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.

Focus is on balance/trim, buoyancy control, frog kick, controlled descents & ascents, gear manipulation (basic 6) and emergency procedures (s-drills).

For a more robust Open Water class, see Rec 1.

This class doesn't just certify divers.  It creates safe, confident, comfortable divers who are able to plan, execute and enjoy their own dives and underwater explorations and adventures to depths up to 60' using a single tank of air.

Who is this class 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 aspiring recreational diver who wants to learn proper recreational diving from the start.

Why take this class? 

The Open Water class focuses on the foundational building block and skills of UTD configuration and is limited to 60'/18m.

This class builds a solid foundation for the newly certified diver to build upon.  It teaches scaleable skills the diver will use immediately in their own diving, and will continue to use throughout their diving career.  When the diver's prepared to continue their training, the training will simply build on the diver's existing foundation.  The skills remain consistent with any future training the diver pursues.

Class Information

The UTD Open water 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 the UTD/Hogarthian equipment configuration, basic scuba diving physics and physiology, minimum decompression,including history of decompression and practice, physics, physiology, tables, and operational considerations including an introduction to Nitrox, situational awareness and understanding scuba environment. 

All UTD/FKD classes are videotaped for educational and review purposes only as we believe this is invaluable for students to visually focus on their individual in-water skills, situational awareness, communication, and team diving. 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 divemaster  within your certification limitations and to continue within the UTD Recreational training curriculum. 

Our focus is the complete dedication to your diving skills, knowledge & in water practice.


Minimum 16 years of age

Overview/Course limits

Maximum depth is 60’

All dives are to maintain a working PO2 of no greater than 1.4

Standard gas is air

Single tank configuration

No stage decompression

No overhead environments

Long hose primary, and necklace style backup regulator hose configuration

Instructor to student ratio maximum 6:1 in open water, adjusting downward for environmental conditions.


Complete the UTD academic materials (online or book)

All UTD classes are non-smoking

The use of prescription drugs must be authorized prior to the onset 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 300 yards/275 meters in less than 14 minutes without stopping

Required Equipment

See our Equipment Requirements Page for Essentials of Recreational Diving

Rentals are available for most equipment. If you have any questions on equipment requirements or rentals, please contact us prior to registering.


Course requirements include a minimum of 3 hours of academic review and 3 hours of confined water work, 4 dives, 1 of which will be an orientation dive, 2 will be skill dives and 1 will be an experience dive where the students will plan and conduct a dive within their certification limits, under the supervision of an instructor.. 

The initial dive will be conducted in water no deeper then 30 feet 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, within the certification limits of the class.

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 proper equipment and proper 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.