Diving Courses

Diver in Kelp Bed

The UNH Dive Program consists of two areas – the academic portion where students, faculty and staff may enroll in courses for academic credit, and the research portion, which supports faculty and student divers allowing students to participate in university sponsored underwater research projects.

Diving courses are offered for credit through the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering. Scuba certification is offered through NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors).


Elizabeth Kintzing
Diving Program Officer
Email: elizabeth.kintzing@unh.edu
Phone: (603) 834-1398

Jere A. Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory
24 Colovos Road
Durham, NH 03824

Basic Scuba Information

Please read the following information and complete the Pre-registration form prior to registering.

MARI 533 is a 3-credit, graded course in the fundamentals of scuba diving. This class is geared toward students who might use this course as part of future endeavors, such as marine biology, ocean engineering or outdoor education majors.

Attendance Is Mandatory

This is a participation class where you are learning skills that may affect your safety. If you are not here for class, you cannot develop the necessary skills and level of safety to be a certified scuba diver. This class requires more time and commitment than other 3-credit courses and even some 4-credit courses.

The class is divided into three components:

  • Approximately 60 percent of the time is spent in the pool learning and practicing diving skills.
  • The other 40 percent of the time is in the classroom covering diving physics, physiology, safety, decompression tables, etc. There are homework assignments, quizzes and a final exam for this course.
  • Student must maintain a weekly swimming regime of 25 laps (50 lengths). A minimum of five open-ocean dives must be completed in order to qualify for scuba certification. These requirements are conducted outside of the regularly scheduled class time.

There is also a special fee for the class ($200). Students must provide their own diving mask, fins and booties, as well as a wet suit for the 5 ocean dives. The wetsuits can be rented inexpensively at a local dive shop.

Swim Test

No one is officially admitted to the class until they pass the swim test. The swim test will be held during the first or second scheduled class of each semester and consists of the following skills:

  • Swim 400 yards in the UNH pool. This is a non-stop swim using any stroke except elementary backstroke. The student must complete the 8 laps or 16 lengths of the pool in approximately eight to nine minutes.
  • Tread water in the deep end for 10 minutes.
  • Touch the bottom of the deep end and continue to swim the width of the pool underwater.
  • Tow a buddy of similar size for 50 yards or one lap of the pool.

All decisions will be made at the time of the swim test; there are no make-ups or excuses.  Interested participants must attend the swim test and prepared to swim. It is strongly recommended that partcipants practice the test several times prior to the real thing. Open pool times can be obtained from the pool office at the Field House or online.

Conditions That Prohibit Participation in Scuba

To participate in this scuba class, you need to be a competent swimmer and in good health. There are certain disorders that are incompatible with scuba diving. Individuals diving with these disorders could subject themselves to varying health hazards including death.

Individuals with any of the following disorders should not even consider taking the swim test:

  • Any lung problems, including:
    • Smoking.
    • A previous episode of a punctured or collapsed lung.
    • Asthma or any exercise induced respiratory problems, even if controlled by medication.
  • Any disorders that might cause a diver to lose consciousness, such as:
    • Insulin-dependent diabetes.
    • Epilepsy or seizure syndrome, even if controlled by medication.

Other medical issues that might cause problems:

  • Any intolerance to exercise.
  • Chronic ear or sinus problems.

Diving Courses