Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

Provides funding for up to three years of graduate education at Stanford, including leadership and mentorship opportunities.

You are encouraged to visit the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program website and view the video detailing the mission of the program before making application. 

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. In addition to the opportunities that students will pursue through the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, they will find ample opportunity to build leadership skills specific to their discipline.

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program funds up to three years of your graduate education. If your degree program exceeds three years, such as an MD or PhD program, then your home department will fund the remainder of your education to the extent consistent with its standard funding commitment for that program.

As a Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University, you receive:

  • a fellowship applied directly to cover your tuition and associated fees, and
  • a generous stipend comprising your on-campus room and board, books and supplies, health insurance and associated fees, travel to and from Stanford, and reasonable personal expenses.

Deadline Information

2018 Campus Endorsement Deadline (current students): Monday, May 14, 2018

2017 National Deadline: Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Eligibility Requirements

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program is open to citizens of all countries.

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 (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). 

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program funds up to three years of your graduate education. If your degree program exceeds three years, such as an MD or PhD program, then your home department will fund the remainder of your education (to the extent consistent with its standard funding commitment for that program). Please note that priority is given to applicants who are pursuing graduate programs that last more than one year.

You are eligible to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program if you earned your bachelor’s degree in 2013 or later. Even if you have earned a graduate degree already, you are eligible for consideration as long as you earned your bachelor's degree in 2013 or later.

Beyond the eligibility requirements listed above, you are eligible for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program as long as you meet the requirements of the Stanford graduate program 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.

Application Process

Current students and UChicago alumni are strongly encouraged to submit a campus primer. All current University of Chicago students applying for the Knight-Hennessy must submit a campus endorsement application

Campus Endorsement Application Process: Before you begin any of the processes below, please consult carefully the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program website

(1) Current UChicago students: the formal campus application process has now closed. If you would like to be considered for institutional endorsement and to secure the required institutional assessment (for current undergraduates and graduate candidate only), you must contact Nichole Fazio immediately []. 

  • Two (2) academic letters of recommendation and one (1) professional letter of recommendation. They should be submitted by email directly to Nichole Fazio [].  Your two academic letters can be from the same authors of your Stanford recommendation letters; they will only be seen by the UChicago endorsement committee. However, they must be addressed to the 'Knight-Hennessy Scholars program selection committee'. 
  • Completion of the online campus application, which includes a CV, personal statement, and short answer questions with regard to your Stanford course of study.
  • Please note, your possible endorsement is contingent on the quality of your campus endorsement application. You are strongly encouraged to reach out to Nichole Fazio for support and essay review in advance of the campus deadline. Please note: essays and application drafts will not be reviewed if sent one-week (or less) before the stated deadline. Please plan ahead and accordingly. 
  • Following your campus endorsement process, the College Center for Scholarly Advancement (CCSA), in partnership with the College Dean's Office, will author your institutional/university endorsement letter. This is the second letter required for current students as a part of your application to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program. Note: the endorsement letter cannot be authored by an academic advisor, departmental contact, other faculty, or career advisor. As with all other nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, an institutional endorsement letter must be authored by the CCSA and Dean's office.

(2) UChicago Alumni: Alumni are not required to apply for campus endorsement. Please carefully review the Knight-Hennessy application requirements - particularly the letters of recommendation section - as you will submit an additional letter in place of a University of Chicago endorsement letter. You will abide by the same Knight-Hennessy and Stanford deadlines/processes as described on the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program website. CCSA staff is available to help in your application and essay review in advance of the respective deadlines.

Reminders about the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program:

  • All candidates must apply to their respective Stanford University graduate programs, following all of the instructions of their program and/or department. This may include providing writing samples, additional letters of recommendation, official academic transcripts, and standardized test scores. 
  • Stanford Deadline: All candidates for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program MUST SUBMIT their Stanford University admission application by November 15, 2017 or earlier depending on your degree course. Please review the Knight-Hennessy website carefully regarding these deadlines. You must defer to this deadline (not your own departmental or program deadline) in order to compete for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program.
  • The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program will not accept deferals. You should only apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program if you are intent on taking up your graduate place at Stanford University.
  • As a part of the national application, candidates will submit a brief video of introduction.
  • If selected as a national finalist, candidates will participate in an immersion weekend, which includes an interview for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program. The CCSA will support all finalists - current students and alum - in preparing for national interviews. 
  • Additional notes: you will apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program and also apply separately to the specific Stanford graduate degree program that you want to earn. If you’re admitted to both, then you enroll in your Stanford home program as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar. Your 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 your departmental recommendation letters and personal statement. 


For more information on this opportunity, please contact: 
Nichole Fazio-Veigel