The Dens Park side, currently seventh in the Bank of Scotland Premier League, has debts of £20m and is losing around £100,000 a week.
Ernst & Young will now oversee the running of the club.
The owners of the club, Jimmy and Peter Marr, insisted administration was the only answer.
Question marks now hang over the fate of the team’s big name, high-earning stars including Fabrizio Ravanelli and Craig Burley.
Ernst & Young’s Tom Burton said: ‘This move stops the clock running on the club’s debts and gives us the ability to restructure its operations and debts.
‘However, the company is in a critical financial position and solutions to its problems will not be easy to find.’
Director Giovanni Di Stefano had previously offered to buy the club for a nominal £1 fee and take over the club’s debts but had made it clear he would review this if Dundee went into administration.
Fellow Scottish Premier League side Motherwell are also in administration.
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