Scuba Diving

Students, faculty, staff, and community members can learn how to scuba dive at Campus Recreation with instruction from our partners at Midwest Scuba Center!

Campus Recreation provides the pool space for participants to complete phase 2 (in-water activities) of this three-phase course. Participants who successfully complete all 3 phases will receive their Open Water Diver certification, which never expires and is valid worldwide.


Phase 1: Instructional (e-learning) Phase 2: Confined Water (in-water activities) Phase 3: Open Water (checkout dives)
  1. Complete online e-learning course and receive packet of informational materials
  2. Attend a meeting where the instructor will provide an overview of the course and answer any questions
  3. Sign a release of liability and turn in completed medical release form (read and complete the form prior to the first meeting to determine if a doctor’s signature is required)
  1. Swim test
  2. Learn how to set up, clean, and care for your dive equipment, including sanitizing for COVID-19 and other pathogens
  3. Snorkeling 
  4. SCUBA – this is the heart of the course! You will be in the water learning the essential skills used when scuba diving.  
  1. Phase 1 and 2 must be completed to proceed to Phase 3
  2. Midwest Scuba Center will provide options to complete 4 dives over the course of 2 days, including local checkout divesgroup classesscheduling a private class, or join on of their trips/vacations to some of the best diving spots in the world!
  3. Phase 3 costs an additional fee


Time and Location: the first date in each session will be held in ARC Multi-Purpose Room 7 (no pool activities), with subsequent dates held in the ARC Indoor Pool for in-water activities.

  Session #1 Session #2 Session #3 Session #4
Dates 5/13, 5/15, 5/20, and 5/22 6/17, 6/24, 6/26, and 6/27 7/1, 7/3, 7/8, and 7/10 7/29, 7/31, 8/5, and 8/7
Time 5:30-8:30 pm 5:30-8:30 pm 5:30-8:30 pm 5:30-8:30 pm


Participants are required to attend all dates for the session in which they registered. If you are unable to attend one of the clinic dates, please notify the instructors as soon as possible. Private classes are available for an extra fee to make up for missed clinic days.

Walk-ins are welcome on the first class date of each session on a first-come, first-served basis.

You must bring your completed medical form, swimsuit, towel, and equipment to the first class. Purchase mask, fin, and snorkel at Midwest Scuba Center prior to the first class. Rental masks, fin, and snorkel are available upon request on a first-come, first-served basis.


Participants are required to register through both Midwest Scuba Center and Active Illini. Midwest Scuba Center registration will provide the materials for the e-learning phase, while the Active Illini registration will ensure you have a spot in the pool for the in-water activities.

Step 1: Midwest Scuba Registration

  • Register for the e-learning course through the Midwest Scuba Center website
  • Choose either the PADI or SDI certification and select “Find Out More”
  • Click the “Add to Cart” button
  • Go to your cart and follow the prompts until you have registered and paid for the e-learning part of the clinic
  • Once you have registered through Midwest Scuba Center, you will be sent a confirmation email with a link and code to access the e-learning course.
  • You are encouraged to complete the e-learning course prior to the in-person instruction phase, though it is not mandatory to be fully completed beforehand.


    Step 2: Active Illini Registration

    • University-affiliated members should login to the Active Illini web portal using their netID and password
      • Non-affiliated patrons or community members should register for an account by filling out this online form. Your account will be activated within 48 hours. You may then register for a clinic using the steps below.
    • If you plan to register a family member or dependent, go to your activated profile and click the “Add Family Member” button.
    • Click the button on the top left corner of the screen to expand the menu
    • Click on “Aquatics” and then “Aquatics Programs”
    • Select the clinic that you are interested in registering for
    • Click the “Register” button for the instance of the clinic you want to join
    • Follow the prompts until you are registered
    • You will receive an email confirmation upon registering. Before the first day of class, you will receive an email about class logistics.


      Medical Release Form


      Participants are required to turn in a completed medical release form prior to the first in-person meeting, as you may be required to get a doctor’s signature before being allowed to participate in the clinic. McKinley Health Center does not provide medical screenings for scuba diving clearance. If you need to find a doctor in the area to provide clearance, call or chat with an online representative from the Divers Alert Network (DAN).



      • $350 for members and non-members*
      • *Cost does not include mask, fins and snorkel. Participants are encouraged to purchase their own because it offers a better fit and more comfortable experience. However, rentals are also available for an additional fee.
      • *Additional costs include online learning materials (phase 1) and costs associated with logistics and scheduling of open water dives for phase 3.

        Registration includes…

        • Confined water instruction and practice at ARC indoor pool for phase 2
        • Use of all necessary equipment (except mask, fins, and snorkel)
        • Dive logbook