Open Water SCUBA Course

2 SCUBA divers swimming in a pool

PADI® Open Water Diver is the first SCUBA certification level. A highly trained PADI® Instructor will teach you how to SCUBA dive in a relaxed, supportive learning environment. By the end of the course, you'll have the skills and knowledge to dive at home or abroad.


  • Must be 17 years of age before course orientation, and in good health
  • Must be comfortable in the water and able to swim 200 yards and float for 10 minutes


  • $500 for course instruction, diving equipment and maintenance and lifeguard
  • $260 for PADI® course materials
  • $150 for Open Water Dive at Otsego Lake (other dive options available)
  • $180+ for exposure equipment (wetsuit, boots, gloves)

Course Cost, $500, paid at time of registration, includes:

  • Course Cost
  • 3 pool instructed sessions
  • Diving equipment and maintenance
    • Buoyancy Compensation Device (BCD)
    • Regulator
    • Mask/Snorkel (This is frequently a diver’s first purchase, so fit and comfort are important)
    • Fins
    • Weights
    • Cylinders
    • Hooded vest (exposure equipment)
  • Lifeguard

PADI® course materials, $260, paid at orientation, includes:

  • PADI® eLearning w/ Digital Manual
  • Digital Recreational Dive Planner
  • Student Skills Slate
  • Certification Fee

Open Water Dive, amount varies based on dive location:

  • Instructor-led Open Water Dive at Otsego Lake as part of the SUNY Oneonta course, $150.
    Tentatively scheduled for May 11 and 12 or May 18 and 19, 10 a.m. to mid-afternoon both days (make-up dates TBD in late summer/early fall).
  • Instructor-led Open Water Dive trip to Curaçao, separate from this SUNY Oneonta course, $1,600 plus airfare and food, June 1-8. ($1,600 approximate cost covers trip, rental and instruction).
  • Instructor referral to another dive location, separate from this SUNY Oneonta course, anywhere in the world that offers the certification. Cost of this is dependent on the referral dive operator. Typical cost ranges from $250 to $350.

Exposure equipment (cost ranges from $180 to $400 for a traditional 5mm suit or $225 to $330 for a 7mm suit, if easily chilled or intend to dive cold water). You must purchase or rent separately.

  • Wetsuit
  • Boots
  • Gloves


A payment of $500 (the course cost) is due at the time of registration.


The next course begins on March 3, 2024, and has four components:

  1. Orientation: SUNY Oneonta Classroom, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Sunday, Mar. 3, 2024.
    During orientation, we will answer all your questions about the course, complete paperwork (medical and liability forms) and register for the online learning portion. Bring a laptop, tablet or smartphone to ensure that you can access the course materials. We will also collect the $260 fee for the course materials at orientation.
  2. Self-study of PADI® course: self-paced online learning, consists of five modules and takes approximately 12-15 hours to complete. The first module must be completed before the first pool session.
  3. Three Pool Sessions: There are three required pool sessions on Saturday, March 23rd, from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday: March 24th and 30th from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the SUNY Oneonta pool.
    There will be a makeup date on Mar. 31 for a student who may face an extenuating circumstance causing a missed pool class. If a makeup pool class is required, the cost to cover a lifeguard will be absorbed by the student needing the makeup class.
  4. Open Water Dive: An Open Water Dive is required for certification:
    1. Instructor-led dive locally at Otsego Lake: Tentatively May 11 and 12 or May 18 and 19. 10 a.m. to mid-afternoon both days. (make-up dates TBD in late summer/early fall)
    2. Instructor-led dive trip to Curaçao separate from this SUNY Oneonta course: June 1-8
    3. Instructor referral to another dive location separate from this SUNY Oneonta course, anywhere in the world that offers the certification.

Register Now

Note: This course requires a minimum of two students to run

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