Knight-Hennessey Scholars Program
Each year the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program will identify a group of 100 high-achieving students (50 in the first year) 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 and is designed to build a multidisciplinary community of Stanford graduate students dedicated to finding creative solutions to the world's greatest challenges. Building on departmental programs, fellows will learn to communicate, collaborate, and innovate with fellow Knight-Hennessy Scholars from other disciplines, breaking down traditional academic silos will be essential to discovering new solutions that will advance humanity via leadership development, mentorship, and experiential learning. Tailored workshops and individual coaching and feedback will hone scholars’ capacity for collaborative leadership and particular emphasis on the art of storytelling and scholars’ ability to find their voice will be given. Additionally, scholars will enjoy spending time with established leaders in both informal and formal settings, including the opportunity to work with special mentors from the Distinguished Careers Institute and meet one-on-one or in small groups with members of our Global Advisory Board, whom hail from a diverse range of fields.
- You are eligible to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program if you are applying to enroll in a full-time graduate degree program at Stanford or if you plan on pursuing one of Stanford’s many joint- and dual- graduate degree options.
- You are eligible to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program if you apply within four years, and enroll within five years, after you earn your first/bachelor’s degree.
- You must meet the requirements of the Stanford graduate program(s) that you wish to pursue.
- There are no nationality requirements; applications are accepted from citizens of all countries. The program expects that over time about one third of the Scholars will be from the United States, and about two thirds will be from countries outside the United States. Those numbers will fluctuate from year to year, since the goal of the program is to admit the world’s very best students, regardless of location.
- Priority is given to applicants who are pursuing graduate programs that last more than one year.
- There is no minimum requirement for grades or scores, but it is expected you performed well.
You must apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, and also apply separately to the specific Stanford graduate degree program that you want to earn. Stanford’s graduate programs are very selective. Each graduate department determines its own admission criteria and decides which — and how many — students to admit. This means that you need to meet all the requirements for admission to your home department. Focus your application to your graduate program solely on that graduate program; do not consider the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program in that application. The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program doesn't influence departmental decisions. The program will, however, stay in touch with the individual departments throughout the admission process to ensure that they are designating as Knight-Hennessy Scholars only those applicants whom each program has determined are among its very best. You cannot be selected as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar if you are not admitted by your department — but your department may admit you even if you are not selected as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar. The home department will not see your Knight-Hennessy Scholars application. The Knight-Hennessy Scholars team will review your Knight-Hennessy Scholars application and will have access to some of your departmental application materials – in particular, the recommendation letters. The reviews will happen separately, though.
The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Application comprises the following materials. Be sure to review the Knight-Hennessy Scholars website for the most recent information and for further details:
- Online application for admission (including personal and academic information, etc)
- An unofficial or self-reported transcript
- Scores on standardized tests for admission, as required by the graduate program you are pursuing
- Two recommendation letters
- Two personal essays
- Video submission
Knight-Hennessy Scholar Profile:
According to the Knight-Hennessy website, “There’s neither a typical Stanford student nor one ideal Knight-Hennessy Scholar. As Phil Knight would say, we’re seeking Scholars who can out-think, out-work and out-care others.” Applicants should check each department’s website for a sense of what it seeks in candidates. For Knight-Hennessy Scholars, they look primarily at three areas: Independence of Thought, Purposeful Leadership, Civic Mindset.
- University of Idaho Deadline: not applicable
- Foundation Deadline: October (see foundation website for exact date)
The application opens in the spring. All application materials are due to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program by the foundation deadline. Finalists are invited to visit Stanford for Immersion Weekend in January to learn more about the department and Stanford more generally, which also will allow the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program to get to know the finalists better. Scholars are selected and notified in mid-February. Departments will notify applicants selected as Knight-Hennessy Scholars of admission to the departments. Scholars attend an orientation over the summer, and the program begins in the fall.