Started on 11/04/2021

UTD’s Open Water Diver course is an entry level class designed to teach NON-certified divers to be safe and comfortable while enjoying the wonders of our oceans, lakes and other waters. This class is structured to prepare divers for recreational diving using well set up equipment and top quality diving techniques. The class incorporates basic scuba diving theory, knowledge and equipment configuration with precise diving skills and emergency procedures. This class not only teaches you how to use the equipment, but it teaches you how to be a safe and environmentally aware diver.

The UTD Open Water course is normally conducted over a 3-4 day period, and cumulatively involves a minimum of 24 hours of instruction including academics, pool/confined water, and open water dives to a maximum depth of 60’/18m using air as a breathing gas. For a more advanced Open Water class, see Recreational 1.

UTD’s Open Water class focuses on the fun of underwater exploration while teaching good diving skills, safety, and a tremendous respect for the marine environment.   


  • Minimum 16 years of age

Course limits

  • Maximum depth 60’/18m
  • Standard gas is Air (21% O2)

Who this class is designed for?

The Open Water class is presented in a friendly learning environment where new divers will learn the basics of safe open water diving. The class is designed for the recreational diver who wants to get high quality recreational diving education from the start.

Why Should I Take this Class?

The Open Water class focuses on the foundational building blocks and skills of diving the UTD configuration and is limited to 60’/18m. Many beginning recreational divers now want to start their diving career with a solid foundation and want to ensure that when they learn the next set of skills, equipment or theory that things will remain consistent.

Class Information

The UTD Openwater Class is normally conducted over a 3 day period, and cumulatively involves a minimum of 24 hours of instruction designed to provide a introduction to UTD equipment configuration, basic scuba diving physics and physiology, minimum decompression, including the history of decompression and practice, physics, physiology, tables, and operational considerations such as an introduction to Nitrox, situational awareness and understanding the scuba environment.

Course requirements include a minimum of three (3) hours of academic review and three (3) hours of confined water work, four (4) dives, one (1) of which will be an orientation dive, two (2) will be skill dives and one (1) will be experience dives as defined in the UTD standards and procedures.

The initial dive will be conducted in water no deeper than 33 feet (10 meters), to evaluate the diver’s ability and to transition from the Pool to the Open water environment while still maintaining the required skill levels. The last dive is an experience dive at depth without exceeding the course depth limitations.

All UTD classes are videotaped for educational and review purposes as we believe this is invaluable for students to visually focus on their individual in-water skills, situational awareness, communication and team diving skills. We do not allow the use of the videos for any other purpose.

Learning to self evaluate is an important aspect of the class. You will be evaluated during the class to obtain the UTD “Open Water” Certification. This Certification will allow you to Scuba Dive unassisted by an Instructor or Dive Master within your certification limitations and to continue within the UTD Recreational Training curriculum. Our focus is complete dedication to your diving skills, knowledge and in-water practice. In our helpful hints section and our Learning Center you can find out more information about the class, the equipment and skills you will be learning about.


  • Minimum age of 16.
  • Completed UTD registration process.
  • All UTD classes are Non Smoking.
  • The use of prescription drugs must be authorized prior to the start of diver training by a physician.
  • Must be able to swim a distance of at least 50 feet/15 meters on a breath hold.
  • Must be able to swim at least 200 yards/185 meters in less than 14 minutes without stopping.

Getting Started

  • Contact us to schedule your class
  • Register Online here: UTD Open Water Diver
  • ​Complete the Online Classroom for Open Water
  • Get a copy of and review the “Essentials of Recreational Diving DVD”


  • Single tank configuration.
  • Long hose primary regulator and necklace style backup regulator hose configuration.
  • Student to Instructor ratio is not to exceed 6:1 during land drill, surface exercises and any direct in-water training. The Instructor has the discretion to reduce ratios based on environmental conditions.
  • Maximum training depth 60 feet (18m) (+/- 20 feet (+/- 6 meters)).
  • No diving in overhead environments.

Equipment Requirements

Each student should have, and be familiar with, all of the following required equipment:

  • Tanks/Cylinders: Single. All dives must start with a minimum of 72ft3/1850 liters.
  • Appropriate Regulator system.
  • Buoyancy Compensator.
  • Harness system.
  • At least one depth-measuring device.
  • Compass.
  • One timekeeping device.
  • Minimum and No-Decompression tables.
  • Mask and fins.
  • Minimum of one cutting device.
  • Exposure suit appropriate for the duration of exposure.

Note: Prior to the commencement of class, students should consult with our UTD instructors to verify equipment requirements. All participants are responsible for providing all equipment or for making provisions to secure all necessary equipment before the start of the course.

In general, it is better for the student to learn while using his or her own equipment, however we are able to supply suitable equipment for the course from our rental stock.

We recommend that students exercise caution before purchasing new equipment to avoid acquiring gear that does not meet the requirements of the course. We recommend you discuss your choices with our UTD instructors prior to making any purchases. Information about recommended equipment can also be obtained from the equipment considerations section of UTD’s web site.

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