About the Course

Dive Theory will dramatically expand your understanding of dive physics, physiology, equipment, decompression theory and dive planning.

Any diver can complete Dive Theory eLearning for personal enrichment. PADI Divemaster, IDC, IDC Staff and CDTC candidates may earn credit toward the dive theory exams. Ask your instructor for details.

Take This Course If You Want to
  • Gain professional-level knowledge
  • Work in the dive industry
  • Learn about the dive history
Learn How to
  • Diving affects the body
  • Different types of dive gear work
  • Identify and avoid diving injuries

Why Learn About Dive Theory?

For aspiring divemasters and scuba instructors, Dive Theory is a convenient way to gain professional-level knowledge of dive physics, physiology, equipment, etc. Curious divers can learn about scuba science and history through interactive presentations and videos.

The PADI Difference

For over 50 years, PADI has undeniably been the Way the World Learns to Dive®, setting the standard for the highest quality dive training, underwater safety and conservation initiatives while evolving the sport of diving into a passionate lifestyle.


(and counting) PADI certified divers to date!


PADI dive centers and resorts across the globe


PADI Professional members worldwide

More Info

Gifting and Sharing Courses

Want to share the experience or give the gift of endless adventure? You can now purchase PADI eLearning® and share it with a recipient of your choice! Whether you are purchasing the course as a gift or need to assign it to family members – it’s super easy.

  1. Purchase an eLearning course.
  2. Follow the link in your confirmation email or sign into your account to go to your Dashboard.
  3. From your Dashboard go to 'Manage Your Courses' section.
  4. Select the course you'd like to gift and enter the email of the gift recipient.
  5. The recipient will receive an email to start the eLearning course.
Medical Requirements

Scuba diving requires a minimum level of health and fitness. Chronic health conditions, certain medications and/or recent surgery may require you to get written approval from a physician before diving.

Avoid disappointment, download and review the Diver Medical form to ensure you won’t need a physician’s approval to dive before enrolling in a scuba course. Instructors, divemasters and dive shop staff are not physicians and should not be asked for medical advice; only medical professionals can give medical clearance to dive.

If you (or your physician) have questions about medical fitness to dive, contact the experts at Divers Alert Network (DAN).

Prerequisites & Minimum Age

Minimum Age: 10

Course prerequisites: none

Choosing a Dive Shop

You can complete this course locally or as part of a PADI® Professional program elsewhere. 

Choose a dive shop close to home if you:

  • Do most of your diving locally
  • Want to support your local diving community
  • Are enrolled in a professional-level course with your local dive shop

If you are enrolled in a professional-level course elsewhere, contact your dive shop before enrolling in Dive Theory eLearning online. 

Time Commitment
9-12 hours
Available Languages
English, Japanese
System Requirements

PADI's online courses are designed to work on the browsers listed below. For the best experience, make sure your browser is up-to-date.


If you plan to be somewhere without internet access, use the PADI Training app to download course content and study offline. Content can be downloaded in small sections with a total file size of approximately 764 MB. When you get back online, upload your progress so you can resume your training right where you left off. 

The PADI Training app is available for Android™ and Apple® iOS devices. For the ideal experience, devices should be no more than three models old and running with the most current OS (operating system).

After this course

If you want to learn more about diving equipment, enroll in an Equipment Specialist course. To deepen your knowledge of underwater ecosystems, take the Underwater Naturalist Specialty course. If you enjoy sharing your knowledge of all things diving, the PADI Divemaster course might be for you.

More Courses

Equipment Specialist
Avoid missing dives and learn how to manage basic gear repairs, fix equipment problems, and clean, maintain and protect your equipment.
Gain professional level skills to lead dives, assist with classes, give a dive briefing and conduct scuba refresher training.
Underwater Naturalist
Get a better understanding about the local ecosystem and the differences between terrestrial and aquatic worlds. See new things, even in the most familiar dive sites.