The Purpose Of The Scholarship
- Full funding includes tuition, stipend, graduate program and related academic expenses, with additional financial support available.
- Pursue any graduate degree at Stanford, from PhDs in arts, education, engineering, humanities, or social sciences to professional degrees in business, law, or medicine.
- Build skills in leadership and communication that will empower you to work across disciplines and to scale creative solutions for complex challenges.
- Students who earned a bachelor's degree in 2013 or later are eligible to apply to the pioneer class of Knight-Hennessy Scholars.
About The Scholarship
The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program at Stanford University is the world's largest fully endowed scholars program. Of the $750 million endowment, more than 85 percent directly supports the graduate education and living expenses of the Scholars.
The Stanford education of Knight-Hennessy Scholars is fully funded. 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, or a Stanford dual- or joint-degree program - then your Stanford 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, supplies, and instructional materials; health insurance and associated fees; travel to and from Stanford; local transportation; and reasonable personal expenses.
The three primary 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
- Persists and bounces back from adversity
3. Civic Mindset
- Personally humble and kind
- Respects differences
- Concerned for and helpful to others
- Low ego
Who Can Apply?
Are you a potential Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University? Below is a listing of the general requirements.
All Citizens Welcome
We encourage applications to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program from citizens of all countries. That’s natural since we expect Knight-Hennessy Scholars to have global impact.
We expect that over time about one third of our 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 our goal is to admit the world’s very best students, regardless of location.
All Graduate Programs at Stanford; Only for Graduate Degrees
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 if you plan on pursuing one of Stanford’s many joint- and dual- graduate degree options (e.g., MD+PhD, JD+MA, MBA+MS).
The Stanford education of Knight-Hennessy Scholars is fully funded. The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program funds up to the first three years of your graduate education, and if your degree program exceeds three years - such as an MD or PhD program, or a Stanford dual- or joint-degree program - then your Stanford home department will fund the remainder of your education to the extent consistent with its standard funding commitment for that program. (That is, e.g., six years for PhDs in engineering, five years for PhDs in humanities.)
While we are excited to build a cohort that reflects the breadth of excellence at Stanford, there are no allocations or quotas by discipline or program. Please note, however, that we will give priority to applicants who are pursuing graduate programs that last more than one year.
First/Bachelor's Degree Received in 2013 or Later; Enrolling in 2018 or Later
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. For the pioneer class that enrolls in 2018, that means you must have graduated in 2013 or later and must apply in 2017. We will select Scholars who enroll at Stanford in 2018 or later.
If you’re still in college studying for your first/bachelor’s degree, you’re eligible to apply as long as you complete your first/bachelor’s degree before you enroll as a graduate student at Stanford. Even if you have earned a graduate degree already, you remain eligible for consideration as long as you earned your first/bachelor's degree within four years of applying and five years of enrolling.
If you graduated with your first/bachelor's degree more than four years ago (in 2012 or earlier, for the pioneer class), then you are not eligible for consideration as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar. This applies even if you have earned an additional degree in 2013 or later. The good news is that you still may apply to the Stanford graduate program of your choice, and there are many other options for funding your graduate education at Stanford.
Earned first degree in Apply no later than Enroll no later than
2013 Fall 2017 Fall 2018
2014 Fall 2018 Fall 2019
2015 Fall 2019 Fall 2020
2016 Fall 2020 Fall 2021
Other Eligibility Requirements
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(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.
While we expect Knight-Hennessy Scholars to have performed well, there is no minimum requirement for your grades or scores.
A Special Note for Graduate Students Enrolling at Stanford Before 2018
Are you enrolled or planning to enroll as a graduate student at Stanford?
If you enroll in a graduate degree program at Stanford in 2017 or earlier, you are ineligible for consideration as a Knight-Hennessy Scholars program for your current degree program. You are, however, welcome to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program if you either defer enrollment to 2018 or later, or if you apply for a new graduate degree program at Stanford that starts in 2018 or later.
Deferring Enrollment? Apply the Year Before You Enroll
How to apply
You must apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program by 1:00pm (Pacific Time) on September 27, 2017, 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 Fall 2018 in your Stanford graduate degree program as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar.
The details are important, though.
Separate Reviews, In Parallel
As you probably know, 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. We will, however, stay in touch with the individual departments throughout the admission process to ensure that we are designating as Knight-Hennessy Scholars only those applicants whom each program has determined are among its very best.
We cannot select you 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.
Who Sees What
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 some of your departmental application materials - in particular, the recommendation letters. The reviews will happen separately, though.
No Deferrals of Enrollment
If you are selected as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar, we will not allow you to defer admission to a later year. Instead, we would ask you to reapply for admission for the year that you intend to enroll.
We will consider exceptions to this policy only under rare, extraordinary, and unforeseen circumstances that are beyond your control (e.g., health difficulties, delayed separation from the military).
If you already have admission to one of Stanford's graduate departments and are enrolling in 2018 or later, you may apply to be a Knight-Hennessy Scholar. Simply apply for the year that you would enroll in your graduate program.
For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.
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