Financial considerations

Financial Aid

A number of undergraduate scholarships, bursaries, and awards are available to Optometry students. The University of Waterloo Student Awards and Financial Aid Office has details on undergraduate scholarships, bursaries, and awards, as well as financing options, including provincial and federal funding programs.  

Tuition and equipment fees

As with most professional health programs, the costs associated with the Optometry program are higher than most undergraduate programs. Equipment and text book costs include the core set of professional quality equipment and reference material you will take with you into your practice.

The table shows what you can expect to pay over the four years of the program. Please note that costs do not include clothing suitable for the clinics, housing, food, transportation, or other living expenses. Costs are based on fall 2024 and may be subject to change.

  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4*
Yearly tuition Domestic - Ontario $17,900 $17,900 $17,900 $26,400
Domestic - Out of Province $19,350 $19,350 $19,350 $28,600
International $75,100 $75,100 $75,100 $112,300
Books $2,250 $1,200 $540 n/a
Supplies and equipment $4,500 $7,100 $1,350 $570


  • Year 4 begins in spring immediately after the Year 3 winter term. Year 4 has 3 terms: spring, fall, winter.
  • A permanent resident from Ontario and a Canadian citizen from Ontario pay Domestic Ontario tuition.
  • A permanent resident from any other province or territory and a Canadian citizen from any other province or territory pay Domestic Out of Province tuition.

Other expenses

Students are responsible for housing, food, travel, and other living expenses. Example living costs are available at Waterloo's Tuition and Other Expenses page, made available by the Financing for Prospective Students site. The site also offers an Interactive Budget pageUseful Tips & Links, and resources about bursaries and scholarships. Also, check out Waterloo’s Housing and Residence and Food Services sites.

Application fees

OUAC: A non-refundable processing fee (approximately $250) must be submitted with your on-line application to the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC).

OAT: the fee for writing the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) is approximately $520 USD.

Casper: the fee for writing the Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (CASPER) test is approximately $50 + $18 per additional distribution to the school(s) of your choice.

Last updated: May 24, 2024