Competition Overview

The Dean’s Award marks the culmination of a 4-H’er’s career, recognizing youth who have participated and excelled in a broad spectrum of activities and experiences over an extended period of time.  The contest is designed to encourage participation and achievement by 4-H youth in areas fundamental to the mission of 4-H, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.  It recognizes youth for achievement and experience in a variety of project areas.



Project Areas

A Dean’s Award will be presented in each of the following six areas:

  • Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • Civic Engagement
  • William “Bill” Edwards 4-H Dean’s Award for Communications and the Arts
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • James Harris 4-H Dean’s Award for Leadership
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)


Project Procedure

  • Carry out project work in one of the six project areas noted above.
  • Submit a cumulative portfolio, covering the 4-H’er’s entire career, in one of the six project areas listed above.
    • The portfolio may be handwritten or typed in black ink.
    • The original work must be done by the 4-H member.
    • Portfolios will be judged, and the top 5 high-scoring individuals from each of the six Dean’s Awards projects will proceed to interviews as finalists.
  • If you are selected as a finalist, based on your portfolio, you will participate in an interview session with experts, scientists, educators, etc., during State 4-H Council.


Registration & Portfolio Submission

To register for the Dean’s Awards project, participants must upload their portfolio into 4-H Enrollment electronically, similar to Project Achievement portfolios. We will enter finalists selected to interview into Event Registration.  For registration and deadline information, contact your local County Extension Office.

For 2022, interviews for finalists will be held in person during State Council at Rock Eagle 4-H Center on Friday, June 24.  An interview schedule will be sent to counties following portfolio submissions and announcement of finalists. The schedule will also be posted in the State Council downloads section of Event Registration.




  • Participant must be an active ninth, tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grader during the current year.
  • No previous winner in a Dean’s Award project is eligible to compete in any of the six Dean’s Awards areas. Previous state winners in other 4-H projects and events are eligible for competition in the Dean’s Awards projects, provided they have never won a Dean’s Award.
  • Each county may submit as many applicants and entries in the Dean’s Awards competition as they wish.
  • A 4-H’er is eligible to enter only one project area of Dean’s Awards competition in a given year.


Awards & Recognition

  • First, second, and third place in each project area will receive a medallion to commemorate their achievement.
  • First place winners in each of the six project areas will receive Master 4-H’er Status, a $500 scholarship, and recognition on 4-H Day at the Capitol.




For more information contact: