How to Become an

University Dean of Students

The complete career guide to be an University Dean of Students: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $102,610
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 8.7%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

A university dean of students serves directly under a college provost or president and is responsible for overseeing and coordinating programs and departments that enhance the educational experience. The role is focused on establishing community, providing support, and enabling success for all students.

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What is an University Dean of Students?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in university dean of student roles:

  • Organize, establish, and oversee all non-academic programs designed to enable student success, integration, and community
  • Meet with representatives from student organizations—such as student government groups—to listen to concerns and form plans of action for resolving issues
  • Hire and manage administrative leaders to operate specific departments and groups that fall under the student affairs umbrella
  • Create and oversee university programs, publications, and information repositories designed to enhance campus life and provide necessary information to students and parents

A Day in the Life of a University Dean of Students

The university dean of students is responsible for ensuring non-academic offices, programs, and groups are successful. A university dean of students may oversee a large number of organizations, such as student housing, career services, fraternities and sororities, and new student orientation. Additionally, the dean of students may oversee the bursar’s office, financial aid office, and registrar’s office. The ultimate goal of the dean of students is to create a positive college experience for all students.

The university dean of students is expected to be a thought leader who devises new and creative ways of integrating new students, retaining existing students, and helping students achieve success both academically and professionally. They may establish special programs for freshmen designed to help them find their way through the school, register for classes, and apply for financial aid. They may also organize job fairs or internship/work-study programs designed to ensure success after graduation.

In addition to management, thought leadership, and oversight, the university dean of students will have more administrative responsibilities. He/she will likely oversee a budget and make determinations on where to allocate funds each year. The dean of students also has final authority on admissions decisions, sets policies for student behavior and academic standards, and may have final say on whether or not to allow a new student organization to be formalized and recognized by the institution.

Typical Work Schedule for University Deans of Students

The dean of students typically works normal business hours and has weekends and major holidays off. Unlike administrators that are focused on academics, the dean of students is likely required to work during the summer class session to prepare for the upcoming school year.

Projected Job Growth for University Dean of Students

As college enrollments continue to increase, the demand for individuals to work as dean of students or assistant deans should also experience some growth.

Typical Employers

Most major public and private colleges and universities employ one or more dean of students to oversee student affairs and university programs.

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How To Become an University Dean of Students

The first step in becoming a dean of students is to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as counseling, education, administration, business, or finance. With a bachelor’s degree, you can qualify for entry-level positions in the offices and programs you’ll one day oversee as dean of students, such as the bursar’s office, admissions, career services, financial aid, or student housing administration. This is the first step in what will be a long career in working with students and enabling success.

After earning a bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to pursue a master’s degree—again in a related field. The master’s degree you earn may need to be more specifically catered to your career goals than your bachelor’s degree. For example, a master’s in higher education administration or counseling may provide more appropriate courses than an MBA that is more business-focused. While pursuing a master’s degree, you should also be focused on advancing into positions with more responsibility.

While it’s possible to move into a university dean of students position with only a master’s degree, most universities will give preference to candidates with doctoral degrees. Additionally, positions will likely require ten or more years of administrative experience in roles with increasing levels of responsibilities, and a proven track record of enabling student success in leadership roles.

University Dean of Students Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do University Dean of Students salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, University Dean of Students's can make an average annual salary of $102,610, or $49 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $65,410 or $31 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #62 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Highest Education Among University Dean of Studentss

  • 13.2%   Doctorate
  • 44.8%   Masters
  • 23.5%   Bachelors
  • 5%   Associates
  • 8%   College
  • 4.6%   High School
  • 0.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does University Dean of Students job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 15,200 jobs for a total of 190,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 8.7% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #256 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most University Dean of Studentss

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; private 73,600 9,900 10%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state 56,100 2,200 2%
Junior colleges; local 11,300 1,600 2%

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