About Knight-Hennessy
Eligibility Requirements
Evaluation Criteria
Application Timeline
Campus Advising

About Knight-Hennessy

Per the Knight-Hennessy Scholars website: The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program is designed to build a multidisciplinary community of Stanford graduate students dedicated to finding creative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. Each year the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program will identify a group of 100 high-achieving students from around the world with demonstrated leadership and civic commitment to receive full funding to pursue a wide-ranging graduate education at Stanford, with the goal of developing a new generation of global leaders. The Knight-Hennessy Scholars is the largest fully endowed scholars program in the world.

For additional information, visit the Knight-Hennessy website here.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Open to citizens of all countries.
  • You are applying to enroll in a full-time graduate degree program at Stanford (e.g., JD, MA, MBA, MD, MS, or PhD) or plan on pursuing one of Stanford’s many joint- and dual- graduate degree options (e.g., MD+PhD, JD+MA, MBA+MS).
  • You have received your first Bachelor’s degree in 2014 or later; You plan to enroll in a Stanford graduate program in 2019 or later.
  • You are eligible for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program as long as you meet the requirements of the Stanford graduate program(s) that you wish to pursue. You must complete the entire application process for your department – including any standardized test that your discipline requires (GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, etc.) and, if needed, an English proficiency test.

More eligibility information can be found here.

Evaluation Criteria

To be selected as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar, you must apply separately to the Stanford graduate degree program you wish to pursue in addition to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program. You cannot be selected as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar if the department doesn’t admit you (though the department may admit you even if you’re not selected as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar).

Knight-Hennessy Scholars primarily looks at three areas:

1. Independence of Thought

  • First-step mental sharpness
  • Seeks out knowledge and new experiences
  • Full of original ideas
  • Makes sense of ambiguous situations
  • Can hold a contrarian or dissenting point of view

2. Purposeful Leadership

  • Ambitious, in the best sense of the word
  • Driven to improve self
  • Willing to take risks
  • Self-aware
  • Persists and bounces back from adversity

3. Civic Mindset

  • Personally humble and kind
  • Inclusive
  • Respects differences
  • Concerned for and helpful to others
  • Low ego

Where the selection committee find evidence of these criteria is throughout your application materials and, if you are selected as a finalist, at Immersion Weekend.

Application Timeline

May 1, 2018: Knight-Hennessy Scholars application opens. Your department application likely will not be available at that point, unless you’re considering the MD Program.

July 2018: Open advising period with AHF staff.

Summer 2018:  The Stanford MBA Program and MD Program applications are open. No other graduate degree program applications will open until September.

September 12, 2018: Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program application due. All Stanford department applications will open by this point, as well.

November 1, 2018: Deadline to apply to your Stanford home graduate program.  Graduate application deadlines vary, but to be considered for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, you will need to have all application materials complete by this date.  MD and MBA programs will likely have an earlier deadline. Please check with your home graduate department for more information.

December 2018: Approximately 150 finalists will be selected and invited to attend Immersion Weekend.

January 11-12, 2019: Finalists attend Immersion Weekend to learn more about their department and about Stanford.

February 2019: Knight-Hennessy will select and notify the second class of Scholars. Departments will also notify applicants selected as Knight-Hennessy Scholars of admission to the departments.

Summer 2019: Second cohort orientation.

Autumn 2019: Begin at Stanford in home graduate program.

Campus Advising

Academic Honors and Fellowships staff is committed to helping motivated applicants and will offer open advisement throughout the month of July for those applying. The purpose of summer advising is to meet with AHF staff to discuss feedback on your Knight-Hennessy application.

To schedule an appointment, you must prepare drafts of the following application materials for AHF staff to review:

  • One page resume 
  • Self-reported test scores (if applicable) 
  • Drafts: Essay responses 
    • #1: Connect the dots. How have the influences in your life shaped you?
    • #2: How will you pursue your life’s calling? How will your Stanford education and your Knight-Hennessy Scholars experience support this?
    • (You may submit a maximum total of 1,750 words for both essays combined.)
  • Drafts: Short Answer responses
    • #1. Please tell us eight improbable facts about you.
    • #2 Please list three goals/objectives that you are working toward right now. (No, being admitted to Stanford and/or being selected as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar can’t count as one of those goals.)
  • Names & Titles of 2 Recommenders
    • You do not need to have the final recommendation letters for the advising appointment. We just need to know who you will ask to write them.
  • Video story (Optional for Advising Feedback) 
    • Knight-Hennessy invites you to submit a video to “meet” you. There is zero emphasis on the “production value” of your video.
    • Prompt: Teach something to your cohort of fellow Knight-Hennessy Scholars.

Your drafts do not have to be perfect, but it is expected that you present your materials as complete as possible to maximize the feedback you will receive from AHF staff.

Once you have your drafts ready, complete the Knight-Hennessy Summer Advising Request Form to schedule an individual feedback appointment.

Contact Us

Open Advising: May – Early August
Request an Appointment
Request an Individual Summer Draft Review *completed drafts required*

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