Knight Hennessy Scholarship in the USA | Fully Funded


All Knight-Hennessy scholars apply and are selected for admission. Gaining admission is the beginning of a new journey to greater leadership as a Knight-Hennessy scholar; it is also the culmination of the effort you dedicate to your application.

Applying to Knight-Hennessy Scholars (KHS) is not simply checking off a list of requirements. There is no formula for admission, and there are no scores, achievements, or stories that automatically qualify you for admission. Instead, the KHS application is an invitation to show how you demonstrate the qualities we seek in ways that are unique and distinct to you.

We believe applying can be a rewarding exercise in reflection about your experiences and your aspirations. We designed the Knight-Hennessy Scholars application with two goals: to help you better know yourself — what you have done, who you are now, and what you aspire to do in the future — and also to help us know you better. 

We also acknowledge that applying can take thought and effort. We want to aid you in your planning and preparation, and we have organized our resources to help you through each stage of the application journey. We hope you find inspiration as you learn about our community, clarity as you explore our admission process, and reflection as you complete your application.

Why Knight-Hennessy Scholars?

Join a multidisciplinary, multicultural community of graduate students united by independence of thought, purposeful leadership, and civic mindset.


What are the baseline eligibility requirements to apply for Knight-Hennessy Scholars?

Knight-Hennessy Scholars has no restrictions based on age, college or university, 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. Additionally, there are no quotas by discipline or program.

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 PhD programs. You must meet at least one of the following four conditions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. You are a current Stanford PhD student in your first year of enrollment, and will apply to KHS such that you will start KHS in your second year of PhD enrollment.  

Please note that the following Stanford graduate degree programs are not eligible for Knight-Hennessy Scholars:

Requirement 2: Undergraduate Degree Date 

Second, you must have earned, in January 2018 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:
2025January 2018 or later

For applicants who served in the military, we extend the eligibility window by two years in acknowledgement of longer service commitments; you must have earned your degree in January 2016 or later to enroll in 2025. Current college students are eligible if you will earn your first degree by September 2025. Within the eligibility window, we do not give preference based on recency of the degree.

Our criteria clarify what we seek in your application, help you assess your alignment with our values, and prepare you to demonstrate the criteria in your application.

There is neither a typical nor a prototypical Knight-Hennessy scholar. Each cohort is diverse by design; no two candidates are equally strong across all criteria, and you may demonstrate different strengths in different ways. As we evaluate and select Knight-Hennessy scholars, we look for evidence of three criteria:

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
  • 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

We find evidence of these selection criteria throughout your application and, if you are invited to participate, in your video statement and during the Finalist Experience. We look forward to getting to know you, including what you have done, who you are now, and what you aspire to do in the future.

Our dates and deadlines help you plan ahead for your applications.

Each incoming Knight-Hennessy scholar must also apply to, be accepted by, and enroll in a full-time Stanford graduate degree program(s).

If you have already been offered and deferred admission to enroll in a full-time Stanford graduate program(s) in 2025, or you are a Stanford PhD student who will start your PhD in 2024 and will begin your second year in 2025, then you must submit one application to Knight-Hennessy Scholars.

Otherwise, you must submit separate but concurrent applications; one to Knight-Hennessy Scholars, and one to your Stanford graduate degree program(s). This applies both to candidates seeking admission to their first Stanford graduate degree program, as well as to current Stanford graduate students adding a second graduate degree. 

Knight-Hennessy ScholarsStanford graduate degree program(s)
You will submit an application to Knight-Hennessy Scholars. The Knight-Hennessy Scholars application deadline is October 9, 2024, 1:00pm Pacific Time. The KHS application deadline is the same for all applicants, regardless of the Stanford graduate degree program to which you will apply.You will submit a completely separate application to your Stanford graduate degree program(s). Unlike the KHS application, which has a uniform deadline for everyone, the Stanford application deadline varies by program. Check with your desired program to confirm the deadline for KHS applicants. 

Stanford University 

All scholars are Stanford University graduate students, who join Knight-Hennessy Scholars in addition to enrolling in a graduate degree program at any of Stanford’s seven schools

Leadership Development

Scholars participate in up to three years of programming that complements their graduate studies and prepares them to take on leadership roles in academia, industry, government, nonprofits, and the community at large.

Knight-Hennessy Community

A new cohort of scholars joins each year, adding to a diverse community of scholars from across disciplines, nationalities, perspectives, and backgrounds. Scholars learn together, collaborate on impactful projects, and develop lifelong friendships. 

Knight-Hennessy Funding

Scholars receive a fellowship for up to three years of tuition, depending upon their degree length. In addition, scholars receive a stipend for living and academic expenses, and a travel stipend for one annual trip to and from Stanford. 

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.