Admission Requirements

  • 18 years of age
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Ability to swim
  • Good physical health
  • Mechanical ability
  • Strong work ethic
  • Entrance interview

CDAWI strongly recommends a working email address.  In an effort to expedite communications and minimize our environmental impact, CDAWI relies heavily on electronic mail.

All of the classes at CDAWI are taught in English. International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency.  Proficiency can be determined by the student achieving a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). For information on the test, applicants may write to TOEFL, Educational Testing Service, Box 899, Princeton, New Jersey 08540-6200, U.S.A.,, or contact the U.S. Embassy in their home country.  The minimum TOEFL scores are:  500 (paper-based), 173 (computer-based), 61 (internet-based).

We also recommend that students obtain a passport if they do not already have one. 

For all applicants of African descent, we require a negative sickle cell blood test since sickle cell anemia is a disqualifying factor (please see Disqualifying Factors below).

International Applicants - All non-local must submit the following:


  1. Copy of current passport (the page with the name and the picture). The passport needs to be valid at least 6 months after the completion of the Academy.
  2. An official certificate of completion for secondary school. Academic records not in English must be accompanied by an official certified translation.
  3. Evidence of medical insurance. All international students on non-immigrant visas must maintain medical insurance coverage for themselves and any dependents.

Immigration form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility), needed to obtain a student visa, is not issued until the applicant has (1) been officially accepted by the Academy, (2) paid the processing and registration fees, (3) submitted a financial statement indicating how
expenses will be met while attending CDAWI, and (4) submitted a photocopy of a passport.

Steps to Apply:

  1. Review the industry, career information and disqualifying conditions on the website and call the Admissions Office with questions and to confirm availability.
  2. Click on Apply Now to fill out the Enrollment Agreement and Admissions Questionnaire online and enter your credit card information to pay the $100 non-refundable registration fee. You can also download the application forms from the “Download an Application” page and enclose a check or money order.
  3. Download the Medical History form and fill it out completely. The Physical Examination form can be completed by our school’s physician on the first day of school for $399; our physician is approved by the Divers Certification Board of Canada (DCBC). You can also have the physical done by any physician approved by the DCBC.  Please contact Admissions for more information.
  4. Submit the Medical History form, along with proof of your date of birth, and a copy of your health insurance card.
  5. Enclose a copy of your high school diploma/GED or request a transcript be sent to the school.
  6. Send priority mail to:

CDA Technical Institute of the West Indies
Attention: Admissions
P.O. Box 1098
Basseterre, St. Kitts, W.I.

Some of the most common disqualifying conditions per the Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI) are:

  • History of seizure disorder other than early childhood febrile (high fever) conditions
  • Cystic or cavitary disease of the lungs, significant obstructive or restrictive lung disease, or recurrent pneumothorax
  • Chronic inability to equalize sinus and middle ear pressure
  • Significant central or peripheral nervous system disease or impairment
  • Chronic alcoholism, drug abuse, or history of psychosis
  • Significant hemoglobinpathies
  • Significant malignancies
  • Grossly impaired hearing
  • Significant osteonecrosis
  • Chronic conditions requiring continuous control by medication
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell anemia