit eyeglasses or contact lenses as prescribed by an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist. These professionals analyze prescriptions along with the patient's occupation and habits in order to make recommendations about lenses and spectacle frames. Licensed opticians may work in retail, laboratory, or private practice settings.

Program contact: Learn more

This degree program contains one or more embedded certificates which will be automatically awarded when the certificate requirements are completed. If you do not want to receive the embedded certificate(s), please notify the Office of the Registrar at RegistrarOffice@tri-c.edu.

Learn more about how certificate credits apply to the related degree.

Program Admission Requirements

Application may be submitted to the Health Careers Enrollment Center after meeting the following requirements

  • High School Diploma/GED
  • ENG-0995 Applied College Literacies  or appropriate score on English Placement Test.
  • MATH-0955 Beginning Algebra or appropriate score on Math Placement Test. 
  • OPT 1100 Introduction to Optical Technology
  • GPA required: 2.00 overall

Other Information

  • 10 students accepted per year
  • Criminal background check required.
  • Acceptance into a Tri-C Healthcare program with a BCI record does not guarantee a clinical site place, acceptance by the profession’s licensure/registration board, or employment upon graduation.
  • Non-native English speaking applicants:  Admission into Cuyahoga Community College is premised on a complete and accurate initial application to the College, including, if applicable, proof of English Language Proficiency Requirements for admission as indicated on the English Language Proficiency Requirements for Admissions to the College, and available on the web at: http://www.tri-c.edu/get-started/international-students/english-language-proficiency-requirements-for-admission.html
    To be accepted into any selective admission programs, students must successfully complete English as a Second Language (ESL) course/s, as referenced above,  if deemed necessary by the College at the time of enrollment.  Admission is conditioned upon achieving the necessary grade point average (GPA), English language proficiency requirements and any specific pre-requisite courses, and by meeting program accreditation or licensing requirements as evidenced in the Program Handbook for the specific program.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program is designed to prepare students to demonstrate the following learning outcomes: 

  1. Communicate verbally and in writing to clients, colleagues, and other professionals.
  2. Design eyewear by combining accurate physiognomic measurements with knowledge of ocular anatomy, geometric optics and prescription analysis.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in the operation and function of equipment and tools used in the fabrication and verification of eyewear.
  4. Perform all tasks associated with the fitting and dispensing of eyewear.
  5. Apply knowledge of ocular physiology and of local, state and federal guidelines in order to maintain accurate medical records.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the ophthalmic profession and optical manufacturing process.
  7. Work within the safety standards that govern opticianry.
  8. Discuss Ohio and national statutes that govern opticianry.
  9. Conduct him/herself in a professional manner at all times.

Suggested Semester Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
Summer StartCredit Hours
MATH-1xxx1000-level MATH course or higher 3
OPT-1100 Introduction to Optical Technology 1
Select one of the following: 3
College Composition I
Honors College Composition I
Select one of the following: 3
General Psychology
Honors General Psychology
 Credit Hours10
First Semester
BIO-1230 Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye 4
OPT-1310 Theoretical Optics I 2
OPT-1400 Introduction to Fabrication Principles 1
OPT-1411 Basic Spectacle Fabrication 1
OPT-1510 Optical Dispensing I 3
OPT-1610 Contact Lens I 2
 Credit Hours13
Second Semester
OPT-1320 Theoretical Optics II 2
OPT-1421 Advanced Spectacle Fabrication 1
OPT-1520 Optical Dispensing II 3
OPT-1621 Contact Lens II 2
PHYS-1300 Physics of Optical Materials 4
 Credit Hours12
Third Semester
OPT-1710 Introduction to Patient Care 3
OPT-2501 Optical Business 3
OPT-2550 Advanced Optical Dispensing Lab 1
OPT-2620 Advanced Contact Lens Theory 1
OPT-2650 License Review Spectacle 1
OPT-2940 Optical Field Experience I 2
OPT-2972 Optical Field Experience Seminar I 2
 Credit Hours13
Fourth Semester
OPT-2660 License Review Contact Lens 1
OPT-2702 Refractometry 2
OPT-2950 Optical Field Experience II 2
OPT-2982 Optical Field Experience Seminar II 2
Select one of the following: 3
College Composition II
Honors College Composition II
Fundamentals of Speech Communication
Honors Speech Communication
Select one of the following: 3
Honors Bioethics
 Credit Hours13
 Total Credit Hours61

MATH-1140, MATH-1141, MATH-1200, MATH-1270, and MATH-1280 can no longer count towards fulfilling the college-level mathematics requirement.  These courses were re-classified as developmental mathematics by the state of Ohio in 2016.  Tri-C established a 5-year transitioning window for students who had completed these courses prior to 2016 to apply them towards meeting graduation requirements, which expired in Summer 2021. It is highly recommended to see a counselor to determine the appropriate math required for your current major.