How to Become a Dean of a College Follow Jan 01, 2021 · 5 mins read
How to Become a Dean of a College
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Being a dean of a college or university is a huge responsibility since it means to be the substantial authority that is in charge of every aspect related to the students and the campus.

If you’re a person who is passionate about education and you’d like to work in the highest position, you probably want to become a dean, but to do this there are some steps that you have to follow first.

What does a dean do?

A dean is a person that is in charge of the college, which means that he/she has to respond to the students’ needs and also for the programs of the campus.

Since it’s the person of authority they have to involve in every aspect of the college such as admissions, social problems, financial aid, as well as being the leader of all the faculty members.

It’s not a position designed for lazy people since the dean should be the inspiration for the whole college, including the students, the teachers, and the administrative staff.

If you’d like to become a dean you have to know that it’s there’s not an easy route to reach this position, and you have to work hard to attain your goal, so there are some preparations that you have to do before aiming for this job.

Requirements for becoming a dean

Once you know all the responsibilities and tasks that come with the job you might feel intimidated, but if you trust in your capabilities you can become a dean by focusing on your goal and working your way up.

Remember that every job has its requirements, and since being a dean means to be the highest authority of an education center, it’s obvious that you need to do a lot of studying and gain experience.

Plan your career path

As with any job, you have to start small and slowly working your way up, so if you’ve decided that you want to become a dean you have to start preparing yourself right away so you don’t waste any time.

The sooner you realize you want to become a dean the sooner you can start planning your career path and working on the skills you need.

But it doesn’t matter if you’ve decided after you’ve graduated from college; you still have the chance to apply some strategies to acquire what you need.

One good advice is to do networking with your college friends and with your old college teachers, so you can have some references prepared and they can help you in your way to becoming a dean.


To become a dean you need to have experience in the education field, so you need to work as a teacher. But, to be a teacher you need to have a Bachelor’s degree that will allow you to gain some classroom experience.

However, with a bachelor’s degree, you won’t qualify for a dean position, since usually it’s required a Master’s degree or a Doctorate, so you have to continue studying.

This is one of the main aspects of becoming a dean; you have to keep studying since you need to be prepared and have all the knowledge that is required to be the head of a college.

You also need to have some courses in higher education, which include education administration, school law, higher education leadership, and any other that might give you a better profile for directing a college.

Become a certified teacher

Once you’ve got enough classroom experience you will become a certified teacher, which is a great way for becoming a dean. You can start as a high school teacher and then make the transition to work as a professor in a college, and this will take you closer to the dean position.

However, there is another route for becoming a dean that doesn’t necessarily involve continuous teaching, since you can become a member of the administrative staff, so you can progress to higher positions from there.

You can start as a high school teacher, then become a college professor, and then take a job position in the administration, so you can continue working your way up to becoming a dean. You have to take the best route for you, and always keep in mind that you have to study continuously so you can demonstrate that you have all the qualifications needed for being a dean.

Social habits

If you’re currently studying in college and you’ve decided that you want to become a dean, then you have to involve in as many social activities as you can that will give you some experience as a leader.

You can apply for student body president, which will be great for your resume, or you can join a fraternity or sorority, which is great for improving your social skills. You can also apply for an internship at your college.

If you’re a college professor you have to show that you can be a great leader for your students by being passionate about their education and motivating them. Show interest in student activities and engage in activities with your faculty members. You have to prove that you are interested in and immersed in college life.

Apply to many colleges

Once you think you’ve fulfilled with the requirements of becoming a dean, that you have enough experience, and that you have all the qualifications and skills, you can start applying for this job position.

The advice here is that you should apply to many colleges as possible; don’t settle with just one option, because there’s a lot of competition for this job.

Perhaps you’d like to be the dean of the college where you studied, but you have to consider all the options available. Don’t be afraid to apply to the Ivy League college you’ve always wanted to work in.

You have to trust in your capabilities and start visualizing the colleges that might accept you as a dean and don’t give up if you don’t get selected, you can still working your way up until you reach your goal.

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