SCUBA Diving at UH Hilo

SCUBA Diving at UH Hilo

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Announcements - 2024

Welcome to SCUBA diving with the University of Hawaiʻi Hilo Campus Recreation and Wellness!

Spring 2024 SCUBA Courses

Openwater scuba class link arms underwater in pool

Open Water Diver

This entry level course takes place over two weekends, one weekend in the pool learning and practicing skills and one weekend in the ocean practicing and exploring!

Cost: $350

Class 1: 27, 28, 3, & 4
Class 2: 3, 4, 10, & 11
Class 3: 17, 18, 24, & 25
Class 4: 24, 25, 2, & 3
Class 5: 2, 3, 9, & 10
Class 6: 6, 7, 13, & 14

Advanced diver displays peak performance bouancy skills underwater

Advanced Open Water Diver

In this course we take your Open Water skills to the next level over the course of two days and five ocean dives!

Cost: $250

Class 1: 27 & 28
Class 2: 6 & 7

Dive instructor and student demonstrate a controlled emergency ascent skill

Rescue Diver

In this course you gain a greater level of safety awareness as you learn to rescue your self and others!

Cost: $250

Class 1: 30 & 31
Class 2: 13 & 14

Class cost includes: Learning Materials, Instructor Fees, Gear Rental, Transportation & Program Shirt


Our Divemaster program is ongoing, if you have any questions please email Cost $500

5 Steps to SCUBA Certification!

1. Visit The Lifeguards

Come by the pool and ask the lifeguards for a SCUBA Swim assessment. The lifeguards can help you keep track of time and sign off that you completed the swim assessment!
(Swim 200m (no time limit); Float for 10min)

2. Medical Waiver

Part of the sign-up process involves a medical waiver that may need to be signed by your primary care physician or the school nurse to ensure you are safe to dive!

3. Sign-up

Bring your completed swim assessment to our cashier clerk to sign-up for a course that works for your schedule!

4. eLearning

Once you're all signed up you will be given a PADI Learning for you to complete at your own pace. Students have reported it taking up to 13hrs to complete.

5. Dive!

With your learning complete, you are now ready to dive! a class with an instructor learning and practicing skills in the pool for one weekend and in the ocean practicing skills and exploring for another! Wooo!

For more information, please email:

UH Hilo SCUBA program logo

Sign-Up Details

All divers or soon-to-be divers must complete the Medical form before signing up for the class, if there is a yes on the form, a signature from a doctor is required.

PADI Medical Statement (PDF) Please note it takes about 20 minutes to sign-up and fill out the medical form. See FAQ for more info.

Before you sign-up

New divers must pass the SCUBA swim test! The SCUBA Swim Test is given and evaluated by the Student Life Center Lifeguards. Please meet with the Student Life Center Lifeguards about your interest in taking the SCUBA Swim Test. See the FAQ for more details.

When can you sign-up

Monday-Friday 8am to 4pm on normal business days. You only can sign-up the semester you are taking the class.

Where to sign-up

Campus Recreation Office, located in the Student Life Center.

Already a diver and need to refresh your skills?

To sign up for fun pool events check out our calendar and sign up page - Calendar! or Sign-up page (please note that only events that you are able to register for are here)

Has it been a while since you were diving? We are offering reminder dives and we have some Diving activities in the pool to help you get back into the swing of diving!

Underwater Basket Weaving

Must be certified or in the class. This is two Fridays, you make a basket underwater, have some fun, sharpen your SCUBA skills and take some photos. This is held at the UH Hilo Pool.

Sign-ups Online at the Outdoor Adventure page.

Underwater Communication practice

Must be certified or in the class. Learn and practice communicating underwater plus sharpen your skills! This is a Friday Course offered multiple times during the semester. Each time is a bit different!

Sign-ups Online at the Outdoor Adventure page.

To sign up for fun pool events check out our calendar or sign-up page. (please note that only events for which you are able to register for are found here)

Common Questions - FAQ Section

  • How much does it cost?
    • Open Water cost $350, Advanced and Rescue Diver classes cost $250 each.
  • What does the Price Include?
    • The $350 USD includes your books for the class, a T-shirt, your certification card that is internationally recognized, and good for life upon completion of class. Your transportation to the dive sites from the Student Life Center and your SCUBA gear rental during class (BCD, Tanks, Weights, Wet-suit, and Regulator set).
  • Can I rent a Mask/Fins/Snorkel set for use while I am in the class?
    • Yes, you can rent a set of these items for 25 dollars only for use when you are physically present in the class. You cannot rent them from us for use outside of your SCUBA class.
  • How long is the class?
    • The Open Water class is two full weekends. The first weekend starts Friday night with book and pool work. The second weekend are the ocean days. These are all very long days. Be prepared to spend all day at diving class.
  • What do I need to bring?
    • Your knowledge reviews in your book completed, a set of good mask/fins/snorkel, two towels each day, swimsuit, pack lunch and lots of water.
  • How far and hard is the swim test?
    • The swim test is a 200 yard swim using only front crawl or breast stroke, you must make forward motion at all time, not need assistance from a flotation device, person or lifeguard and you cannot stop at the walls. Then there is a 10 min float/tread, in this you cannot touch the sides, bottom or any flotation device for the full 10 min. The swim test can be taken with the lifeguards at any time prior to signing up for the class. You will be asked to repeat the swim test in class. If you are worried about passing the swim test, there is a basic swimming class offered through the KES department as a credit based class and of course there is plenty of time to practice at the pool.
  • What is the medical and why do I have to fill it out?
    • The medical form is the standard PADI medical form for diving. This form helps us to minimize the risk of diving by ensuring that you don’t have any counter indications to diving prior to the start of your diving course. If there is a possible counter indication, a doctor's signature is required.

Questions or Concerns

If you have any questions or concerns please stop by Campus Recreation during business hours, M-F 8am-4am

You can also contact the Campus Recreation and Wellness at (808) 932-7747 or email us at

SCUBA classes are only open to University of Hawaiʻi students who are members of the Student Life Center

Find Us on Instagram!

Head on over to our instagram to sea what we have been diving into lately! Dive with you soon!