Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program




The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program selects 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.


The award provides full funding for any post-graduate program at Stanford University, as well as leadership development training, professional mentorship, and experiential learning opportunities.

Eligibility criteria

Applications are accepted from citizens of any country who intend 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). Applicants who are not enrolled in a bachelor's degree program at the time of application must have completed their bachelor's degrees within the last five years.  Applicants must otherwise meet all eligibility requirements for admission to their selected graduate program.

Award requirements

Recipients are expected to complete their graduate program in-residence at Stanford University.  This award may not be deferred.

Selection criteria

The first and foremost criterion for selection is that the applicant be an excellent candidate for admission to his or her selected graduate program at Stanford.  The Knight-Hennessy selection committee will evaluate candidates on the basis of three broad criteria:

  1. Independence of Thought
    1. Seeks out knowledge and new experiences
    2. Full of original ideas
    3. Makes sense of ambiguous situations
    4. Can hold a contrarian or dissenting point of view
  2. Purposeful Leadership
    1. Ambitious, in the best sense of the word
    2. Driven to improve self
    3. Willing to take risks
    4. Bounces back from adversity
  3. Civic Mindset
    1. Personally humble and kind
    2. Inclusive
    3. Open to differences
    4. Concerned for and helpful to others

Application Process

The application for the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship is two-fold: one must apply for admission to Stanford in addition to applying for the Scholarship program. For specific dates, refer to the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship site.

Knight-Hennessy logo


  • Funding for Graduate Study
  • Leadership Development


  • Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Creative and Performing Arts
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Health and Medicine
  • Humanities
  • International Affairs
  • Journalism and Media
  • National Security
  • Peace and Conflict Resolution
  • Public Policy
  • Public Service
  • Social Justice
  • Social Science
  • STEM

Eligible applicants

  • Fourth-year+ Undergrads
  • Graduate Students
  • Undergraduate Alumni
  • Graduate Alumni

Citizenship status

  • US Citizen
  • US Permanent Resident
  • DACA/Dreamer
  • International Student (non-US citizen)

ASU Nomination required

  • No

For More Information

Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program