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 15 years of age by August 4, 2024, and in good health
    (Any student under 17 must have their parent/guardian present for the entire duration of each part of the course and may not be a participant!)
  • 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. Will be scheduled for a weekend in the Fall.
  • 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.

Register now


The next course begins in early Fall, and has four components:

  1. Orientation: Extended and Community Learning (ExCL) Center in downtown Oneonta, Sunday, August 4.
    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 and make your payment of $260.
  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 at the SUNY Oneonta pool:
    • Saturdays & Sundays, August 17, 18, & 24, from 4:00-7:30 p.m.
      There will be a makeup date on August 25 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 September 7 and 8 or 14 and 15 from 10:00 AM to mid-afternoon both days. Weather conditions will determine which dates. Additional registration and payment of $150 is required.
    2. Instructor referral to another dive location separate from this SUNY Oneonta course, anywhere in the world that offers the certification. Cost depends on the referral dive operator. Typically, $250 to $350.

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

Contact Us

Learn more about the Extended and Community Learning Center by emailing or contacting us at one of our two locations.

Hunt Union

SUNY Oneonta Campus location
215 Hunt Union
Phone: 607-436-2548
Fax: (607) 436-2692
Office hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

ExCL Center at 4 Dietz Street, Oneonta, NY

Downtown Oneonta location
4 Dietz St
Phone: 607-436-2831
Office hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

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