How to Apply for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Standford University

As you consider whether Knight-Hennessy Scholars is the right complement to your Stanford graduate studies, we invite you to explore why we exist, who we are, what we do, where we do it, and how we financially support you. You need to consider the benefits of joining the multidisciplinary and multicultural cohort.

Nearly 3,000 graduate students enroll at Stanford annually. Next year, more than 80 (growing to 100 over time) will be Knight-Hennessy scholars. Knight-Hennessy scholars span all seven schools at the university and bring a wide array of diverse academic experiences prior to enrolling at Stanford. Knight-Hennessy scholars are surrounded by fellow Stanford graduate students solving complex problems from different disciplinary approaches.


Knight-Hennessy scholars have lived, studied, and worked in a wide array of communities and cities, colleges and universities, companies and organizations throughout the world.


Knight-Hennessy Scholars has no restrictions based on age, college or university, the field of study, or career aspiration. We encourage citizens and residents of all countries to apply. We do not require applicants to seek endorsements from colleges, universities, or other institutions.

There are two baseline eligibility requirements.

Requirement 1: Admission to Stanford

First, in addition to applying to Knight-Hennessy Scholars (KHS), you must apply to, be accepted by, and enroll in a full-time Stanford graduate degree program including, but not limited to, DMA, JD, MA, MBA, MD, MFA, MPP, MS, or Ph.D. programs. You must meet at least one of the following four conditions:

  • You are applying separately but concurrently to KHS and a full-time Stanford graduate degree program such that you will start both in the same year.
  • You have already been offered and deferred admission to a full-time Stanford graduate degree program, and will apply to KHS such that you will start both in the same year.
  • You are a current Stanford graduate student who will apply to add a second full-time Stanford graduate degree program, such that you will start both KHS and the new program in the same year.
  • You are a current Stanford Ph.D. student in your first year of enrollment and will apply to KHS such that you will start KHS in your second year of Ph.D. enrollment.

There are no quotas by discipline or program. Note that we will give priority consideration to those who will spend at least two years studying at Stanford.

Please note that a small number of Stanford graduate degree programs are not eligible for Knight-Hennessy Scholars:

  • Applicants to the Honors Cooperative Program
  • Applicants to the Master of Liberal Arts
  • Applicants to the Doctor of Science of Law (JSD)
  • Current Stanford students applying for coterminal graduate study
  • Current Stanford Ph.D. students adding an MA or MS degree in their current discipline

Requirement 2: Undergraduate Degree Date

Second, you must have earned, in January 2016 or later, a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a college or university of recognized standing.

To apply to join the cohort in: You must have earned your first bachelor’s degree by:
2023 January 2016 or later
2024 January 2017 or later

For applicants who served in the military after their undergraduate studies, we extend the eligibility window by two years in acknowledgment of longer service commitments; you must have earned your degree in January 2014 or later to enroll in 2023. Current college students are eligible if you will earn their first degree by September 2023. Within the eligibility window, we do not give preference based on the recency of the degree



What is needed in your application to apply for the Knight-Hennessy scholars, help you assess your alignment with their values, and prepare you to demonstrate the criteria in your application?

1. Independence of Thought

We seek visionary thinkers who are curious, open-minded, analytical, eager for cross-cultural perspective, and genuinely excited to boldly and creatively address our world’s important challenges.

  • Demonstrates intellectual ability and clear thinking
  • Communicates clearly based on reflection and introspection
  • Seeks out new knowledge, perspectives, and experiences
  • Makes sense of ambiguous circumstances
  • Generates ideas to solve problems

2. Purposeful Leadership

We seek courageous leaders who are ethical, decisive, resilient, driven to achieve meaningful results, and motivated to inspire others to effect positive change at scale.

  • Achieves impactful results
  • Confronts challenges with courage, persistence, and resilience
  • Seeks to improve self and others
  • Includes and inspires others to effect change
  • Makes decisions in accordance with values

3. Civic Mindset

We seek collaborative community members who are humble, empathetic, trustworthy, oriented to act in service of others, and deeply passionate about contributing to the greater good.

  • Demonstrates humility, kindness, integrity, and accountability
  • Makes a habit of serving and helping others
  • Thoughtful and considerate of others’ perspectives
  • Embraces difference and celebrates diverse opinions and experiences
  • Strives to make our world a better place

If find evidence of these selection criteria throughout your application and, if you are invited to participate, in your video statement and at Immersion Weekend. KHS looks forward to getting to know you, including what you have done, who you are now, and what you aspire to do in the future.

Application Deadlines

Knight-Hennessy scholar Application Deadline:
October 12, 2023, 1:00 pm Pacific Time

Apply Now


You can also apply for the Mexican Government scholarship