Knight-Hennessy Scholars

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.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Open to citizens of all countries. Knight-Hennessy expects about 1/3 U.S. Citizens and 2/3 non-U.S. Citizens to make up the first cohort.
  • 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 2013 or later; You plan to enroll in a Stanford graduate program in 2018 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. We can’t select you 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).

For Knight-Hennessy Scholars, we look primarily 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 we 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, 2017: Knight-Hennessy Scholars application opens. Your department application likely will not be available at that point, unless you’re considering the MD Program.

September 27, 2017: Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program application due. All Stanford department applications will open by this point, as well.

Autumn 2017: 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 November 15, 2017. The MD Program will have an earlier deadline given the AMCAS timeline. The MBA Program likely will have an earlier deadline given its use of application rounds. Please check with your home graduate department for more information.

Winter 2018: Knight-Hennessy committee will select around 100 finalists and invite you to visit Stanford for Candidate Immersion Weekend.This will give you the opportunity to learn more about your department and about Stanford more generally, and also will allow KH to get to know you better.

February 2018: KH will select and notify the pioneer class of Knight-Hennessy Scholars. Departments also will timely notify applicants selected as Knight-Hennessy Scholars of admission to the departments.

Summer 2018: Pioneer class orientation.

Autumn 2018: Enroll at Stanford in your home graduate program.

*As we receive more information, we will continue to update the timeline with USC-specific deadlines*

Applicant Resources

Visit the Knight-Hennessy website 

USC Info Sessions on April 20, 2017. RSVP TODAY.

USC AHF advisor
Andy Liang
eliang@usc.edu