The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program

This financial support is not administered by the University.


Knight-Hennessy Scholars receive full funding to pursue graduate study at Stanford. This includes the JD, MA, MBA, MD, MFA, MS, and PhD programs.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars receive full funding to pursue graduate study at Stanford University. 

Field of study

Any Discipline


Applications are encouraged from citizens of all countries for all full-time graduate degree programs at Stanford.

You are eligible during your final year of student for your first/bachelor's degree or within five years of earning your first/bachelor's degree.  For the cohort that applies in 2020, that means you must have graduated in January 2014 through September 2021 to enrol at Stanford in September 2021.

A full list of eligibility criteria can be found here.

Selection criteria

Knight-Hennessy Scholars look primarily at three 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
    • Self-aware
    • Persists and bounces back from adversity
  3. Civic Mindset
    • Personally humble and kind
    • Inclusive
    • Respects differences
    • Concerned for and helpful to others
    • Low ego


The education of Knight-Hennessy Scholars is funded for up to three years for any graduate degree(s) at Stanford to which you are admitted at the time you are selected as a scholar. 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(s) will fund the remainder of your education to the extent consistent with its standard funding commitment for that program.

During each of the first three years of graduate study, Knight-Hennessy Scholars receive:

  • a fellowship applied directly to cover tuition and associated fees
  • a stipend for living and academic expenses (such as room and board, books, academic supplies, instructional materials, local transportation, and reasonable personal expenses)
  • a travel grant intended to cover an economy-class ticket for one annual trip to and from Stanford


How to apply

Applicants must:

  • submit an online application for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program
  • submit an application for the graduate degree they want to pursue at Stanford University (deadlines can vary)

Scholarships will only be granted to successful applicants who gain admission into a graduate degree program.

Applications accepted by October 2020 are for entry to Stanford University in September 2021.