Pre-Optometry (Your First Year)

Individuals wishing to become an optometrist must seek training outside Saskatchewan. Training for optometrists is available at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. An interprovincial training agreement guarantees space in the program for three qualified Saskatchewan students. Enrolment is very limited, however, and competitive. Prior to admission into the School of Optometry and Vision Science, applicants must complete three or more years of Bachelor of Science studies. Pre-optometry programs are offered at the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan. If you are interested in the Optometry program at University of Waterloo, you can take the first year of prerequisite classes at Parkland College and transfer to either the U of S, U of R, or Waterloo to take the remainder of the prerequisites before applying to the program. You must be working on a Bachelor of Science degree.

Why Parkland College?

Many students are drawn to our unique learning environment where class sizes are typically smaller. On average university students at Parkland College score 10% higher than those in a larger on-campus program.
Course Calendar

Please note: Classes are subject to change.

Winter Class Delivery:
As of December 2020, all classes will continue with remote delivery for the winter term. However, both universities have agreed in principle that the off-campus sites can hold more in-person meetings than classes at the main campuses in Saskatoon and Regina. We do not have confirmation about what this will look like at this time.

We hope to have more frequent face-to-face seminars and tutorials at our Yorkton location. We will continue to offer video conference of these events for all students who are unable to attend or are uncomfortable with being in the classroom with other students. The course syllabus, given to you by the instructor, will detail exactly how the class will be delivered. All face-to-face meetings will be subject to local conditions and the advice of the Public Health Office. When planning your course schedule, bear in mind that there could be face-to-face or video conference meetings at the scheduled times.

Please note: You are able to register in any classes for which you have the prerequisites at either university, but please consider registering in Parkland College designated classes. These classes tend to be much smaller in size and may have additional tutorials or seminars. The designated Parkland College classes are the only classes for which Parkland College receives revenue to maintain the classes here and provide additional supports such as advisors and tutorials.

If you need a common visiting student form, please visit the University at Parkland College page on the Current Students section of our website.



How do I take classes from the University of Saskatchewan or University of Regina at Parkland College? You can take university classes at Parkland College if you have been accepted for admission to either the University of Regina or the University of Saskatchewan. Go to the Admissions Page more for detailed information on how to apply.
Is there an application to take classes at Parkland College? You don’t have to fill in a separate application to take classes at Parkland College, you just have to be accepted to either University of Saskatchewan or University of Regina. When you register for classes you register in the sections of the class being held in Yorkton (or your community of choice for televised classes).
I am a University of Regina student but I want to take Psychology which is a University of Saskatchewan class? It is easy to take a class from the “other university” talk to our academic advisor and she will help you fill in a Common Visiting Student Form. This form lets you take classes from the “other university” without having to apply for admission; the form is also a way to have the transfer credit approved at you home university before you take the class.  If you are a University of Saskatchewan student you just have to fill in the form, after we send it away you don’t have to do anything else. If you are a University of Regina student you have to wait until you get a letter from the University of Saskatchewan giving you permission to go online to the University of Saskatchewan website PAWS to register in the class yourself. It is an easy process, almost every student at Parkland College takes a class from the other university.
How do I pay my fees? You can pay your fees in many different ways; the important thing to note is that you have to pay your fees to the University that offers the class, so you pay the University of Saskatchewan for their classes and the University of Regina for their classes. To find out how much you owe go to either PAWS for University of Saskatchewan or URSelfService for University of Regina and look for the Account Summary by term. On these sites there is also information about how you can pay. You can pay in a number of different ways, online, at an ABM, at certain bank branches, by cheque or even in cash. Failure to pay in a timely manner may incur late fees and will prevent you from registering in next terms classes and stop you from seeing you final mark for your classes.
Where do I get my textbooks? You can buy textbooks from the bookstore of the university from which the class originates. Both have online shopping for textbooks. The University of Regina bookstore is here and the University of Saskatchewan bookstore is here. Both university bookstores charge for shipping. You do not have to buy new textbooks, the university bookstores also sell used textbooks. You can also buy textbooks from Amazon and Chapters online or Coles in Parkland Mall, both of the online booksellers sell used textbooks too. In some cases shipping may be free. Sometimes students will post notices in the student coffee room with textbooks for sale, these can be the best deal but check with the official list at the university bookstore to make sure that the prof hasn’t chosen a newer edition or changed the required texts for the course.
How do I know that I am registered in the right class? You can check online at URSelfService or PAWS to see which classes you are registered in, then check the Course Registration Numbers (CRNs) in the University bulletin, these are the sections being offered at Parkland College.
I want to change my major, what do I do now? Lots of people change their mind about what they want to major in at university, just make an appointment to see the academic advisor and she will help you find the right direction to match your career goals.
How do I transfer to Saskatoon or Regina? You don’t have to do anything when you decide to go to the main campus to take classes. When you register for classes for the next term you just register for the classes located in Saskatoon or Regina. When you take classes at Parkland College you are a University of Regina or University of Saskatchewan student, there is no transfer process between here and the main campus.
Are there real instructors at Parkland College? Parkland College has four types of classes, face to face, multi-mode, televised and online. Most of the first year classes and social work classes are face to face with a live instructor in the room teaching you. The instructor is selected and hired by the university and is paid by the university. They have to meet the same standard the instructors on campus would have to meet. In almost every case the instructor has a minimum of a master’s degree in the subject that they are teaching, many have doctoral degrees. Some of our instructors live locally, others drive from considerable distances to teach at Parkland College. Face to face classes are currently only available in Yorkton. Multi-mode classes are increasing in number, here the instructor is live in Saskatoon or Regina and video conferencing equipment enables you to see the instructor and the other students taking the class in up to four other locations in the province projected onto a big screen. The instructor can see you too, and all of the other students around the province. Multi-mode classes are only available in Yorkton right now. Televised classes are taught by instructors located in Regina or Saskatoon, they usually have a class in the room with them, the class is broadcast via the cast.scn  satellite network to many locations in Saskatchewan. You watch the class on either projected onto a big screen or on a television screen, you can call into the studio with questions and to participate in class discussions. Televised classes are available at all Parkland College locations you must be at a college location to view these classes. Online classes are classes that are available on any computer with an internet connection. Most online classes have a start and end date that is the same as the other classes but do not have regular meeting times. The classes are usually set up as a series of modules with a different module to be completed each week. You can complete the work for each class at any time during the week. Final exams may be online or you may have to come to a college location to write the exam.

Are the classes easier at Parkland College?

Classes at Parkland College are no easier or harder than they are on the main campus. Instructors are approved by the department and they must meet the same requirements as on campus instructors. In some cases students write the same exams as on campus students. However, because of the smaller class sizes and more personalized service at Parkland we have found that students tend to get better marks than their peers who went straight to the main campus.
Can I still apply to Nursing/Pharmacy/Nutrition/Social Work if I do my first year at Parkland College? Yes, you can apply for professional programs while you are taking classes at Parkland College. If you need help contact our academic advisor, she will be able to help you with your application by making sure you have all of the prerequisites and that you meet the deadlines.
Are the fees lower at Parkland College? Tuition fees for university classes at Parkland College are the same as the fees on campus. You will pay a lower rate for student fees and you won’t have to pay the athletic fee or the bus pass (U of S).  You will not be charged the medical and dental insurance fee either, however, if you would like, you can opt in to the medical and dental plan for students, this is a great deal if you don’t have coverage elsewhere. Check with the academic advisor for more information.
Can I apply for Parkland College scholarships and my university scholarships? Yes you can apply for entrance scholarships from Parkland College and add them to any other scholarships you may receive from any source. The deadline for entrance scholarships is usually in May before the new academic year, awards are made at the end of September. In addition, students who are taking classes from Parkland College can also apply for the internal scholarships that are awarded in February/March. Some students receive up to $3000 from Parkland College in scholarships alone.
Can I start at Parkland College and move to university in another province? If you are planning to take your first year at Parkland College and then move out of province you still need to be accepted by either the university of Saskatchewan or University of Regina. You will need to work closely with our academic advisor to make sure that all of your classes from your time at Parkland will transfer to your new university and that you take the classes that the out of province university requires so that you are not delayed by missed classes. We have had many students transfer to U of A, U of C, UBC and Brandon University. Our advisor will work with you and the university you would like to go to so that you only take what you need and what will transfer.
Can I start classes at Parkland College in January? Yes, you can start classes at several different times each year, in September, January, May and sometimes June, July and August. You will need to make sure that you apply in plenty of time and that you select your classes with our academic advisor at least a few weeks before classes start. Please don’t leave it to the last minute.

Career Opportunities

Optometrists examine patients’ eyes, conduct tests and use ophthalmoscopes, biomicroscopes and other specialized instruments to determine visual efficiency. Optometry graduates typically work in private practices but are also employed in clinics, hospitals and community health centres.

Sample First Year Schedule

During your first year of pre-optometry studies at Parkland College you will take a wide range of classes in a number of different subject areas called the core requirements or distribution requirements. They allow you to try out different types of classes and help you to get a broader understanding of learning at the university level. Here is what a typical first-year schedule might look like:
Term 1 Term 2
  • BIOL 120.3
  • CHEM 104.3
  • PSYC 120.3
  • ENG 114.3
  • MATH 103.3
  • BIOL 121.3
  • ENG 113.3
  • PSYC 121.3
  • STATS 100.3
  • BMSC 200.3


It is essential that all students consult a counsellor once you have your acceptance letter from the U of R or U of S to develop a schedule of classes.

Program Information

Last Updated: February 27, 2020