University Registrar  What They Do

Just the Facts

Insider Info

dotThe registrar is responsible for admitting eligible students, maintaining their records and assessing their eligibility for graduation. The registrar may also supervise others who perform these administrative duties.

"Duties vary considerably from one institution to another," says Ann Montgomery, a university registrar. "Some registrars look after recruitment, publications such as the calendar, ceremonies such as graduation. Where there is a registrar, normally it is a fairly senior administrative position with a number of staff reporting."

dotRegistrars work at both public and private schools, including universities, colleges, institutes and other educational institutions.

dotTechnology has certainly changed the inner workings of universities. In many cases you can now register online, and some universities are providing students with security cards that open doors and even dispense goodies from vending machines.

But while universities may have gone high-tech, the job descriptions seldom call for specific educational training.

For example, William Haid worked in data processing at the university where he was obtaining his degree. He asked the registrar if he would provide a reference, who instead suggested he apply for a job as an assistant registrar. "It was a good match," says Haid, who is now a registrar.

dotRegistrars work standard office hours. There are few special physical requirements for this job. It is one that could be done by a physically challenged person, with the right support.

dotA registrar must be able to cope with tense situations. Few people are more uptight than students in their final year who discover their grade point average is just shy of the requirements for grad school. And make sure you have a solid, up-to-date computer background.

"It doesn't really matter what your background is as long as you are willing to learn on the job, be detail-oriented and understand what a computer can do," says Bruce Shutt, who has been a registrar for nearly 40 years.

At a Glance

Maintain student records

  • This is a senior administrative position
  • Registrars work at both public and private schools
  • Would-be registrars can be educated in a variety of fields