PE 112 hones students’ scuba skills in Monterey Bay

June 1, 2017, 7:47 p.m.
PE 112 hones students' scuba skills in Monterey Bay
PE 112 brings its students to Monterey Bay to scuba (Courtesy of Andrew Todhunter).

In PE 112: “SCUBA Diving Open Water – Advanced,” students with open water diving experience improve their scuba diving skills in Monterey Bay. PE 112 is the second course in Stanford’s scuba diving series.

The class only accepts 10 students, a small portion of the 48 students who wanted to take the course this spring.

According to lecturer and course instructor Andrew Todhunter, students in PE 112 will complete five “Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Adventure Dives” from the book “PADI Adventures in Diving.” Once students have completed PE 112, they will be certified by PADI for advanced open water diving.

The course occurs over two weekends. During the first weekend, students work with instructors to certify their diving knowledge from textbooks, review their equipment and practice their skills in a pool. During the entirety of the second weekend, students conduct five dives in Monterey.  

Students must have an open water certification by any recognized scuba certification agency in order to take the class. Those interested in picking up scuba diving can take the first class in Stanford’s scuba series: PE 111.

Todhunter said that because the course only lasts two weekends and the class size is so small, students’ commitment level greatly impacts the course outcome.

“[Students] must commit to and attend all meetings and training sessions to pass the class … [and] will not be permitted to drop the class after Week 2,” Todhunter said.

Alumni of PE 112 spoke highly of the class. All of them, along with Todhunter, expressed appreciation for the fact that Stanford heavily subsidizes the experience, making it more affordable, at $120, than would otherwise be possible.

Former class member Matthew Titchenal M.S. ’14, a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering, noted that the scuba skills he learned in PE 112 would be applicable throughout life. He said he enjoyed his experience exploring the open water.

“I did a deep dive, which is diving past 60 feet, and [a] search and recovery [dive] – doing a search pattern and finding something in the water,” Titchenal said.

Former PE 112 student Shirbi Ish-Shalom ’16 M.S. ’16 from the School of Medicine recommends the course to divers and non-divers alike.

“[PE 112] is a definite must,” Ish-Shalom said. “Monterey – where you dive – is such a cool area. There is all this wildlife that you see from a new perspective … Seals were circling us and playing with us.”


Contact Christina Pan at capan ‘at’

Login or create an account