Online scuba lessons and certification
Online Scuba Certification
 Get the Book Work done
from the comfort of your home!
Learn Nitrox online - Get the Bookwork done from Home.
Online Nitrox Course
Full Certification!
Includes C-Card
Online Classroom
Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Online Scuba Certification work?
It's really quite simple!  You order the course, we send a username and password to the email address that you provide.  Once you have logged in to the course, there are 5 sections each with a quiz at the end.  You are welcome to print the text books and quizzes for off-line study.  When you are ready,  log on to the final exam.  Once the final exam is completed, we send you a certificate of completion and a worldwide referral form that allows you to continue.

All Academic requirements for scuba certification are provided.  There is nothing else to buy!  No hidden charges!  No games! No gimmicks!
There is nothing to ship to you to begin the course!  It's completely and entirely accomplished online.  Once you have finished the course, we mail you a certificate and referral form valid for scuba certification at any dive shop or dive boat in the world.

At this point there are two options:
Scuba Certification Option 1:  Present the paperwork to the dive shop or instructor.  Continue with their program, and become certified.  You will receive a certification card from that instructor or dive shop.  They certify you and you become their customer.  Your scuba card will reflect the agency that the instructor or dive shop is affiliated.

Scuba Certification Option 2:  Present the paperwork to the dive shop or instructor.  Complete the required industry standard scuba dives.  Have the instructor sign the forms and return them to SDA for certification.  When we receive the signed forms, we issue a scuba certification card.
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What makes you different from all the other online scuba courses?
They all accomplish the same thing.  To get you scuba certified so you can go scuba diving!!  At SDA, we are proud to know that our scuba certification agency stands above the rest when it comes to the enjoyment, adventure, and fun of the scuba diver. It's OK, if you start with one agency and finish with us or start with us and finish with another agency.  We are interested only in the pleasure and enjoyment of the diver.

Most other online scuba courses require that you finish with a specific scuba store.  If you buy the course from them, you have to finish the dives with them.  With our course, you can start with us and finish anywhere in the world.  We welcome ALL scuba certifying agencies and ALL scuba instructors in our World Wide Scuba Referral program.  We don't limit the diver's choices to one agency or another.


Will the course work while I'm on a Cruise Ship?
Yes!  The course and subsequent scuba certification can work very nicely with cruise ships.  First complete the final exam and receive the referral forms, then schedule a "Shore Excursion" at each port.  Ask for a "Discover Scuba Excursion".  Then schedule another excursion for the next dive, then at the next port schedule another.  The Carnival Cruise Fun Ships to both the eastern Caribbean and the western Caribbean have shore excursions for scuba diving.   The Carnival Fun Ship - Legend goes to Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize, and Costa Maya.  First Class cruise ship and first class scuba diving all the way.  Have one of the scuba instructors sign the open water referral form at each port.  The Carnival Cruise Fun Ship - Miracle goes to the US Virgin Islands - Perfect for scuba diving!

It's OK to use several different scuba agencies for the certification.  Just make sure that you get a signature from each instructor on the open water referral form and your scuba log book.  Then send all the paperwork back to SDA, and we will make sure you get a scuba certification card.
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Once I've ordered the course, how long does it take to complete?
This depends on how much time you are willing to spend working on the course.  There are 5 sections to complete followed by a final exam.  You have to complete each module with a 100% on each of the quizzes.  Then you have to complete the final exam with a 100%.  Most people finish in a couple of days, but there is no hurry.  It's a self paced course.

You can take the quizzes and final exam as many times as it takes to achieve a 100%.

There is no limit to the number of times you can take the quizzes and final exam.  Most people can complete the course in about 5 to 10 hours of study.  Your password and user name never expire, so you can take as long as you want to complete the course.  Some folks complete the course in as little as the next day, some folks take up to a year to complete the course.  It's a self paced course!
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What agency is the certification?
The Academic portion of the scuba course and it's certification works for
ANY scuba certification agency, ANY scuba instructor, Any where, Worldwide.

When you go on vacation to any resort in the entire world, you can present your certificate of completion and by-pass the "book work"  and "Classroom" portion of scuba lessons.  Go straight to the pool or open water.  We include a "Worldwide Scuba Referral Form" and all other necessary paperwork  to complete your certification.  The "instructor of record" (the instructor that takes you into open water) may want you to take a quiz, exam, or complete a verbal quiz to test your knowledge.  They may want you to watch a video or two.  But you won't be required to waste valuable vacation time sitting though the classroom portion of scuba diving.
See Scuba Certification Options.

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Will the certification work while I'm on vacation?
Yes!  If you have completed the quizzes and final exam and have the referral forms with you before you depart for your vacation!  We can overnight the forms in a time sensitive situation to your hotel or resort - no problem.  But keep in mind that anywhere outside of the continental United States requires "international priority shipping".

Present the certificate and universal referral form to the instructor at your chosen destination. Generally, most instructors require 2 pool sessions, and 4 open water dives.  Make sure the instructor signs your logbook, complete with the agency and his/her instructor number. See Scuba Certification Options.
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What if I have a question about something in the course?
Each module, all quizzes, and the final exam have email links directly to an instructor.  You can email directly with your questions or concerns.  All emails are answered within 24 hours (usually much faster).  Or you can call direct at 928-680-DIVE (3483) between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (Arizona) and talk with one of our instructors to get an explanation and help with any portion of the course.
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Do I need to go in the pool and open water after completing the course?
Yes!  The course is only the book work portion (academics) of scuba diving.  The instructor of record may want you to go into a pool first, but not all require pool work.  Then after a morning or afternoon of getting use to the gear and being underwater, you go out on their boat and scuba dive!

Generally, most instructors require 2 pool sessions, and 4 open water dives.  Make sure the instructor signs your logbook, complete with their scuba agency and his/her instructor number.  See Scuba Certification Options.
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How much does it cost for the pool work and the open water dives?
This varies a great deal from place to place.  Cozumel dives shops charge about $45.00 per dive, while the dive shops in Hawaii charge $120.00 per dive.  Dive shops in Alabama, New York, and California charge something in between.  Equipment rental prices vary as well. ($5 to $50 per day).  Generally, most dive programs require 4 to 6 dives for certification.  But the quality of these dives can be quite different.  Some operations use their local lake or rock quarry for dive certifications.  These should be relatively inexpensive ($100 - $200).  Some dive operations use huge expensive dive boats for their certifications complete with several dive masters, instructors, captain, and crew.  Expect to pay for the quality. ($200-$400).  Check to see if the operation or resort has a package available.
Here's a list of SDA recommended dive shops.

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Can I complete the course with my spouse or children?
Absolutely! Yes you can!  You and your spouse or any number of people can work the course together, sending only one of the quizzes for the entire group.  However, the final exam and course tuition must be separated.  In other words, each person being certified has to send a final exam and pay for the course.  The final exam can be done as a group, but each individual has to send a completed exam with a 100% for our records.
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Do I get any kind of proof that I've competed the course?
Yes!  Upon completion of the course you will be mailed a certificate of completion signed and dated by one of our instructors. We mail via US Post Office at no charge.  However, we can over night or 2 day air via Fed EX if you need the certificate faster.  The post office delivers to most areas in about 5 to 7 work days.
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Will the course work for me if I'm already a scuba diver?
Yes!  The course makes a wonderful scuba refresher course.  It covers physics, physiology, dive tables, etc.
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Do you issue scuba certification cards for Nitrox without scuba dives?
Yes!  Take the Nitrox course.
Upon completion, fill out the proper paperwork and we will issue a Nitrox Scuba Certification card valid at any scuba facility worldwide.
The quality of this course is superior!  It's a good course!  We believe that the responsibility for analyzing the oxygen content of the scuba cylinder is the responsibility of the diver, not the instructor or dive shop that conducts the dives.

In some areas, it can be very difficult for a diver to complete required dives for a Nitrox certification.
Example 1;  A certified diver lives in a small town in the mid west.  The nearest dive shop is 80 miles away and the nearest water is over 100 miles away.  The diver is planning a vacation to Cozumel and wants to dive with Nitrox.   The planning and time restrictions required are "out of the question" and the dives required are in a rock quarry that is 50 degrees.  With other scuba agencies the chances of this diver becoming Nitrox certified is ZERO.  We believe that the diver is safer using the Nitrox and therefore issue a Certification Card for that purpose.

Example 2;
A certified scuba diver is an executive assistant at XYZ Mortgage & Financial in Dallas, Texas.  She is going on vacation to Grand Cayman Island with her husband and teenage kids.  She wants to use Nitrox for two days of scuba diving.  She has checked with several local dive shops and found that every one of them offer evening class and scheduled nitrox certification dives in a muddy lake nearby.  The scuba shops offer dive trips to the coast for certification, but the trips do not fit within her busy schedule or budget.  With other scuba agencies the chances of this diver becoming Nitrox certified is ZERO.  We believe that the diver is safer using the Nitrox and therefore issue a Certification Card for that purpose.

Can I take the Nitrox Course if I'm NOT scuba certified?
Yes!  You can purchase the course and complete the course.  However, in order to receive a certification card, you have to provide "proof of previous certification".  Some have completed the basic course and the nitrox course at the same time or "back to back".  Then completed the basic course at their local dive shop.  Once the you are a certified scuba diver, then you can receive the Nitrox Scuba Certification Card.  This allows the diver to get the basic certification and use nitrox while on vacation.
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