Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) will walk out for the day on October 23 in protest at a below inflation pay offer. Most of its members work in the country's newer universities.
The EIS emergency committee met today and gave formal approval to a programme of industrial action, which will include discontinuous strike action and other forms of industrial action.
More than half (54%) of members who returned ballots supported strike action while 72% of returned ballots supported industrial action short of a strike.
EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: "EIS-ULA (University Lecturers' Association) higher education members have given their strong support for a programme of industrial action in protest at the continuing, long-term decline in their levels of pay.
"Higher education lecturers have endured three successive years of real-terms pay cuts and have now signalled that they are not prepared to accept this year's 1% pay offer from their employers which, for the fourth successive year, is significantly below the rate of inflation.
"The EIS will continue to support all its members in defending their living standards, where they are prepared to take a stand against continuing attacks on education and the teachers, lecturers and others who are essential to its delivery across Scotland."
The union estimates that the average real-terms pay cut for higher education lecturers over the past three pay settlements is 12.2% - or about £5,000 in cash terms.
The EIS has about 1,500 members in higher education and said all are urged to support the programme of action.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "As independent bodies, pay is a matter for universities, staff and, in this case, the EIS, and we hope a solution can be found which avoids any disruption to students learning.
"The Scottish Government has invested significant funding in our universities and colleges, and we appreciate the hard work and dedication of staff in the education sector."