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.

More Info

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.

For information on other available languages please contact your PADI Dive Center.

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
Learn how to make basic repairs and protect your equipment investment.
Be a leader who mentors and motivates others. Gain dive knowledge, supervision abilities, and become a role model to divers around the world.
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.