PADI Advanced Open Water Course

Exploration, Excitement, Experiences... That’s what the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course is all about. You don’t have to be “advanced” to take it – it’s designed to "advance" your diving, so you can start right after earning your PADI Open Water Diver certification. The course helps build confidence and expand your scuba skills through different types of diving called "Adventure Dives". You try out different specialties while gaining experience under the supervision of your PADI Instructor. You log dives and develop capabilities as you find new ways to safely have fun scuba diving.

The Advanced Open Water Course works differently.

Here is how it works:

The advanced course is conducted very differently than the open water course. To obtain the PADI Advanced Open Water Certification each diver must complete 5 "adventure dives" under the supervision of a PADI instructor. Each adventure dive will have specific focus and/or mission. These dives do not need to be completed all at once. Divers can do them in a weekend or spread out over a summer, it's entirely up to the diver. Divers will have each adventure dive documented by their instructor and once the diver has completed 5 adventure dives from 5 different topics, they will be issued a PADI Advanced Open Water certification. Adventure dives are taught on an ongoing bases, year round. There is some flexibility on which dives the student may choose, but each student must complete the two "core" dives, Deep Diving (60+ft) and Underwater Navigator.  There is no classroom session, no exam, and no video, however, students must complete the corresponding chapter from the PADI Advanced Open Water manual. (Each chapter has it's own focus/mission). Academics are covered in an extended briefing prior to each dive. Below are the core and elective dives for the advanced open water course:


PADI Advanced Open Water Spring 2021

April 17 & 18, Monterey

Includes 1 Peak Performance Buoyancy dive in Folsom Lake prior to Monterey.


Peak Performance Buoyancy (Folsom Lake; many dates available)

Underwater Naturalist: 2pm Saturday Apr 17th, San Carlos Beach , Monterey.

Night Dive: Sunset, Saturday Apr 17th, Coast Guard Pier, Monterey.

Deep Dive: 12noon Sunday Apr 18th, Metridium Fields, Monterey.

Underwater Navigator: 3pm Sunday Apr 18th, San Carlos Beach, Monterey.



Tuition, teaching materials and certification fee for the 5 shore dives are $265. (Rental gear not included but available at a discount)

Sign Up for Advanced Open Water Course


Add eLearning (online course) $169

Do the course work online instead of from a workbook.

PADI Advanced Course eLearning


2021 Adventure Dive Schedule:

Date Adventure Dives Location
Customized to your schedule Peak Performance Buoyancy (1 dive) Folsom Lake, Ca
Apr 17-18, 2021 Deep Dive, Underwater Naturalist, Underwater Navigation, Night Dive Monterey, Ca


Get credit! Each Adventure Dive may credit toward the first dive of the corresponding Specialty Diver Course. If you’ve already taken a specialty diver course, ask your instructor if you’ve earned credit for an Adventure Dive.

What are Advanced Open Water Prerequisites?

  • An Open Water Diver certification from any recognized international certification agency
  • Minimum age: 15 (12 for PADI's Junior Advanced Open Water Diver)

What do I need?

  • A book, or you can take the PADI Online Advanced Open Water Academics.
  • Snorkeling gear suitable for scuba diving. (Regulator, tank, weights, BCD, are available to rent)
  • Compass (Available to rent)
  • Dive knife or cutting tool

What Will I Learn?

You’ll plan your learning path with your instructor by choosing from a long list of Adventure Dives. There are two required dives – Deep (> 60ft) and Underwater Navigation – and three elective dives, for a total of five dives over two days. Elective dives are usually three of the following: Peak Performance Bouyancy, Night, Underwater Naturalist, Boat, Drysuit, and Enriched Air Nitrox.

During the Deep Adventure Dive, you learn how to plan dives to deal with the physiological effects and challenges of deeper scuba diving. The Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive refines your compass navigation skills and helps you better navigate using kick-cycles, visual landmarks and time.

You may be able to get college credit for the Advanced Open Water Diver course.

Sign Up for Advanced Open Water

What's next?

Once you've become an Advanced Open Water Diver, your education is just beginning.  Why not take on a new challenge with one of these Scuba Specialty Certifications?