Optometry FAQ

Q. How much is the cost for fitting of contact lenses?

    A. In addition to the eye exam fee, the fitting for contact lenses depend on the type of lenses to be fitted (e.g. for astigmatism or no astigmatism, soft disposable or gas permeable, and level of complexity).  The fitting fee can range from $32 to $300.  Consult with your doctor for the most appropriate fee for your needs


Q. When do I pay for the exam?

    A. For students, payment can be rendered on date of service or placed on student account. For Faculty/Staff payment must be rendered on date of service. We accept Visa, Mastercard, check or cash.


Q. When do I have to pay for the order of glasses (or contacts)?

    A. For students, payment can be rendered on date of service or placed on student account. For Faculty/Staff payment must be rendered on date of service.


Q. What are the hours of the Optometry Clinic?

    A. See the "Optometry" and "Optometry Drop-In" section of our main Hours and Location page. 

Q. Where is it located?

    A. At the Student Health Center on Floor 2 of the West Wing near the waiting room.   Patients may check in at the Floor 2 receptionist desk.

Q. How do I make an appointment?

    A. You may call the student health center central appointment line at 831-459-2389 you may stop by the Student Health Center during clinic hours. 

    A. You can also book online at Studenthealth.ucsc.edu > appointments > eye exam. (only for annual full eye exams)

Q. Who is eligible to use the Optometry Clinic services at the Student Health Center?

    A. Optometry services are available to all currently registered undergraduate and graduate students.

Q. What can I expect during an eye exam appointment?

    A. Comprehensive eye examination will include a determination of your visual acuity, the refractive status (nearsighted, farsighted, astigmatism), the coordination of your eyes (binocular status) and the health of the eyes.

Q. Will you do a glaucoma test?

    A. Yes all of our exams include an evaluation for potential glaucoma along with a consultation of possible risk factors for the condition.

Q. How much time should I allow for an eye exam?

    A. We recommend that you allow a minimum of one hour for your eye exam.

Q. Will my eyes be dilated?

    A. Yes in most cases your eyes will be dilated.  A dilated eye exam will allow us to detect early signs of health and sight threatening diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.  After the dilation of your eyes, you will find that your near vision may not be as clear.  This will last on average about two to three hours.  You will need to wear sun shades if you are going outdoors after the exam.  We recommend that you stay indoors until the eye drops have worn out.  If you have prescription sunglasses, please bring them to the exam.  If you do not, we will provide you with a disposable sun shade to be worn behind your current glasses.

Q. How often should I have an eye examination?

    A. In general young healthy individuals should have their eyes examined once every two years.  If you are a contact lens wearer, then an exam should be completed once every year.


Q. Do you have an Optical shop to select frames?   

    A. Yes, see the display on floor 2 lobby, more frames available during walk in hours.


Q. Will I receive a prescription for glasses?

    A. Yes you will receive an updated prescription for glasses if you require one.

 Q. Will I receive a prescription for contact lenses?

    A. If you are a contact lens wearer, you must bring a copy of the prescription of the contacts with you (or the boxes of the contacts that you are wearing) and wear the lenses a minimum of 2 to 3 hours prior to your eye exam.  After the doctor’s exam, the doctor may provide you with a copy of the contact lens prescription if the doctor has determined that the lenses are an appropriate fit.

    If you are not a contact lens wearer and desired to wear contact lenses, the doctor will provide you with a copy of the spectacle prescription after your eye exam.  You may arrange to be fitted for the contact lenses at our clinic or you may have the lenses fitted by the fitter of your choice.  At the conclusion of your fitting if you have been fitted by our clinic, you will be provided with a copy of your contact lens prescription.

Q. How long is my prescription good for?

    A. Spectacle prescriptions are typically written with an expiration of TWO years, however certain circumstances may warrant a shorter expiration date.

    Contact lenses are typically written with an expiration of ONE year.

Q. Where can I fill my glasses prescription?

    A. Glasses prescription may be filled at our Optometry Clinic.  Please inquire with our doctors on the fees for the various lens options.

Q. Where can I fill my contact lens prescription?

    A. Contact lens prescription may be filled at our Optometry Clinic.  Please inquire with our doctors on the fees for the various contact lens options.

Q. How much is the cost of an eye exam?

    A. The fee of the exam will be based on any insurance coverage that you may have.  If you do not have any insurance coverage the current exam fee for UCSC students is $67. Please also see our fee disclaimer.

Q. How long will it take to get my glasses (or contacts)?

    A. After payment is received in full, the average turn around for glasses is typically about two weeks and for contacts approximately one week.  We encourage patients to consider purchasing the appropriate number of boxes of contacts for direct shipment to their home.  There is no additional fee for direct shipment to your home by our contact lens supplier.  Glasses are picked up at the Optometry clinic and we will contact you when the glasses are ready for pick up.


Q. I am covered by my parents’ vision insurance.  Will you accept it?

    A. We currently accept Eyemed/Blue View Vison (the UC SHIP plan). If you think you are covered by another individual please contact the optometry staff and we will be happy to check for you.

Q. What forms of payment do you accept?

   A.  Acceptable payment forms are cash, check, credit cards (VISA, Mastercard), Apple Pay, and student accounts for currently registered students.

Q. Can I make partial payment? (pay for half now and pay the rest when I pick it up?)

    A. Unfortunately we are unable to take partial payment.

Q. Will you fill a prescription from another doctor's office?

    A. Yes we will fill an unexpired prescription from your doctor’s office.

Q. Are there any warranties on the glasses I purchased?

    A. Most new glasses purchased from our clinic are covered by a one year manufacturer’s warranty covering manufacturer defects.  It does not include loss or breakage that is not deemed a manufacturer defect.

Q. How much does it cost for glasses?

    A. Please consult with our doctor for the cost of glasses as the fees are based on the frame selected and the material selected.

Q. How much are your frames?

    A. The cost of frames will vary due to the range of availability.  Some are more cost effective and others that are designer frames will be higher.  A range is approximately $40 to $220.

Q. How much are lenses?

    A. The cost of lenses will also vary due to the lens material and lens options selected for your glasses.  A basic plastic lens prescription with no additional options will typically start at $95.

Q. Can I have new lenses put into my frames?

    A. This will be depended on the condition of the frame and its appropriateness for inserting new lenses into the existing frame.  The use of a patient’s frame does not include any warranty coverage for the frame regardless of any possible breakage, damage or defects to the frame during fabrication.

Q. How much are your contacts?

    A. There are many contact lens options.  Please consult with our doctors regarding the cost for the contacts that you are currently wearing.

Q. Can you have the glasses (contacts) mailed to my home?

    A. New order for contacts may be picked up at the SHC or direct shipped to your home for no additional fee. We do not ship to on campus addresses due to past issues with on campus mail. New order for glasses may be picked up at the SHC or shipped to your home for a small fee.


Q. Can my glasses be repaired and how much?   

    A. Glasses may be repaired in some cases.  It will depend on the nature of the repair that is required.  The cost will be determined at the time of the inquiry of the repair.

Q. I need my DMV form (or other physical exam requirement form) completed; will you do that?

    A. Yes we will complete your form after we have completed your eye examination.

Q. Can I get an exam for possible laser surgery?

    A. We will provide the initial exam to determine your overall visual status.  We do have a refractive surgery center on the Berkeley campus which is available to all students, faculty and staff at a discounted fee.  We would be happy to refer you to a local refractive surgeon in the Santa Cruz area for further consultation on a possible laser procedure.