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Learn to SCUBA dive!

Course Instructor

Paul Rentschler

Paul Rentschler

NAUI SCUBA Instructor

Please do not email overly personal or medical related questions for your own privacy. Email a phone number or ask for one to be sent to you.

Beginner SCUBA course

If you have always wanted to learn how to SCUBA dive, then this is the course for you! Receive excellent, high-quality training from an experienced instructor and an excellent staff.

Course description

This course offers academic and confined water training consistent with the standards set forth by the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI). This course in combination with open-water certification dives will allow you to obtain your NAUI Scuba Diver certification and dive anywhere in the world.

Open-water certification dives are not offered as part of this course to allow students to have the freedom to complete their dives where and when it is convenient for them. The dives must be completed within 6 months of completing this course. Options for completing these dives will be presented during the course.

The course will teach you about the equipment, physics, and physiology of scuba diving and give you hands on practice in the pool learning the skills you will use on every dive.

The overview of this course goes into more details about what is covered during the course. Specific details for this offering of the course are detailed below.


This course is open to all Penn State students, faculty, and staff members who meet the prerequisites for the course.


  • Physical examination by a doctor — form will be provided
  • Successful completion of swim tests (additional details)
    • Swim 60 feet underwater on one breath
    • Swim 250 yards non-stop (150 yards must be freestyle/overhand crawl)
    • Tread water / float for 10 minutes with your face out of the water
  • Payment in full of the course fee

Students with unacceptable medical conditions or who do not pass all three swim tests within the first three sessions will receive a full refund of the course fee. Additional details on course refunds.

Course schedule

The course meets four times a week with lectures on Tuesday and Thursday nights and pool sessions on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons.

Attendance at all sessions is mandatory!

Each lecture and pool session builds on the next making it very difficult to keep up if you miss a session. Some exceptions can be made in extreme situations with advanced notice.


Lectures meet in TBA.

  • Tuesday, January 21st — 7:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Thursday, January 23rd — 7:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Tuesday, January 28th — 7:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Thursday, January 30th — 7:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Tuesday, February 4th — 7:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Thursday, February 6th — 7:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Tuesday, February 11th — 7:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Thursday, February 13th — 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Pool sessions

Meet on the Natatorium pool deck outside of the men's locker room by the double doors.

  • Friday, January 24th — 7:40pm - 10:15pm
  • Sunday, January 26th — 3:40pm - 6:15pm
  • Friday, January 31st — 7:40pm - 10:15pm
  • Sunday, February 2nd — 3:40pm - 6:15pm
  • Friday, February 7th — 7:40pm - 10:15pm
  • Sunday, February 9th — 3:40pm - 6:15pm
  • Friday, February 14th — 7:40pm - 10:15pm
  • Sunday, February 16th — 3:40pm - 6:15pm


$260.00 which includes all pool, equipment, textbook, and instructor fees. You will need to provide a swimsuit and towel for the pool sessions.

Additional information on the course cost, what's included, and information on using your own equipment.


Starts Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at noon!


Registration ends Friday, January 17, 2014 at noon!

How to register

Registration is done in person at the Adventure Recreation Center

You need to pay the full course fee in cash to secure your spot in the class.

Payments will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis from the first 16 people.

Waiting list

Due to medical conditions and the prerequisite swim tests, we occasionally have students drop out of the class within the first 1 to 3 sessions. In order to train the most students possible with every course, we allow for a waiting list beyond the maximum enrollment in the course.

People on the waiting list must still attend every lecture and pool session so that if a spot opens up, he/she can pay the course fee and jump right into the course.

So if the course is full, you are encouraged to sign up on the waiting list and attend all lectures and pool sessions!

Openings in the course will be filled from the waiting list in the order that people signed up on the list assuming that each person has attended the lecture and pool sessions and is able to pay the course fee when a spot opens up.

Questions or concerns

If you have reviewed this page and the Scuba Diver course overview and have additional questions or concerns, please contact the course instructor listed at the top of this page.